Before I entered the adoption world, I didn’t think many people adopted after having biological children. BUT THEY DO! And I love that. So much.
I gathered together a group of women who are willing to share their adoption story for this adoption series: “Adoption After Biological Children.” I am so excited for you to read these stories. Just because you can have biological children, you can still (and SHOULD!) adopt. Those who adopt after biological children face different challenges than those who enter the adoption world after infertility. My goal for this series is to shed light into the world of adoption. One story at a time.
Today Kelley shares her story here…..
My husband and I had always talked about adopting from the beginning of our marriage. It was something we would chat about from time to time for the first 12 years of our marriage. About 6 years ago the Lord began putting signs and people in our path that all lead to our decision to finally make the leap of faith and pursue adoption. At that point we had two biological children. We were able to have more children biologically but felt that door was closed and were certain any more children we would have would come to our family through adoption. I can’t quite put my finger on the exact why or how- I just know we had this urge, this curiosity, a call to pursue a child through adoption. I can tell you no one was surprised either when we told family and friends. To know me was to know I had a heart to adopt one day. I had no idea the ride our heavenly father had for us.
Our path to adoption was like many other processes – hard. We started out pursuing foster to adopt here in the states. I could write a whole book about all the closed doors we experienced during that time. We even had a short period of time where we tried domestic private adoption via a birth mom and that fell through as well. I look back on that 12 month period and now am thankful for each NO and each dead end. It was with each road-block that inched us towards international adoption. I should add we are big advocates of our foster care system, and adopting here in the U.S.
Adoption can be described very much like being called to the mission field – Each person is called differently, and to different areas of the world. I whole heartily believe the Lord used our year of tears and hard to grow us and stretch us for what he had in store.
We prayed and told the Lord we knew we had a child out there and if he or she wasn’t here than to please show us where. We decided to look into international adoption, and there was only one country my heart was drawn to and had been ever since I was a little girl – China!
We soon learned that most all adoptions from China are now what they call “special needs” adoptions. Most all of the children available for adoption would come with some sort of medical needs. We decided we were perfectly fine with that and began the paper chase all over again – just 12 months after doing all the paperwork, background checks and crazy things one does to be eligible to adopt here in the U.S. I had a good cry and then pulled myself up from the floor while the printer spit out 100 pages of forms we would need to fill out to start our process to adopt from China.
Fast forward into our journey of china adoption and we were shown a file and picture of a little 2 year old boy who was available for adoption. I should add that we had told our agency we only wanted to adopt a girl and I had all ready decorated a girly nursery for her. All I know is that as soon as I opened up my email and laid eyes of that precious face I was smitten. Didn’t matter that it was a boy-HE was my child. The feelings I had over that sweet face will forever be etched in my mind. It was like seeing an ultra sound of your child and getting all the warm feels and excitement. After we got over the shock that our new child was a boy, we began changing over the nursery to fit a boy and preparing for our new son. 8 months later we found ourselves in southern china, in a hot and sweaty government building being handed our precious son. I wish I could tell you he came to us smiling but that’s just not how it usually happens. Our sweet boy was very attached to his precious foster family and that day he was placed in our arms was the journey to pursue his heart and walk him through his grief. Regis was a perfect fit in our family- we all fell for him hard and just had the most wonderful time learning him.
After arriving home with our new son in tow we knew we were changed people. We had visited his orphanage, we had seen the despair and the need for more families to come welcome these precious children into their families.
That’s why when the Lord called us back to China not even a month after we got home with our new son, we knew better than to say no. We knew what was behind that yes. Not even 11 months after bringing home our son we traveled to china once again and adopted our daughter. A 7 year old little girl with severe medical and special needs. She is our sunshine and is a joy to everyone she meets.
You would have thought we stopped there but God had bigger plans than we ever could have imagined and we just brought home our baby – a two year old little spunky love that has just been the perfect missing puzzle piece to our family.
Had I known years ago that the Lord would have us adopt 3 children with medical needs in less than 3 years I would say your crazy. But that’s the Lord for you – HIS plans are way bigger and way better than we could ever dream of!
How did our biological children do during this? With any new change in a family you’re going to have time of adjustment and hard. But I really feel blessed that our biological children embraced this path right along with us. Maybe because they were both old enough at the time to grasp it all, or maybe it was just the right time for our family to embark on this journey.
I believe our biological children had a unique perspective on the process, the lengths to which we would go to grow our family. They we right along with us for the ride. They went through the ups and downs, the hard, and the happy. Every milestone we celebrated together. Every hard we have been through together. We are not a “hide our feelings- not talk about things” kind of family. Our biological kids know all about their siblings medical needs, they know about grief, they know attachment rules and do’s and don’ts when dealing with sensitive adoption issues. I wish I could tell you it’s all been roses. No family is perfect, we all make mistakes along the way, we all learn together and grow together.
Only time will tell what the impact adoption has really had on our biological children. I often wonder how it will affect how they choose to raise a family. I hope it has and will continue to affect them in the best possible ways.
But I do know what they have learned through having siblings through adoption in our family. They know you don’t have to look a certain way, or act a certain way, you can have scars and different looking feet and hands, that you don’t need all your fingers and toes to do everything. That each of us is made uniquely and perfectly in the eyes of our heavenly father. Our family is for sure in a lot of ways different than it was 4 years ago when we started this journey. WE have all learned different is ok, matter of fact – its good!
I am thankful for the unique story the Lord has allowed us to weave in the tapestry of our family. I am thankful for the blessing of all my children- either through birth or through adoption.
We are blessed.
You can read the other posts in this series here.
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