Adoption Story by Nicole {Guest Post}

Thank you to Nicole for today’s guest post about how her family of two biological kids grew to include four more children through adoption!

Nicole's family - Nov 2011

My husband, Daniel, and I were married 14 years and had two children whom I homeschooled when we answered God’s call on our lives to be foster parents in 2005. We had a wonderful family and we enjoyed life so we wanted to give children a temporary home until they could be reunited with their parents, knowing that we would consider adoption if it came up. The entire certification process only took us six weeks because we were so motivated.

We were so excited when we received the call for our first placement of two brothers. Alex, 2 years old, was described as shy with red hair and blue eyes. James, who had just turned 1, was born with a cleft lip and palate we were told. We welcomed them into our home on our son’s 13th birthday. Almost immediately there was a connection amongst all of us.

Our son told us, “These boys are not leaving us. We are going to keep them forever.” We tried to convince him that we didn’t know the outcome yet and to keep an open mind.

We settled into our new routine of special feedings for James, doctor visits since his cleft lip or palate had not been repaired yet, social worker visits, parental visitation, and many therapy sessions. At this point, James was unable to sit up on his own and, we later found out, had been diagnosed with failure to thrive. Alex was still very quiet, only saying a few words. We also found out the boys had a new baby brother, Johnathan, who was in another foster home. We talked with our social worker about welcoming Johnathan into our family also, but decided to wait until after James’ surgery for his lip repair. When Johnathan was 5 weeks old he came to live with us. Overall, he was healthy, although we were told that he had allergic colitis due to lactose intolerance. He was prescribed a special formula, but he still had a lot of gas pain, vomited frequently, and had severe diarrhea.

Over the next year, James had two more surgeries to repair his palate (although both failed) and learned how to sit up, crawl and walk. He was still non-verbal so we started learning sign language and used it as a way to communicate. Alex turned 3, was diagnosed with a speech delay and suspected autism and started attending preschool. Parental visitations continued, although less frequent, and eventually stopped. The social worker began talking to us about adoption so we began our adoption home study.

Right before James’ 2nd birthday we woke up to find him seizing in his crib. We called 911 and James was transported to the hospital, all the while continuing to seize. The seizures eventually stopped but we were informed that James had a congenital brain abnormality called partial agenesis of the corpus callosum. He was missing a portion of the midsection of the brain where the left and right sides of the brain communicate. The neurologist could not give us many answers as far as what this would mean for James in the long-run.

There was a major setback with our adoption home study: We were outgrowing our current house. We looked at adding-on as well as moving to a larger house, both of which seemed out-of-reach — until God provided us with an opportunity to purchase a brand new house, double the size of our current home, and facilitate the sale within 30 days. It was an unbelievable blessing! God also provided us with the purchase of a twelve-passenger van shortly after moving into our new house. We kept teasing the social worker that we now had more bedrooms in our home and seats in the car for more children in the future.

We finalized the adoption of Alex and James in February 2007, almost two years after they were placed in our home. Johnathan’s adoption was finalized six months later. Although our boys have caused our lives to be turned upside down and inside out, we would not trade it for anything. And in fact, we jumped in with both feet again the following year. This time we were actively searching to adopt so we started the process with updating our adoption home study. We welcomed our 2 day old baby girl into our family just before Christmas of 2008. What a blessing!

adoption storiesOur decision to adopt impacted not only the children we adopted, but all of us as well. I know for me personally, I feel honored that God would choose me to be the mother of these children. What an awesome responsibility!

–> Visit Nicole’s blog, {our children are our lifestyle} to learn more about her family. And if you have an adoption story of your own to share, please contact me!