Since I was a wee little girl, I’ve always had it placed on my heart to adopt. Can you imagine? I’m like 9 years old, no one I know is adopted, and I want to one day adopt a child. Crazy. But this notion carried through my adolescence, right into my marriage. I remember being on my honeymoon (yes, seriously), I can see the restaurant walls, thinking back, and I told my newly married husband that I wanted to adopt. He, of course, knew this before, but I wanted to reiterate my desire. Flash forward 20 years later, 5 biological kids later, with the house seeming to settle down, and here we are. I’m at work, strolling through Facebook. Yes, it’s busy where I work, and no, I’m not a good steward of my time by doing so, but alas, I see 4 little girls who need a home show up in my feed. It’s one of those sponsored posts. I looked into the eyes of these little girls and my heart jumped. “I’ve got a home! You can stay with us!” And then you think about it. The reality of it. Four more…to my five? It’ll have some adjusting, but I think we can swing it. The important thing is we save them from being separated. Then I find out, ‘oh, they don’t speak English very likely. And that particular country doesn’t allow a family of 5 to adopt.’ Hmm… So my eyes settled on some other faces in the crowd. Little faces. Do I seriously think I could start over? Diapers, crawling, teething? I took a deep breath. Sure. I can do this. So I filled out the pre-application form. Easy peasy. Then the next day I get a call. Oh boy. This is getting real. A real person contacted me. But I’ve taken liberties of fast forwarding my current situation a bit. Bear in mind, I’ve discussed said pre-application with husband and children. Everyone is on board. Husband still knows my desire, and is in full support. You can’t get better than that! And so…
I’m talking to a live person about my desire to adopt. And I’m pinching myself. Twenty some years of a glow growing inside me to accept an orphaned child into our hearts and home, and now I’m saying it out loud…to a professional! And then she emails me a picture. A face. And granted, nothing I’m about to tell you is ordinary. From what little I know, things don’t go like this. You’re not seeking a little face to match until well after the formalities of contracts, home studies, and dossiers. But there was this face…this adorable face. And then I found her on the site. Read about her. And my heart stopped. It listed she had Down Syndrome. I’d never thought about Down Syndrome. My friend just had a baby with it, but other than that, I knew nothing. And so I told my husband about her. And he was quiet. All of this I assure you is normal. Of course you think a million things. Will she ever be independent? Will our family and our dynamics be altered in a way that’s healthy for her and us? I became very quiet and still. Thinking about this adorable child. Seeing the joy in her eyes. Feeling as if she were the most extraordinary person I’d ever seen before. Days went by. I asked my husband again, if he would have an open heart for this little girl. I married the guy, so I was pretty certain of his answer…of his heart. And he said yes. So I researched as much as a person can. Not knowing anything about her and her medical history, I found reports and family testimonies of children with Down Syndrome, and was more convinced that I wanted to proceed. I needed to proceed. In China, Down Syndrome is not looked on favorably. You are considered non-adoptable. And that’s just foolish. Everyone has value. Everyone.
So that was two weeks ago. I think. I filled out the paper, talked to the representative of the agency, had a call from the case worker, and emailed an advocate of the little girl who has stolen my heart. And now I wait to find someone to perform a home study. Which is actually the most difficult thing so far. I live in a rural area and no one travels! Okay, so it’s one of the most difficult things. The finances come in first before that. I titled this blog ‘Have Courage and Be Kind’ for a couple reasons. Taking a child and integrating them into your settled life takes courage. Nothing will be the same. But then who likes the same all the time? Now the money end of it…I’d like to say it’s going to be easy, that it shouldn’t crop up in discussion, after all the child is the main focus, but money takes a great deal of courage. Especially if you’re doing all this…the calls, the applications, and allowing your heart to hope…without any money to support it. Sure, we have a little. Little compared to the great deal it will take. But more important is my courage. Courage and faith that God will provide. He does every day, He will for this. I will have my moments of doubt, don’t we all? But I need to keep those at bay and know it will all work out.
Now on to one of the reasons I created this blog. In searching for information on international adoptions, I was elated to find blogs with families going through this similar process. Hopefully someone, it just takes one, will happen upon this one and want to share in my experience. Maybe someone who has gone through it, will chime in with advice. Whatever the person or reason for following along, I welcome you. It’s going to be a wonderful journey…and I’m ready!