James, our son, adopted from Ethiopia, is our great joy. He is 6 years old now. He was 9 months old when we brought him home, two long months since we first saw his photo in our inbox. We heard the news that someone in Spain possibly forged documents…and the entire adoption machine in Ethiopia stopped until the police investigation was complete. We asked our church to pray. God heard our prayers and 7 weeks later we were on our way to get our son!
Snapshots of memory light up, lifelike: the baby car seat too long empty would not be empty again, the first sight of him, me more nervous than he was scared, and later that day, cradling him in one arm while patting his bum as he fell asleep. Our son fell asleep in my arms!
But this was a culmination of a long line of gifts, miracles given to us by God. God gave me a wonderful husband when I was a young 41 year old. God gave us a peace when we finally accepted that a baby from my womb was not an option. We, my husband John and I, were seated across a table at Applebee’s holding hands, having just finished with the doctor of last hopes when we agreed simultaneously to go forward with adoption. A new hope was born.
Adoption was not foreign to me. I had had a desire to one day adopt internationally since I was first introduced to the concept when I was 16 years old. I was attending a church baby shower and saw a Caucasian mother lifting up her very Asian baby. I had to leave before I exploded in tears of wonder and joy. We are ALL HIS children!
Our son is joyful, a people person with a great sense of humor, generous and life loving! I look at him trying to memorize every curve of his face, encouraging myself to not forget. I have loved each age and encourage him with, ‘Okay this age is the BEST so stop growing.’ So far, each age is better than or just as great as the one before.
What do I want to say? What advice would I give? Pray and ask for God’s guidance as you do your research. Research other countries carefully. Research the adoption agencies to find the one with the best track record serving the country of your choice. Research attachment and bonding principles; the least discussed concept, but exceptionally important topic when adopting. And pray, ask for God’s leading. Embrace your new story!