Tonight, I'd like to share another adoption story in honor of National Adoption Month. Last week, I shared a story from a reader about adopting her son, and tonight I'm happy to share another amazing adoption story.
Tom was kind enough to write about their adoption process, giving me permission to use their names and even link to the website for the organization that they worked with. Since my little cousins are minors, I did take out their names and replace them with Mr. or Miss and the number of their birth order. I hope you'll enjoy this amazing story of never losing hope as my cousins became parents.
My wife and I first considered adoption about 7 years ago, when we learned we could not have children of our own. We started the paperwork, but after a while realized that we were pushing ourselves rather than eagerly enjoying the process. Finally we realized that this may not be in God's plan for us.
About four years later, Darlene found a website for Open Hearts and Homes for Children ("OHHC"). This organization arranges for orphaned or displaced children from Latvia and the Ukraine to be hosted by American families for five weeks during the summer, or three weeks during Christmas. We already sponsered a young girl in Honduras through Compassion International, but CI did not allow for the sponsored child to visit his or her sponsors in the U.S. We thought OHHC would be a way to have children here while not committing to adoption.
Looking over the pictures of children, Darlene chose a sibling group that she liked. We were too late to host them that summer, so we planned to try to get them for the following December. When those pictures were posted, the siblings were no longer included because they were being adopted. We later became good friends with the family that adoopted them. We looked through the catalog and one group of two boys and two girls appealed to Darlene, but they were alreaedy scheduled for hosting. We did find another group and started the process, but soon learned that they were no longer availabele. Once again we checked the catalog and picked out yet another group, but two days later learned they were also no longer available. Needless to say, we were very discouraged at this point. OHHC was very apologetic for this, and their representative spoke to Darlene. She mentioned a sibling group that was supposed to be hosted, but were now available. It was the same kids that caught Darlene's eye earlier. Only the oldest three would be hosted; the youngest was too young.
The day we picked up the kids was [Mr. 3]'s 9th birthday. We learned to communicate through sign language, finger-pointing, and Google Translate. The kids had a wonderful time, and towards the end of the visit were dropping hints about coming back at Christmas. This did happen, and even though we promised each other not to talk about adoption until after that visit, we knew it was what we wanted by the second day.
Compared to other stories we heard, the adoption process went very smoothly. We spent August of last year in Latvia, to spend time with all five children (the three we hosted, plus the little girl who was too young, and another even younger brother). It only took a year from the time we started the paperwork until the day before Thanksgiving last year, when I stood before the Latvian Adoption Court and heard the translator say "The adoption is approved."
Today the children are becoming typical American kids. They even chose to change their original names to the English version. [Mr. 1], the oldest, is a good athlete, making lots of friends through sports. [Miss 2] is a cheerleader at church, and loves music. [Mr. 3] is our artist. [Miss 4] is our mischievous one, and [Mr. 5] is [Miss 4]'s cute little partner in crime. Looking back, we can see God's handiwork in bringing us together: the discouragement of our original attempts, the frustration in finding the right group of kids to host, and the expeditious way the adoption happened. We are a wonderfully fortunate family.
Thank you so much to Tom and Darlene for sharing their incredible story, and to Tom for writing it all down for me! I hope that their story has inspired everyone to keep hope alive when facing challenges in life, whether it be in the adoption process or anything else.
If you have an adoption story that you'd like to share with everyone, use my Contact page or send me a message through my author page on Facebook. I'm looking for all different kinds of adoption stories from parents, grandparents, children, siblings, family members, and friends. Share a story about your experience with:
- Foster care adoption
- International adoption
- Adopting a grandchild
- Spouse adopting a step-child
- Any other adoption experience you may have
Thank you so much for your continued support! I look forward to sharing more stories about my experience with foster care, and hopefully hearing from readers who have questions or similar stories to share. I'm always willing to answer questions and hear about other experiences! Please don't forget to like and share my Facebook author page as well!
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