Our story begins like so many others. We met, fell in love, married. Then we assumed we would start a family and live happily ever after. It was the starting a family part that proved to be a bump in the road.
After struggling with infertility, our thoughts turned to adoption. One day as I was pleading for Mary’s intercession to “fix” our problem, I realized that I had stopped praying to be pregnant, but started praying to be a mom.
Soon after I was reading our local paper I came across a small ad for an adoption seminar to be held in our area. My husband and I had not discussed adoption at all at that point, but for some reason my attention was like a laser to that ad. I tentatively asked my husband if he was interested in attending. I knew right away if we went to this meeting it was going to be something I wanted to pursue. I didn’t want to go, be encouraged and excited, only to have him say that he wasn’t ready to pursue this avenue. Thankfully, he was on board right from the get go.
For a variety of reasons we felt God was calling us to pursue the International Adoption route, specifically to Russia. We went to that initial seminar in February of 2001, our son Jacob was home, finally making us a mom and dad, in September 2001. While we were waiting for Jacob to join our family, as difficult as the waiting was, I felt a profound peace that Mary was holding him close until we could get there.
We started the Russian process again and Jonah followed in early 2004. Sarah joined our family from S. Korea in the summer of 2005 (her adoption took only four months!), and Leah, also from S. Korea, made us a family of six in 2006. For a while we thought our family was complete. We were busy raising four children five and under. We enjoyed it, but we were busy! Our family was complete for a while anyway.
We started feeling God tug on us again in March of 2009. This time we adopted two children from an island in the Caribbean called St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Anna was five years old and Levi was two, when they joined our family in December of 2009.
I know often the fear of adoption is that it is a second best choice to having a biological child. Like any other family we have our ups and downs, our disappointments and successes. But biology or not, we are a family.
I’m sure it’s the Grace of God, but I have never wished I would have experienced pregnancy, I don’t wonder what my biological children might have looked like or how they might have behaved. I truly know that the children God has placed in our home through adoption, are the children that we were always meant to have. I’m so thankful that we let go of the vision we had for our family and embraced God’s plan for our family.
Parenting is tough. Parenting adopted children can sometimes have an added layer of issues, however, even on the most challenging days we wouldn’t trade it for a moment.
Once upon a time I thought I might never hear another person call me “mom”. But, through the amazing gift of adoption, I have the profound pleasure of hearing that word from six amazing children.
Jen blogs about faith, family, home education and adoption at Forever, For Always, No Matter What
Photo Credit: Melanie Reyes Photography