(A big thank you to Jen for today’s guest post! This is the condensed version of her family’s adoption journey of six children! Visit Jen’s blog for more detailed versions of their stories: For Ever, For Always, No Matter What.)
Our story begins like so many others. We met, fell in love, married. Then we assumed we would start a family and live happily ever after. It was the starting a family part that proved to be a bump in the road.
After struggling with infertility, our thoughts suddenly turned to adoption. One night as I was reading our local paper I came across a small ad for an adoption seminar that was going to be held in our area. My husband and I had not discussed adoption at all at that point, but for some reason my attention was like a laser to that ad. I tentatively asked my husband if he was interested in attending. I knew right away if we went to this meeting it was going to be something I wanted to pursue. I didn’t want to go, be encouraged and excited, only to have him say that he wasn’t ready to pursue this avenue. Thankfully, he was on board right from the get go.
For a variety of reasons we felt God was calling us to pursue the International Adoption route, specifically to Russia. We went to that initial seminar in February of 2001, our son Jacob was home, finally making us a mom and dad, in September 2001.
As we like to say, Jacob “started it all.” We started the Russian process again and Jonah followed in early 2004.
Sarah joined our family from South Korea in the summer of 2005 (her adoption took only four months!), and Leah, also from South Korea, made us a family of six in 2006. For a while we thought our family was complete. We were busy raising four children five and under. We enjoyed it, but we were busy! Our family was complete for a while anyway.
We started feeling God tug on us again in March of 2009. This time we adopted two children from an island in the Caribbean called St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Anna was five years old and Levi was two, when they joined our family in December of 2009.
I know often the fear of adoption is that it is a second best choice to having a biological child. Like any other family we have our ups and downs, our disappointments and successes. But biology or not we are a family. Our unofficial family motto is one borrowed from Toy Story 3 “we never leave a toy behind”.
I’m sure it’s the Grace of God, but I have never wished I would have experienced pregnancy, I don’t wonder what my biological children might have looked like or how they might have behaved. I truly know that the children God has placed in our home through adoption, are the children that we were always meant to have.
Parenting is tough. Parenting adopted children can sometimes have an added layer of issues, however, even on the most challenging days we wouldn’t trade it for a moment.
Once upon a time I thought I might never hear another person call me “mom.” But, through the amazing gift of adoption, I have the profound pleasure of hearing that word – pretty much on a minute by minute basis!
Do you have a positive adoption story of your own to share? If so, contact me!