How Our Adult Children Reacted to Our Adoption Choice

Last April, as we sat in our family room and told our adult children that we were adopting a little boy, their reactions were as varied as their personalities:

Our oldest child is Amie.  She’s 28 years old and has a beautiful nine-year old daughter, Lillie.  When we told Amie, she calmly thought about it and pondered how this would change the family.  She needs time to process things and decide what the impact will be.  But once she decided it would be awesome to have a new little brother she was all in!  And I mean ALL IN!  (She thinks she’s adopting Beaux too.)

Adam is our middle child and the only boy.  He’s 25 years old and married to Nikki.  When we first told them about adopting Nikki was immediately excited, and I so appreciated that.  Adam was quiet.  He asked why we would want to bring another child into our family when we finally have an empty nest (it’s a legitimate question).  Adam doesn’t like change.  He likes things to stay predictable and comfortable.  I thought he needed time to contemplate how this might affect him. I thought he might need to process issues related to family order…at the age of 25 will it still be upsetting to not be the only boy child?…(yeah, I really did think about that).  It’s not that he has been against us adopting…he’s just been quiet.  Then, last Sunday, as the whole family was gathered watching the football game in our family room, Adam asked us what “would happen to Beaux if we were killed in an accident.   Did we have a plan in case something happened?  He and Nikki had talked about it and would like to be Beaux’s guardians if anything ever happens to us.”  (Then Amie and Christian & Cedric chimed in that they want Beaux if anything ever happens to us and a little sibling fight ensued).  Yes, we have a plan,  just like we did when he and his sisters were little.  But, oh how that touched my heart.  Adam is quiet…but he’s always thinking and preparing.  I see his heart growing.  And right about the time we are able to bring Beaux home Adam will be ready to welcome him with his whole heart.

Christian is was our baby.  She’s 23, married to Cedric and has the most adorable 10 month old son, Judah.  Before we told Christian and Cedric we were going to adopt I pretty much knew what their reaction would be…YES…THAT’S AWESOME…I WANT A LITTLE BROTHER…CAN WE GO GET HIM RIGHT NOW!  Christian has always seemed to be able to see the good through the uncomfortable.  She didn’t have any reservations about not being the baby anymore or about us adopting a child of another race.  I love that about her.

Last Thursday I forwarded my girls the email I had gotten saying WE MADE IT into IBESR by the deadline and now had a number.  Both girls responded with “So Beaux is really ours?”   Yes, Beaux is ours.  He’s joining a big family.  When he comes home to us he will instantly have a mommy and daddy, 2 sisters, 1 brother, a sister-in-law, 1  brother-in-law (possibly 2 by then), a niece and a nephew.  Just typing that out helps me to understand how overwhelming this is going to be for him.  He’s joining a family that can’t wait to teach him how to wake board, and ride on four wheelers, and watch football, and swim, and play with the chickens and the dogs, and work in the garden, and play basketball, and do crafts, and sing and play the guitar.  He’s joining a family that can’t wait to share life with him.

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2 1/2

We leave for Haiti in 2 1/2 days and I am filled with emotion. Our plane leaves Nashville at 6:00 am. on the 30th and we land in Port au Prince at 3:55 EST. I don’t know how long it will take us to go through customs then be taken to the orphanage, but I think by 6:30 pm we should be meeting our 2 1/2 year old little boy. Just typing that leaves a lump in my throat. I will be so thankful to give him a hug, look into his eyes, love on him. ❤
I’ve been packed for at least 2 weeks. I keep adding little things to the suitcases that I think the children will enjoy. I’ve checked the weather, tried to check the political climate there, double checked my tickets. There is nothing left to do but wait until Sunday.

I read a blog post a few days ago by someone describing their experiences on a mission trip to Haiti.  I can’t seem to get her final words out of my mind:

The vast disparity between where we lived in Haiti for a week and no matter where we live in the United States is difficult to comprehend. It wakes up a part of your being that rarely gets stirred and leaves you stuck between two worlds.

That’s really how I feel.  I can’t wait to get there and meet my little boy, of course.  But I also can’t wait to get back to that simple world and feel the Caribbean breezes, see the Haitian smiles and, believe it or not, even to feel the humidity that causes me to never stop sweating.  There is something in my heart that keeps pulling me to Haiti.

2 1/2 more days!

Empowered to Connect

Joey and I are lucky enough to be attending a conference called Empowered to Connect.  I say lucky because Dr. Karen Purvis, founder of said conference, has devoted her life to developing research-based interventions for at-risk children.  We sat and listened to her most of the day yesterday and learned so much, it went by too quickly.  I know Joey was thinking he would go the first day (to make me happy) and then maybe skip out on the 2nd day, but even he enjoyed it and is looking forward to going back again today :0

I think most of my family/friends believe that my expectations are that we will bring Bo home from the orphanage and he will fit in to our home and lives effortlessly and we will all live happily ever after.  That’s not really what I think.  I’ve read books, spent hours and hours researching the internet, met with social workers, read more books, followed multiple blogs by moms who have adopted children from hard places.  I know about the risks and challenges that face adoptive parents. God is blessing us with the opportunity to be parents to another precious child and I am humbled that He would choose us.  (It’s not because we were unbelievably wonderfully perfect parents the first time around and those of you that know us personally would, I’m sure, agree!)  So, I want to go into this thing well prepared, ready for the unique and sometimes uncomfortable situations I know we will face.  So, bring on the conferences, books, blogs…I can’t seem to get enough of them.

Laura

Only 15 days til we meet Bo! Whoop Whoop

The Facts on Today’s Orphan Crisis

Throughout the world tragedy separates parents from children leaving the broken lives of little ones who need caring people to intervene and change their paths. How bad is it? Here are some facts to keep you informed. Fact: Nearly 150 million children across the world are orphans. …

Fact: Every 2 seconds, another orphan dies from malnutrition.
Fact: 87.6 million orphans live in Asia. 43.4 million Orphans live in Sub-Saharan Africa. 12.4 million orphans live in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fact: 6,000 children are orphaned by AIDS every day. That is a newly orphaned child every 14 seconds.
Fact: Around the globe, 15,200,000 children have been orphaned by the AIDS crisis. If all these children held hands, they would stretch across the United States. By 2011, this virtual chain will reach around the world. Fact: It is estimated that there will be 400 million orphans by 2015.

Family of the Week

Thankful!  God is faithful to His promises!

This week we are the Family of the Week at Give1Save1Caribbean.  I have been truly touched by the willingness of friends and total strangers to donate to our adoption.  It’s humbling.  I sat at work this morning and saw some more people given and I almost broke out in tears right in front of students.  They already think I’m crazy and that would have confirmed it for them.  But I am really, really grateful.

If you haven’t seen our video yet, head on over to the Give1Save1Caribbean site and check it out.  Thank you to everyone for your support.

Laura

Our Big Surprise

(taken from our Facebook pages this morning)

BIG NEWS!!!!      We are adopting…
At the beginning of this year our thoughts were about getting our youngest daughter married and then transitioning to the next phase of life…saving hard for retirement!  But through a series of events we felt God was leading us to adopt a little boy from Haiti. So we started the process in April and we now know who our son will be!   International adoption is quite expensive and so we are trying to raise additional funds this week to help cover some of the traveling expenses as we hope to travel to Haiti 5 or 6 times over the next 18 months to visit Bo before bringing him home. Our first visit will be at the end of this month. Our adoption story is being featured this week at Give1Save1.  I hope you will take a minute to check it out and if you would like to be a part of our story we would be so grateful. The concept of Give1Save1 is if everyone gave just one dollar it would make a big difference to help adopting families with their expenses. You can give whatever amount you would like. They feature a new family each week. We hope you will help us get the word out and share our story on your Facebook page as well. We will post updates during the week. Thanks for your consideration and help.