Blessed with Infertility
While Dan and I were dating, we both knew that we wanted to have children. Due to medical issues, we knew there was an increased chance that we would face infertility issues. A couple years after we were married, as predicted, we learned the possibility of infertility was a reality. As I like to call it now, I was blessed with infertility because without infertility, we wouldn’t be blessed with our three beautiful children.
A Different Path
As a nurse helping children with special needs, we felt called to adopt a child facing some challenges. We knew this would be a challenging road but never anticipated one of the challenges including a struggle to find an agency to help us fulfill our dream. We contacted several different agencies only to learn they couldn’t help us because they only assist with adopting healthy babies. It was truly a struggle to find an agency that was personable and made us feel important. At times we felt very sad and bad to the point where we stopped our search for a couple of months. Eventually we started again. An agency we’d talked with suggested we contact All About U Adoptions.
The Whirlwind Begins
Upon contact All About U Adoptions, we learned they were looking for a home for a 2 year-old girl with special needs. The next six weeks was a complete whirlwind to complete our home study, meet our baby girl and FINALLY become Mommy and Daddy.
She’s Fate from Heaven
God placed our little girl in our home. We know it was fate from God because her name is NeVaeh….heaven spelled backwards.
NeVaeh’s birth mom is a beautiful lady. We send pictures four times a year and meet up with her if she wishes. We thank her from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to take NeVaeh as our own!!
NeVaeh is AAU’s first placement.
Let’s Try This Again
We decided we wanted to expand our little family. This time we decided we wanted to adopt a couple of siblings so that when we were done with the process, our family would be complete. We felt we were quite experienced in the adoption process. This should be simple, right? With NeVaeh, it had only taken six weeks before NeVaeh was in our home and the adoption was finalized 9 months. We thought it’d be about the same this time, too. Ha! We couldn’t have been more wrong. This time it was like finding a needle in a haystack.
We searched the entire country for children in foster care that would fit into our family. We inquired on over 150 sibling groups. We went to committee (a process in which a few families are considered for a child) at least four times on different sibling groups only to learn we were not the family selected. We are Matched!
After almost 3 1/2 years, we were finally matched with Andres and Aaliyah. Once we reached this point the challenges didn’t end. It was fall of 2011 when we were matched and hoped to have them with us for Christmas. Due to lost paperwork in the state’s system we had to resubmit all the paperwork after the New Year in 2012. We met Andres and Aaliyah in March of 2012 and brought them home March 24, 2012. The wait was long but so very worth it.
We have never met Andres and Aaliyah’s birth parents.
We learned that Andres and Aaliyah’s adoption was final via email from the foster care caseworker. What a great day!!! Aaliyah gave me a long hard hug. Andres said, “This is a real good day! I’m going to live here forever!” The kids were so excited they were jumping around and on a high for days. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off the kids.
Life Isn’t Always Roses and Butterflies
We are the parents of children that face many challenges ranging from chromosome issues, behavioral issues, ADHD and Moyamoya just to name a few. Life can be a struggle some days at our house. It’s not all roses and butterflies. Life throws curve balls and it can be a challenge at times, but that’s what makes it interesting. However, when you have three kids give you a hug and kiss at night and they say (or sign) I love you….it’s all worth it!! Our children are miracles to us.
Advice to Anyone Considering Adoption
1. Talk with your spouse and be in agreement about choosing adoption then GO FOR IT!
2. Explore the different routes of adoption and choose the route that best fits you. Keep in mind, this route can change as you go through the process.
3. Have someone read and critique your family story that you’ll be presenting. Having a second set of eyes will help you find information that you may need to add or remove in order to most accurately present your family.
4. Expect anything.
5. The first year is a big challenge.
6. It’s ALL worth it!
Advice to Those Considering Adopting from Foster Care
1. Have patience.
2. You’ll need to realize the system is over-worked and they sometimes take a long time to get back to you.
3. Any time line given to you is simply a guess. For us, the only date that was spot on was the finalization date. Everything else was sometimes months off from what we were first told.
4. Nothing is so until it happens.
5. Our kids are very wonderful! The systems are overworked so things take much longer than they should but more people need to adopt from foster care to give them forever homes!
6. Did I mention you should have patience? This one is so important I thought I’d mention it twice. If you’re lucky, it may go fast or it could take a long time. We’ve found that having patience during the process was good practice for when our kids finally came home. ☺