Before we get into all the fun details about the girls and the announcement and the travel dates, I wanted to take you back to the very beginning. Before anyone knew we were going to adopt, before we even knew there were two little girls in Uganda that would capture our hearts.
When I think back to the beginning stages of our adoption journey, we seemed so…innocent. That’s not to say we went into it unaware of all the crazy pitfalls of adoption. We knew that adoption was incredibly difficult. Especially international adoption. Especially Ugandan adoption. But I think we just felt like since God so clearly called us to this (adoption in general; a little girl in Uganda specifically), that it would happen in a semi-clear cut way. And man oh man, we were wrong. We were just so unprepared for the anxiety, fear and the drama (ohhhhh the drama!) that would accompany every single step of our process. It was brutal, right up to the very end. Thinking back over the beginning and middle of our story is so hard sometimes. I often forget about the trauma we experienced just on the road to bringing our girls home because honestly, the outcome far outweighs any of it. But it’s still there, and it’s difficult to relive. But I think it’s important not just for us to tell our story to other people but for me personally to remember the struggle because it’s where we felt God’s presence and care most tangibly. So here it is, the very beginning of the long road we walked to our girls.
I think it was college that I was first exposed to adoption as God’s heart for the fatherless rather than simply a way for couples who struggled with infertility to build a family. I was particularly moved by Steven Curtis Chapman’s story of adopting their three daughters from China. Looking back, it must have been something that was always in the back of my mind, although I don’t really remember feeling certain that adoption would be my plan A. It wasn’t until I started dating Corey that these ideas that had taken shape in my heart really began to come together and the more we talked about our future with one another, the more adoption seemed to come up as something we would one day like to pursue. (I would like to pause here to say that I am so grateful that God brought our hearts to the same place individually and that one of us didn’t have to “convince” the other. It really did make taking that first HUGE step towards our daughters so much easier.)
So, fast forward a year or two and Corey and I are engaged. Both of us felt really comfortable at this time talking about our future together and what our family might look like. We were excited about bringing kids into the mix and the two year mark seemed like a good time to possibly start pursuing adoption. Around our one year anniversary we kind of reevaluated and both of us said that yeah, we’d like to wait another year and in the summer of 2014 we’d start looking into adoption, thinking that we would likely pursue a domestic infant adoption.
In January of 2014 Corey kind of floored by telling me he thinks maybe we should start looking into agencies. I was, of course, surprised because we had decided delay the conversation until that summer. He was 6 months ahead of schedule! We felt pretty strongly that we would pursue a domestic infant adoption, so we got a couple agency recommendations from friends who had gone that route. There were a lot of things that happened in the interim here, but one thing kind of led to another and it became very clear that we were being called to adopt internationally. Specifically Uganda. Even more specifically a 3 year old girl from the same baby home our friends had just been to. My mind was blown. I was excited and terrified all at the same time. But as soon as I saw her face, it was all over for me. I knew we had begun the journey we were meant to be on.
Other adoption posts here. There are about 10 posts under that tab that I wrote while we were in process. 🙂