(Thank you to Jim for today’s guest post!)
In 1983, after our first daughter was about five years old, we came to find out that for us to have another child through natural childbirth was not going to be possible. After a few failed medical procedures, we decided that adoption would be our next step.
We prayed about this decision and we would trust in God to where or who this child would be. We did not have a gender or nationality preference specified. We went through a Christian agency that was assisting young pregnant woman through counseling, so they could decide whether to keep or give the baby up adoption.
Part of the program was to have several meetings in small groups with a few other couples who were interested in adoption. The guests at these meetings varied; from people who had adopted, people that had given up babies for adoption, and people who were adopted as babies, just to help share their stories regarding adoption.
This interview process was very important for the birth mother because she ultimately made the decision to choose the family for her birth child. The way the program worked was to find out that our family had been chosen just a day or so before we were to pick up the baby! This was to ensure that once the young woman had given birth, she had no regrets and she was certain of her decision.
We had submitted applications that included many questions on how we would raise our family.
It was about six months since we began attending the adoption meetings that our social worker called us in for some final paperwork we needed to complete our application package. Before I attended the meeting, my wife asked me to ask the social worker how one particular girl was doing; we had met her on one of our first meetings. My wife said; “She should be about ready to have her baby by now and she has been on my mind.” I did ask our social worker and she said the young lady was doing fine.
Yes, you may have guessed it; the young woman we were asking about is the one that had chosen our family for her baby. The social worker later told us that she was shocked when I asked her that question because the birth mother was in labor at the time, and later delivered a healthy baby girl. We received the “phone call” about two weeks later, when everything was finalized and she was ready to hand us our new baby girl.
I remember praying and wondering: how will it be possible to love this child as we do our first daughter who is our own flesh and blood? The answer to that question came as we received the baby in our arms; there was no difference, they were both a gift from God, they just came to us differently.
We wanted our daughter to always know she was adopted verses her “finding out” some day. We accomplished this by using the court date, December 13, 1985. This was the finalization of the adoption, which in our state was six months after the placement of the child. We turned this into her “special day” of celebration. It has been 25 years since that day, and if you ask our daughter today, she will tell you that the most special occasion of the year to her is the celebration of her “special day.” Because she was so inquisitive in the early years, we gave her a picture album with some pictures of her birth mother along with snaps of the courtroom along with various other photos. To this day, this has continued to be one of her favorite possessions.
We were informed shortly after our adoption that our daughter had a full biological brother who was also adopted by another family. When our daughter was about five years old, we were put in touch with the “other family” and we met. The brother was about fifteen months older and we were amazed to see the two siblings together, comparing their likenesses and personalities. Since this family had another adopted son and we had two daughters we along with the other parents decided that it would be best if we introduced all the children as brothers and sisters with no distinction of blood relationships. All four of the children were equally excited about meeting their new brothers and sisters. Since that reunion, it was just normal to the kids to have brothers and sisters that met at all the special occasions and other family functions.
Our adoption was an open adoption; this was considering if both parties agreed to be in contact with each other, using the agency as a liaison. Kimmy was always interested in meeting her birth mother and knowing more about her background. When she was about seventeen, we gave permission for a meeting to take place. Kimmy and her brother decided they would meet their birth mother together. Since that time, they have been able to stay in touch with each other and there have been no regrets with the reunion. It helped to answer questions that naturally the children had.
Our oldest daughter now has five children, of which the last two are adopted, so the inspiration lives on.
(Jim is the founder of Jireh Ministries Foundation, and now lives in Uganda with his wife Robyn, as they personally minister to the people of Uganda. Read more about Jim and this ministry on his blog: Believing He Will Provide.)
Do you have a positive adoption story of your own to share? If so, contact me!