My friend Janell was kind enough to share about their six year adoption journey in ‘finding our daughter’ – I am in love with this story and so thankful they were willing to share! I love adoption stories and I know you do too! With no further delay – here is Janell….
The other day I was making dinner in my kitchen as my daughter peered over the counter and watched me prepare the food. She had been home for nearly 11 months and as I pretended to not watch her watching me I realized something. My husband and I had spent over half our marriage trying to make her a part of our family-6 years! This is our story…
We had been married for nearly 5 years when an old pang in my heart returned. At that point, my husband and I had 2 biological children and were really feeling like someone was missing from our family. We had been trying to have another child and it wasn’t coming easily this time around. During the course of my life, I had really wanted to adopt a child and when the pang returned I realized that I didn’t have a desire to have a BABY-I wanted another CHILD!
The first time I brought up my thoughts to my husband he was not interested at all! Even though he dismissed the thought of adoption to my face, he loves me so much that he decided to pray about it on two levels. That God might remove the desire from me if our child wasn’t suppose to come to us through adoption or that God would grow the desire in him if our baby wasn’t where he thought she should be. God decided to work on my husband over me!
He came back to me months later to let me know that he was ready to research adoption and find our last family member. We quickly realized international adoption was the best fit for us as a family. We researched further to find a country program that matched the parameters we had set for ourselves and settled on Ukraine. This narrowed the pool of options for an agency to go with and we chose someone to accommodate us from there.
We settled on all of this information, did all of this research and had made all of our decisions when we sat down both sets of our parents, separately, to inform them that they would be getting another toddler, granddaughter just as soon as we could find her. We fielded a lot of the common questions-many of which we had at the beginning of our research-but overall everyone was very supportive and excited.
With that out of the way, we pressed forward! We signed with our agency, we began to save and raise funds, we prayed for our child, we helped our little ones adjust to the thought of another family member being brought into our home (the best anyone can prepare a 2 and 3 year old). At the time, we lived in upstate New York which presented multiple challenges for us with our desire to adopt.
With our agency being out of state, it was hard to do our education and meetings. It was a lot of online and phone calls. It was complicated. That challenge was compounded by the fact that there was no adoption community to speak of in our area which made finding people who “got it” and could support you nonexistent. We were lonely and misunderstood which was when we went looking online for support-and I found Kate!
We bumped along and a year in we had finally found an agency to do our home study and had the funds to pay for it. Nothing is ever that easy for this family and at the same time we were ready to move forward with our adoption, God thought it would be a good time for a second miscarriage and to then to push wide a door we thought was long closed to move out of state.
We took the opportunity to move out of state and start the life we had been dreaming of and 2 days after moving into our 2 bedroom apartment in Tennessee we found out we were pregnant again. After a whirlwind of unpacking, interviews, doctors and mixed emotions, we found our surprise blessing was here to stay and I then had to make a hard call.
I remember calling in to our agency to inform them that we would have to put our adoption on hold. We had known from training and previous conversations that Ukraine and our agency would make us wait until the baby was a year old before we could restart our adoption. It was a big disappointment to me. I was very settled on growing our family with an adoption and wasn’t looking forward to going through the baby thing again (a needy, diaper clad infant was not my bliss). But even more then that, I knew that while we were waiting, our daughter was getting older without us. Hitting milestones without her family. Growing up alone. That killed me a little inside.
Thankfully, God gives you 9 months to adjust to being a parent all over again. As I wrestled with the fact that our daughter was missing us, God gave me a sweet, busy baby boy to keep my hands busy.
In the year after our baby boy was born we had a decision to make. To be fair, I had to make it unbiasedly and with fresh eyes-do we finish our adoption?
My husband and I truly wrestled with the decision. When we started this journey, we did it because we felt a piece was missing from the puzzle of us. We needed one last child-3 babies to love and raise. When we decided to adopt it wasn’t a plan B for us-we didn’t WANT to have more children naturally even if we could. Well, we now had 3 babies, so why would we finish our adoption? Our answer came like a ton of bricks crashing down on us…
If my friend here looks familiar it is because you met her back a few months ago when I shared about our trip to Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. Janell decided this would have to be a two part series so you will have to make your way back here next Sunday for the second half!
Janell Eryn is wife to a wonderful husband and mother of 4. She is a photographer in the Chattanooga, TN area and the force behind Janell Eryn | Creative, which embodies her great passions in life. “The days are long, but the years are short”
Until Next Time ~ Kate