Many thanks to Robin and her family for sharing the way adoption has touched their lives. Â Robin blogs about homeschooling, and life at Adventures of Arbor Creek
In honor of National Adoption Month, I would like to take a moment to share our familyâ€™s story and what adoption has done for us. Â
My husband and I have been married for 14 years. Â We adopted our daughter at the age of 2 Â½ , and this year we celebrated her 9th birthday.Â During this short amount of time, she has brought indescribable joy to our lives, and has shown us the true meaning of unconditional love. Â
After two years of marriage, my husband and I were advised by doctors not to become pregnant.Â This was due to my chronic kidney condition, which later resulted in two transplants.Â At first, the news didnâ€™t have that great of an impact on us.Â We had just gotten married and were enjoying the newlywed stage of life. Â We always knew wanted to have children; it just wasnâ€™t a primary concern at that point.Â A few years later, we decided we were ready to be parents, but werenâ€™t sure how this would happen. Â Â
Adoption had always been in the back of my mind. Â I was adopted at birth, and came to be with my forever family at six months of age.Â However, the term â€œadoptionâ€ was very foreign and scary for my husband.Â Initially, he was not a big supporter of the idea.Â The fear of the unknown can be overpowering at times.Â To be honest, I felt like I knew nothing about adoption, other than I was adopted.Â So, we began researching adoption in 2002. Â
We contacted various agencies, and did plenty of research on each of them.Â Then, we were led to a local Christian agency by our pastor.Â This agency facilitated domestic infant adoptions.Â We chose to pursue a domestic adoption, primarily, due to cost and not having to travel.Â As I mentioned, health issues were a factor, so if at all possible, we wanted to stay in the U.S. Â Adoption fees tend to vary depending on the agency.Â Thankfully, we were a two income household at that time, and through planning were able to fund the adoption ourselves. Â
The agency we chose hosted several adoption classes.Â We were able to meet other adoptive parents and waiting families, which made us feel even more comfortable with the process.Â One of the agency requirements was to read a book called, â€œDear Birthmotherâ€ by Kathleen Silber.Â What a fabulous book!Â The book offers a very eye opening perspective from the heart of the Birthmother. Â This is an excellent resource for anyone considering adoption.
We began the necessary paperwork, and a few months later, our home study was complete.Â We were told that our portfolio would be placed in a stack with nine others (our agency allowed 10 waiting families at a time), and that all that was left to do was wait to be chosen.Â The timeframe we were given was two years, or longer.Â The agency told us this was our â€œWeâ€™re pregnant!â€ phase. Â
So, the holidays came and went, and our families were beaming with anticipation that possibly next year at this time, we would have a new addition.Â I thought that was wishful thinking on their part since we had already been told to expect a two years minimum.Â But God had a plan.Â Four months after completing our home studyâ€¦the day came.Â I remember sitting at my desk at work, and the phone ringing.Â It was our social worker.Â I think my heart skipped a beat when I heard her voice.Â Even though we had been in touch for other things, I knew this was THE CALL!Â She proceeded to tell me they had been contacted by another agency seeking a home for a toddler, and asked me if weâ€™d consider adopting a toddler instead of an infant. Â Immediately, I had a thousand questions.Â I called my husband at work, and we were both hysterical.Â We were going to have a baby! Â
Â I was so thankful for technology that day.Â I had her fax all the information she had about OUR daughter!Â Our dream was becoming a reality.Â As a waiting adoptive parent, there is a certain level of reserved excitement that you face.Â While agencies give you an estimated wait time, they also tell you that the Birthmother picks your profile as who they see fit for the child.Â Some families move very quickly, and others have their profiles shown hundreds of times, and wait for many, many years to be chosen. Â Our biggest fear was being locked into an agency (financially), and not being chosen.Â Thankfully, that was not the case.Â Getting â€œthe callâ€ made it all seem real.Â It was on Valentineâ€™s Day, we brought our daughter home.
No one can prepare you for the joy, the challenges, the heartaches, and the love of being a parent.Â Â As with any child, there are difficult times. Â Many of the difficulties we face with our daughter are a direct result of her early years of infancy.Â Her diagnosis was â€œfailure to thriveâ€.Â She lacked facial expression, wouldnâ€™t talk, was aggressive, and was significantly delayed in motor skill development.Â All I can say is prayer and love work miracles.Â Sure, we sought the appropriate professional resources (Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers, etc.), but so many of her delays were overcome with time and the stability of a loving environment. Â Being able to see her progress emotionally and physically is possibly the greatest blessing in our lives.Â We take it day by day, and are continually committed to her success in life.Â
Thank you for allowing me to share our adoption story with you.Â Although, I have nothing to compare it to, I cannot imagine loving our daughter any more than I do.Â For me, I have never once felt that I would love her more if I had given biological birth.Â She is our daughter, and we are bonded for life.Â She is our only little blessing at this time.Â We continue to pray that God will open the doors to another adoption in the future.
As with anything, if you are considering adoption, do your research.Â Be knowledgeable of the process, cost, the laws, familiarize yourself with the agency, and then base your decision on whatâ€™s right for YOUR family. Â For us, adoption is the miracle of life.