It has been a little over five years since we announced that we were going to adopt. We were very excited and ever so “green.” I must admit that I had visions of the most wonderful adoption experience, plans for how to make everything go seamlessly, and ambition to tackle the dossier like no one ever had.
Ahhh….the good ole days.
Our adoption was not seamless, our struggles have been real, our days have had many tears, and our home has had it’s fair share of “oh my goodness” days. However, we have grown so much, learned so much, and seen God working in our lives every day. We have taken many roads not planned as a result of our adoption, and it has led us to the greatest place. I could not have predicted we’d be where we are, and I must admit that because of our first adoption, our marriage is stronger than I ever could have imagined.
So here we are, taking that plunge again. Although this time, we are ready for the struggles, we are prepared for the trials, and we are aware of just how much we can love a child that is not biologically ours. Over the last six months, John and I have talked about adopting another child. I had traumatic births with both of our youngest, and I’ve had the calling to adopt again for a while. We knew we were capable of parenting another child, the question was, what child and where were they living.
This time around, we tried to do a domestic (American) adoption. However, having five children, with two that have Down syndrome, we were told that we do not look desirable on paper….meaning social workers in the foster system would look right over our file.
So I began to pray. Should we adopt, from where should we focus, how many children, what ages? I began to evaluate our strengths, our family, and what would be within our limits. We have struggled a lot with one of our kids, their adoption has been anything but smooth, and we decided that an older child adoption was not for us this time. It breaks my heart to say that, but we just cannot be that resource that an older child will need, not right now. We also did not feel that we should adopt more than one child this time. Although I had hoped to adopt a sibling group, it does not seem that we would be at our absolute best with a sibling group. I want to be able to be wholly available to the new child and our current children.
I contacted an agency about a child I saw on Reece’s Rainbow (where we found Anna and Tanner), and they were a wealth of information. They introduced us to a different little girl, in a different country, with whom we have decided to adopt. She is younger, and has special needs that we feel we can help her with.
There was no intention on my part to adopt from Africa this time around. In fact after learning we were not desirable for America, I thought maybe we should adopt from China. However, I can remember being 8 or 9 years old and declaring that one day I would adopt my baby from Africa. When we were told about this little girl, and found that we meet all of the requirements, we researched everything we could find about her specific needs. It is truly a God thing, as we believe that we are fully capable and prepared to adopt this little girl.
So there it is, we are going to be parents again, and I’m overwhelmed with joy. I cannot wait to have our girl home, and to be a family of EIGHT!