I received this in an email from Children of All Nations. Even though the child we are adopting is not nearly as old as the children featured, we are still adopting a toddler/preschooler and this article spoke to me.
I would like to share with you my adoption story and how my family went from two to five in a few days! For those of you that are considering adoption and have at one point or another thought about adopting an older child but have felt reluctant to bring an adolescent into your life….I’m here to tell you that I too have shared those feelings. After lots of prayer and an abundance of research my husband and I decided to take the leap of faith! We knew in our hearts and with every ounce of logic that God had presented us with this sibling group of 3 children. Somehow we were to become instant parents to 10, 12 and 14 year old children from the other side of the world! We continued on our adoption journey scared and apprehensive about the challenges but with love and excitement in our hearts.
Our voyage began with a 14 hours flight to meet our forever children for the very first time! When we met them our son (who was 10 years old) he fell into our arms to embrace us with happiness oozing from him. We knew then that it was meant to be and no matter what the challenges would be; it would be okay. His sisters were 12 and 14 years at the time so my husband & I were not sure how they were going to react. With the help of our translator we introduced ourselves to the girls and explained we were a couple from the US and we didn’t have any children. We let them know that we wanted to adopt them and make sure the 3 siblings stayed together and become our forever children. We went on to explain that life in the US would be challenging and they would have to go to new schools and learn English. We shared with them that there would be lots of rules in school and at home; we were going to expect them to work hard and be disciplined. I needed to see for myself that they understood the concept and were committed to adapting to a different life. After we told them all of this, the two girls like stiff little soldiers with smiles on their faces listening intensely to every word that was being translated. Considering the age of the girls, we wished to make certain that they wanted to be adopted. We wanted them to remember that theyhad made the decision so that they can feel confidant that their new journey, although difficult, would be positive.
They eagerly agreed to every word we uttered. I was falling in love with them as excitement and fear ran through my body. They finally looked at us after the translator said they understood what we expected of them. We all exchanged a smile and had our very first of many family hugs! Three days later we all sat together in the court room. The children got to watch and listen to us swear in court that we would be their parents. We promised that we were going to love them, provide for them and protect them. It was a joyous day for us all! We spent the next 5 days traveling around their country allowing them to experience their own culture outside of the orphanage walls (between all the legal paperwork and government appointments of course!).
We still didn’t know what the children looked like without smiles! Everything was a new experience to them; shopping in the market, elevators, restaurants, soda pop, having a choice of food and being able to get more if they were still hungry was all a novelty to them. The microwave and dish washer was the most fascinating to them!
From day one when we met the children, we got to experience many firsts with them. Who says you only get those special first moment with babies? We got to also… only in a different manner. There are many ways to start a family.
Have we had challenges? yes. Have we worried about their education & their discipline? Yes. Have had to be creative and strategic? yes. Have I spent endless hours helping them to learn to read, do homework and attending meetings with teachers and coaches? yes. Have we had endless talks and prayer? yes. Are they amazing and beautiful? yes. Do I love them unconditionally? yes. Do they act like any other kid? yes.
Do I sound like any other ordinary mother out there? Of Course! Do I ever wonder what it would have been like to experience those stages? yes. But my experiences with my beautiful children are unforgettable,irreplaceable and life altering as well. One day my husband and I we will become grandparents and get to experience those wonderful moments with their babies. (I’ll get to smother them in love & give them back to their mommy and daddy during the tough yucky parts! How awesome is that! It’s the best of both worlds!)
Every child deserves a home and a family that will love and care for them forever. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions or if you would like to speak to someone about adopting an older child.