adopting lucy: one mom’s journey
Breanna is a good friend of one the Chai Mommas. This post is to inspire families out there that are wanting to adopt. Breanna and her husband have always talked about adopting and now their dream has come true. Read further for the journey her and her husband have gone through to adopt Lucy.
An ancient Chinese proverb states that, “an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break”. This belief served as a guide for us throughout our journey of adoption. Our very long, and at times, tangled red thread led us to our daughter. Looking back on the process, we can only be grateful for time and challenges, because if it weren’t for these trials, we wouldn’t have been brought together. We took a leap of faith and followed our hearts and are so grateful we did.
My husband and I always knew that adoption was one of the ways we were going to fulfill our dream of a family. When we began talking about adoption, we weren’t even ready to have children in our lives yet. However, we decided to investigate timelines, requirements, countries where children were abandoned, and costs to get a sense of when we should start the process. However, one of our friends has also been through this procedure and told us that there is financial assistance for adoption available. That was good to know, especially since it can be quite expensive to adopt as we learned through our research! Anyway, after a lot more research, we decided on adopting a daughter from China. In 2007, when we initially contacted our agency, they shared with us that we didn’t yet meet the age and marriage requirements. So we waited. Two years later, after turning 30 and celebrating our second wedding anniversary, we filled out our application. Shortly thereafter, we began what many adoptive parents know as “the paper chase”– getting birth certificates and marriage certificates, fingerprints, financial and medical records analyzed, all in order to compile a dossier that would be sent to China with our intent to adopt. During this time, we met with our social worker to begin our home-study in the hopes that she would be able to put everything together and our dossier would be sent to China before the end of the calendar year. We had some setbacks, but all of our documents made their way to China and we were “logged-in” the system, on March 15, 2010. In Chinese adoptions, this date is key because this is when your timeline starts and the wait for your child begins. We were told that the wait wouldn’t be that long, but at that time, the wait was very unpredictable.
A year later, we received information from our agency that if we still wanted to adopt a healthy girl under the age of one, we should anticipate an additional three to five years. It was around this same time, we started to hear about the “waiting child program” from parents in our adoption classes. They mentioned that we could complete a medical checklist, which would open us up to adopting a child with a special need, and this checklist could expedite the process. So, in the summer of 2011, we opened our hearts to the possibility of a child with a minor need. Looking back on that day, I remember how our hearts were pulled as we checked the boxes with such precision. Our “red thread” was guiding us, and we knew that someday, we would look into the eyes of our daughter, the one we were destined to be with, and see how every piece of this journey was designed with her in mind.
Shortly after we completed our medical checklist, we found out that we were pregnant and would be having a son that next March. We were so excited to know that we would eventually have a son and a daughter, and informed our agency to hold off on contacting us with a file until our son turned a year old. All along, we still had faith that our daughter would be waiting for us when we were ready. In March of 2013, three weeks after our son’s first birthday, we got the call telling us to open our email because we had been matched. As soon as we clicked on the picture, our hearts skipped, there she was – our daughter! We had a week to look through her file, send her medical records for consultation, and confirm our intent to adopt. Our letter was received and confirmed in China a month later. Six months after our letter of intent, after we completed more USCIS paperwork, after we got fingerprints taken, after we ordered visas, we got our “travel approval” letter from China. Our thread was finally untangling and our daughter, the one who we dreamed about so long was going to be in our arms in a few short weeks.
On October 9th, 2013 after spending a few days in Beijing, we took a small van with six other couples to the civil affairs office in Zhengzhou, China and got to experience our “gotcha day”. In reflecting on that morning, we can only compare it to the morning we delivered our biological son. The anticipation of that arrival, the six-year journey, our red thread finally bringing us together. Just as we experienced tears in our eyes when they handed our son to us in that delivery room, we experienced the same tears when they handed us our daughter and our eyes met for the first time. The feelings of joy, relief and love were abundant. Our red thread might have taken us on a long, twisted and at times, uncertain path. But, all along, we had faith that we would be placed together at the right time, with our daughter…and we were.
If you ever feel a calling to adopt, listen to it, investigate and have faith in the process. We did and we are truly blessed!
Written By: Breanna Murphy