Sunday, October 17, 2010

Our Adoption Story

Sorry for the quality of the picture, I'm not sure why my camera did such a nasty job. This picture was taken on Naomi's second birthday.

As long as I can remember, I've wanted to adopt. I used to joke with a friend in college, that we would both remain single, and open a home for children with disabilities, adopting them all. Ha! Anyways, I've also suspected that I might have issues with conceiving, considering my cycles were never regular.

I met Rich, and we soon talked marriage. He told me from the get go that there would be issues growing our family. He had had a vas in a previous marriage. That said, we opted for a reversal, and talked to my Dr. about my fertility issues. I was then diagnosed with PCOS.

Rich went through the reversal 5 months after we were married, 6 months after that, we were told that the reversal was a failure. We felt like we were in a pit. I had always dreamed of also carrying children and nursing my children...what was going on.

I prayed and prayed. I could have named at that time EVERY SINGLE miraculous pregnancy mentionned in the Bible. I pleaded with God for a miracle. I also prayed that if pregnancy was not HIS will for my family, that He would change my heart.

One day, as if it was written in Bold and Underlined, ALL the passages about the orphan and fatherless. I was gung ho! Let the adoption adventures begin.

It took a little more time for Rich to be ready. While he was open to adopting, he was also considering ways to start a family biologically. We spoke about the financial repercussions to our choices and what we wanted. One day Rich came home and told me that he was ready to adopt. He said that adoption was EVERYWHERE! TV, Radio, Newspaper...God was surrounding him adoption stories.

For some agencies Rich was too old. For others, I was too young. Rich had previously been married. We didn't have enough money. The list of things went on and on. One day, while praying and looking about the living room, I looked at a carving a friend had brought me back from the country of Haiti. It was a Madonna and child. I began researching adoption in Haiti. I found a photolisting and looked at the requirements. Haiti seemed to be the country for us. Within a few months, we were going through our homestudy and gathering the documents for our dossier.

I'll never forget the day I "found" Simeon. I was looking at our placing agencies photolisting, and came upon Simeon's picture. He seemed so peaceful and serene. Rich was not due to come home for lunch that day, and I was begging God. How could I wait until the end of the day. To my surprise and delight, Rich came home for lunch, late. I ran out the door and actually fell and skinned my knee. Rich was busy asking if I was alright, while I was frantically trying to get him into the door, to the computer to see the picture of Simeon. Within the hour, our baby boy was put on hold and we were expectant parents.

3 months after finding Simeon, I was able to go visit and spend some time with him in Haiti. I'll never forget the moment I held Simeon in my arms. I describe that moment as the moment I became a mother. He looked up into my eyes and smiled. My heart melted, and I was changed. Before leaving Simeon in Haiti, I cried and cried. God blessed me with the opportunity to meet Simeon's birthmom. After meeting her, I was still heartbroken over saying goodbye, and as I sobbed, I heard God ask, " If she can give him away for a life time, how much more can you entrust him into My arms until I give him back." What could I answer, my leaving was still difficult, but I thought of that encounter with God often.

Things began to deteriorate in Haiti, soon after my return to the US. Our US placing agency left us, and took all the money we had prepaid. We were left with staggering child support fees for the orphanage and the rest of the legal process. Many times I asked God where He was, and why it was so hard. I was reminded that God had a plan. In April, 9 1/2months after beginning our process with Simeon himself, we brought him home. What a great day that was.

5 years later, we were in a position to adopt again. We wanted to return to Haiti, but after the difficulties of the last adoption, we decided to be wise about our agencies and asked around. There were two agencies that were recommended to us. To our dismay, NEITHER agency would work with us. One agency was closed to incoming parents completely (laws had changed and they could not process adoptions fast enough, to make room for new adoptions) and one agency refused us because of Rich's biological daughter. ( I believe this was God because I knew for a fact of a couple that was adopting through this agency that was carrying a bio child.)

We decided after much trepidation to go forward with a domestic adoption. A couple of months after being ready with our agency, we were matched with a young woman who was due with a baby girl in just 6 weeks. God's fingerprints were just all over this adoption. From providing friends with me to stay with in the city in which she was being born, to friends in our home church providing free airfare for my trip. Naomi was born, and she has been with me/us ever since. Again, I"m flying over the details, but the agency we worked with has since closed and we were very blessed to be able to finalize our adoption. Not many couples that worked with that agency had such happy endings, many of them in fact suffered from crushed dreams.

Adoption has been a blessing! If I had to do it all over again, knowing the hardships and obstacles that would arise, we definitely would. Even now, given the resources, I'm sure that we would adopt again. The thing is, adoption while joyful, is also wrought with loss and sadness. Its a delicate balance. A balance that I am learning everyday as I love on the two blessings that God has blessed me with!