Since this is a homeschool blog rather than an adoption blog, I don’t really talk about our family’s story here, but adoption is near and dear to my heart. Today is National Adoption Day, though, so I thought it would be fun to take a quick trip down memory lane and share how God blessed my husband and I with our two children. It is (at least to me) an amazing story of how God worked in our lives.
After my mother firmly told me that I would be having no more siblings, I longed for children of my own. When I was a junior in high school I discovered the book, The Family Nobody Wanted, in our school library. It is about a couple that adopt twelve children domestically. At the time that they adopted children of other races or with disabilities were considered unadoptable. The Doss’ chose to adopt eleven of these “unadoptable” children. I read it and reread it over the next two years. I began to feel called to adopt when I grew up.
In college a friend of mine described her missionary trip to me. While most people might take away a strong desire to go on a missions trip from such a conversation, I walked away from that conversation knowing I was going to adopt children from another country. I began researching international adoption and writing away to international adoption organizations. When I met and eventually married my husband, it was something we talked in length about before deciding to marry. We decided to have four children, two born to us and two through adoption from another country. Yes, on this day we were pretty sure of the future:
Only, things didn’t quite work out the way we had planned. After several infertility treatments we realized we simply weren’t interested in spending money on more procedures. Instead, we chose to look into adoption. Our state has a wonderful donations-only adoption agency that we used for our homestudy. When we were first married the finances for an international adoption seemed insurmountable. God used a generous family member and some adoption resources to allow us to proceed with an international adoption. Because I speak Spanish we were really planning to adopt from a Spanish-speaking country. Except that I went to the mall.
In late 1999 I went to the mall in a city two hours away from us. At one of those booths in the middle of the mall there was an Indian man selling items from India. He had two photo books with pictures from India, including many people. At that moment I fell in love with India and I just knew I needed to look into adopting from there. I went home and searched on the internet and found an agency that was actively recruiting families for infants from India. We sent in our application and as soon as our homestudy was updated we were matched with a one month old, absolutely beautiful baby girl. The first time I looked at her photo I was in love.
The rest of the process seemed to take forever (little did I know!), but on June 22, 2000 a miraculous event took place at LAX. We became a family.
Boo has been an absolute blessing to our family. I can’t imagine our life without her. God knew exactly what He was doing when He chose her for us (of course!)
About a year after we brought Boo home we began thinking about adopting another child.
As is frequently the case in international adoption, the process changed dramatically. New laws and procedures in India, as well as the Hague Treaty, caused Buddy’s adoption process to be a long, rather bumpy one. We had been in the process nearly two years when we finally received his referral and saw his beautiful face for the first time.
He was four months old. Based on the way things had been going we expected to have him home around the time he was eight months old. It didn’t happen. A judge in India refused to sign ANY adoption papers (both domestic and international) and we had to wait while our agency, and others, joined together in a lawsuit in order to get the papers signed. I learned a lot about trusting God and faith during that period. Finally, though, we were cleared to pick him up! My husband stayed home with Boo so my mother went with me on this trip of a lifetime.
We were able to meet the caretakers and see the orphanage where my son had lived. My daughter was from the same orphanage, but they moved buildings in between the two kids time there. It was incredible to actually be in the city where they were born.
The ups and downs of Buddy’s adoption were difficult, but that moment that I held him in my arms for the first time all of that didn’t matter anymore. His funny wit and busy personality keep us on our toes. I can’t imagine our life without him.
Today is National Adoption Day. I know that not everyone is called to adopt, but if you think you might be, I ask you to sincerely pray about it. There are so many children out there that need homes. It isn’t easy at times, but it is SO WORTH IT! If you aren’t called to adopt, consider ways that you can support families you know that are. Certainly helping out financially would be a huge blessing. Many families that adopt could use that type of help. However, there are many other ways to help as well.
- Organized a yard sale or fundraiser for the adopting family.
- Host an adoption shower
- Bring meals or help with cleaning to allow the family bonding time after the child comes home
- LISTEN! Just as it is with childbirth, the adoption process is often not what we expected it to be, both before and after the child comes home. Be willing to listen, without offering unsolicited advice.
- Most importantly, pray!
Also, if you were adopted or have adopted there are events going on all over the country today. Check them out!
Here are a few more photos from our journey: