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Our Birth & Adoption Story : Part 3 – Jonah & the big fish

Posted on: by Kate
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This is a series about how our family came to be.  You can read about our Homegrown Baby : Part 1 & our Russian Adoption : Part 2 before if you wish…..  There are fewer pics here because we know the toddler we called Claire is out there somewhere, but she isn’t ours, so the pics we have from early in the process are not really ours to share anymore.

Christmas Disneyland

So life was sweet with our two crazy kids.  I mean, sometimes it was sweet, sometimes it was overwhelming.  We knew we wanted to adopt again but probably not for a few years.  We knew we wanted to do some things differently the next time around, whenever that may be.  This is the story of all the twists and turns (as quickly as I can relay them) before we finally met our match.  We refer this leg of our journey as our “Jonah and the big fish” adventure – it was a long winding road to get us where we truly feel we were meant to be….but it took a lot of coaxing for us to get on the right path.

Disneyland Fantasyland

(pop quiz – who is most excited about the Carousel at Disneyland? )

When we adopted S we had stated we were open to several medical special needs and we were matched with an extremely healthy kiddo – he had some minor stuff in his file, much of which turned out to be nothing at all.  We decided that the next time we adopted we would not only be open to a child with a disability, but that we would request only a child with a disability.  Good old Google helped us find our way to what was a fairly new special needs adoption ministry called Reece’s Rainbow that helped match hard to place orphans with grants and families.  We stalked the site – praying and occasionally donating a wee bit for several years before ever messaging about a child.

And then one day we saw a little girl with big blue eyes and felt very connected.  She did not have the average number of fingers and toes, but we looked past that.  We weren’t ready to adopt, but we prayed for her often.  She was in a country that we were terribly shy about attempting to adopt from – we had friends who had attempted to adopt from her country with pretty sad results.  But we couldn’t get her out of our heads.  And then I saw – she had a committed family ‘Yay!’ – answered prayers!  We were not ready yet, but I was sure glad she had a family!

About a week later a coworker pulled Harry out of class and asked him if we were looking to adopt soon.  He explained that we did hope to someday, but we weren’t sure where from.  Long story short, she had a friend that was expecting that wanted to place the baby for adoption and she thought we would be a good match.  As stated earlier, we weren’t really into the idea of domestic adoption of a newborn, but perhaps this was where we were being led to?  Maybe we were meant to experience domestic adoption too?  The first thing I said to Harry when he called me was “I don’t think this is for us, but I bet I can find someone the birth mom would love.” He wanted to go meet Birth Mama and think about things and so we went down that path for a bit – ultimately we decided we knew a better family, that we REALLY wanted to go international again if possible, but that ‘hard to place’ was our calling and this little bun in the oven wasn’t hard to place.  We played match maker for some friends and the rest is their story to tell.

Considering a domestic adoption at that time was paramount in our adoption story, it helped us really think about it….. we had time to think about it at that time, in our very short future we would not have time to think about it – but there would be much to consider.  Thankfully, without knowing it then – we worked out a lot of questions that we would need to feel confident about the answers to later.

Well wouldn’t you know it – a couple months later – guess who’s file was back up on Reece’s Rainbow again?  Blue Eyes.  We didn’t have a homestudy ready yet – but this felt like a sign and we hopped on it!  We asked a couple questions and while we were still very anxious about her country, we proceeded with paperwork and started working on our homestudy.

We knew that this particular country would not hold this little girl’s referral until all our paperwork was there for her.  Considering she was a couple years old (not the youngest you could adopt in that country), and because she had some uncorrectable medical issues we were cautiously optimistic about pursuing her.  We had had so many signs and so many things line up – perhaps this is the step of faith we needed to take.

Well, there was a miscommunication about paperwork from the get go, that delayed us a bit.  Some of our paperwork was rejected because it had black ink instead of blue, that also delayed us a bit. That might not sounds like a big deal “Oh, just redo it.” – except that this was paperwork that often took a week or so to get, it needed to be notarized, apostilled (notary of the notary basically), and frankly cost hundreds of dollars….. well long story short we FINALLY got our paperwork done!  A short five weeks after her file became available to international couples our dossier landed in the adoption center in her city.  Sadly,her file was gone.  It happens sometimes,  this is one of the reasons we were cautious about wrapping our hearts around a referral from her country.   Our adoption process was not stopped at all – we could have pursued another child or been matched with one in country, but the door was shut on the little one we had prayed for.  In addition to that door being shut, there were some changes going on in country that made us wary….. when we were wary from the start.  We didn’t want our paperwork to expire, but we took a week to mourn, pray, and frankly let ‘what ifs’ torture us.  We didn’t talk about what we would do next, we were just sad.

Because we were trying to protect our hearts and especially the hearts of our kids when we were in this complicated process we had always told the kids “We are trying to get Claire” {we planned on naming her Claire} “But we really don’t know until she is home.” – When J came in to the office after we had heard the news she reminded me “Claire is someone else’s little sister, we just have to find mine.  God will show her to us, we just have to find her.”

Maybe we were meant to adopt later, maybe never meant to adopt again, perhaps it was just our job to advocate for others…..anyway, we took that week to let what had just happen marinade.  And then I got a facebook message that changed our lives…………

Read “Surprise It is a Newborn”  – the story of our surprise domestic adoption here!

Until Next Time ~ Kate
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  1. […] can read about Our Reasons for Adopting & our Homegrown Story, Our Russian Adoption, and our Jonah and the Big Fish Story if you […]

  2. […] in it.  Claire is the name we had picked out for several months as the name we would give the little girl we had hoped to adopt in Eastern Europe.  We actually planned on keeping her given first name and Claire would be her middle name, anyway […]

  3. […] the years when strangers realize we are an adoptive family.   With one adopted from Russia through Inter Country (or International) adoption and one adopted domestically as a special needs case,  you can imagine we are quite the curiosity […]

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