Thursday, October 25, 2007

October 25- Adoption Day

Eight years ago today we got to take our son C. from the orphanage he was staying at and start our lives together.
We had just met him 3 days before and these are the
pictures of when we first met. He was (and is) the most charming kid alive. He is so sweet and loving. He
immediately smiled and reached out to us and wouldn't
let me look away from him.
It took us years of wading through bureaucracy to
get permission from the INS and after that, things
really flew! We went through a process
that normally takes 2 years in 5 months. As our attorney affirmed the manupstairs had something to do with this.
We already knew that. We had decided before even
marrying that as long as we didn't have too many
children on our own, we would adopt. After the nine
month stomach flu and emergency c-section
that was my first experience at having children,
we knew we would be adopting.
I knew I was too young to not end up expecting at least
once more but felt it would be masochistic to do it on
When our oldest was 2 we started working on it. I had
seen a documentary on orphanages in China and I just
couldn't get it out of my head. I had to do something
for at least one child. My husband was 100% behind
me. After consulting with other adoptive parents we
decided to go to J.'s native land first so we started
working on a Chilean adoption. We got
permission 5 years later, when our second was 6 months
old. The plan was to adopt a 4 year old, since children
under 2 cannot be considered for international adoptions.
However, in July of 1999 we got a call offering us a
2 month old baby boy! Due to a birth defect which left
him without an ear and right side of his jaw, they
were letting him go out of country. During our long
wait for C. there were many times we got really dis-
couraged but we just couldn't give up. Whenever I
would question God about it, I knew He was
supporting us. He made it very clear he had something
in the works on several occasions. I mean, amazing
revelations. Just one of the little amazing things that
came in the end was that my baby son G. just loved the
pictures we received of C. It was really as if he
recognized him, so I had to put the pictures in a photo
cube so he wouldn't love them to death.
In mid October we got a call and headed down to meet
C. in person. We were given the court order on the
23rd and permission to take him with us on the 25th.
When G. met C., we didn't have the camera, which is
a pity, because it was honestly like a reunion of two
long lost friends. It was magic! He just fit right in
immediately. He was the missing link in our family. I
must admit without his sunny and loving, cooperative disposition, I would be an emotional basket case by
now. I can never ever doubt the direct influence of a
loving Heavenly Father in our lives because of this
(and so many other things). There isn't enough time
or space here or words to express how much I love
this kid! Adoption for us was one of the greatest and
most wonderful adventures we ever, ever hope to


Cecily R said...

What a great blessing for you all! I have so much respect for great adoption stories! Congratulations.

I'm tagging you! You have to share 7 random facts.

Link to the person who tagged you; Share 7 random facts about yourself; Tag 7 other blogg friends & leave a comment on their blogg with the rules.

Have fun!

Jen said...

Okay, Shellie. You'll have to excuse my confusion, first of all. I've been reading too many blogs, and can't keep them all straight. Is C the only child you adopted? My husband and I planned to adopt until we realized how expensive it is, but I still think I would like to do it someday. How have you handled the "Why am I adopted?" question, if you don't mind my asking.

Also, I had to write about something else tonight, but I'll do the tag next, I promise!

Shellie said...

C. is the only adopted child in our family. For him it hasn't been hard yet to understand why he was adopted. He's never asked why. Often the teen years are when kids struggle emotionally with that, but so far what we did is just document the whole process just like you do pregnancy and delivery with a biological child and celebrate it! He knows he's loved and he knows that sometimes birth parents are just in circumstances that they can't continue to be the parent and someone else is there for that. When you grow up knowing it the whole time, it's not as hard as finding out older. I think our religious beliefs also help in the sense that he sees that God helped arrange for him to be in our family and he will be with us forever now.
We also acknowledge the gift of life his birth mother gave him and that she is important to us too. As for expenses, it is very expensive. We did have an employee benefit that helped some and you also do get a tax cut the year of the adoption I think. It helps a little but you still have to save a lot of $, in the 5 digits in our case. That's one reason why it took years. We wanted to adopt an older girl from Haiti too but we ran out of resources and it's just as well since we're stretched pretty thin now. I still wish we could have done it though. One thing that might interest you is foster parenting. Through foster parenting you can also be available for adoption of children that cannot be reunited with their biological families. It is considerably less expensive than other kinds of adoption.

Jen said...

Shellie, I have a friend who started fostering a little boy when he was only 2 days old. He is now 14 months, and they still haven't been able to adopt him. They told the agency from the beginning that they only wanted to foster a child that would be available for adoption. Meanwhile, they have almost had him taken away from them 3 different times! Once by the bio. mom who is a drug addict, once by the bio. dad who is a sex offender, and once by the bio. dad's mom who is a lunatic. The whole thing has been very difficult for them, but it does look like they will be able to adopt him soon, and I'm sure in spite of it all, they feel very blessed just to have him in their lives.

I would want to adopt an older child, maybe 3 yrs old, but I'd have to get my husband on board (he's not at the moment). Since the child would be older, I would think there wouldn't be any issues like they have had with the foster system.

Thanks for discussing all this!