I missed the big Adoption Blogger day yesterday. But, that doesn't mean that I'm going to let a little thing like that stop me from posting today. Most of you have heard the story of the little boy adopted from Russia who was sent back to Russia by the woman who adopted him. I won't call her his mother...because, frankly, I don't think she deserves to be called that. That story is what has prompted adoptive families from all over the country to tell OUR TRUTH.
Our story began like so many other families....infertility. We tried to have biological children when we were newly married and for several years after...but that wasn't in the cards for us. We briefly talked about adoption, but never a serious conversation. We went on with our lives. Relocated to Tulsa, OK from Huntington, WV in 1996. We were both still heavily involved with the US Jaycees and I, in particular, had convinced myself that the desire for children was gone. Who in the world was I kidding? When people asked us if we were ever going to have children we'd say..."nah...we're too set in our ways to have a kid". All the while, secretly wanting a child of our own.
In 2003, we met a wonderful couple, the Gilmartins. They were in the process of adopting a little girl from China. We were so thrilled for them when they received Molly Mei's referral and couldn't wait for them to bring her home. Still, the words were never spoken between Charlie and I...the longing for a child just continued to grow. In January 2004 we went to Molly's first birthday party. She was such a beautiful little girl and we were just mesmerized by her and the whole process that Steph and Paul had experienced. We watched the video of her Gotcha Day in China...I think I cried through most of it. Soon after the video ended, Charlie said it was time to go. As we were walking to the car, he put his arm around me and said "we need to do this." I thought I was going to pass out. He didn't have to say it twice...I was on it.
I started researching agencies, requesting information, obsessing about becoming an adoptive family. I was in heaven. I won't bore you with all of the details through this part...but we ended up with a wonderful, reputable, Christian adoption agency...Dillon International (literally 5 miles from our home).
We waited 11 AGONIZING months for Ian's referral. It was awful. But, on September 7, 2005, when I got back from lunch I had a voice mail from Tami at Dillon. They had a referral of a little boy and wanted to know if we wanted to take a look. It was not the warm fuzzy feeling we had imagined though. Ian had some medical issues that we needed to consider. But...once we worked through that we KNEW he was our son. Five months later that sweet baby was placed in our arms FOREVER. He's not a perfect child by any means...but he's OUR child. As you can tell by my previous blog posts....he warms our heart and our home.
In 2007, we decided that our family was not complete and we started our second adoption. This time from Vietnam. It took us a little longer to get our paperwork completed for the second adoption, but we went on the waiting list and 5 days later....on October 5, 2007 we got "the call". Well... Charlie got the call. We rushed to the Dillon office and 15 minutes later looked at the picture of our newest baby boy. This tiny, tiny baby was in a orphanage half way around the world but we KNEW that he, too, was our son. We were so excited because he was only a little over 2 months old. The families who had traveled recently had only been waiting about 3-4 months from referral to travel date. I was so excited....we were going to get him home while he was still a small baby. With International adoption nothing is ever certain...and timelines...as our agencies tell us...are simply estimates. What we thought was going to be a short wait ended up being almost 11 months. But....we traveled when God had planned for us to travel. We left the day before my birthday in 2008 and on July 29, 2008 we held our Drew for the first time. Two days later he legally became our son FOREVER.
These boys are from different places, different biological parents and different cultures...but they are OUR BOYS. We could not love them, worry about them, hurt for them, cheer for them or treasure them any more than we do. There is NO doubt....NONE....that they are OURS. I could not imagine our lives without them. There are days when they drive us crazy. But at the end of the day....they call us mommy and daddy and that makes it all worth it.
These are the referral pictures of our sweet little guys. God is so good....ALL THE TIME! That my friends is OUR TRUTH.