Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Twins' Adoption Story (part one)

In the fall of 2009 I felt very angry with God, in fact I was giving him the  silent treatment. After abruptly losing my job, we had a sudden death in the family and then my dear friend Geeta lost her battle with breast cancer.

I proceeded to spend the next few months wallowing in self pity.  Finally one day I felt my friend Geeta with me. I felt her saying to me “Get off of your butt and stop being sad. It’s time to make your own happiness!” Before she passed away we had had many conversations about international adoption since she and her husband had adopted from Guatemala. So I just keep feeling her nagging me to start looking into it. I had the time, so I researched different agencies and countries and made a nice organized spreadsheet.

I presented all of this to Mike who was definitely on board, but concerned. You see, it definitely did NOT make any sense for us to do this now. I had lost my job (still on unemployment) and he was serving tables at the Olive Garden trying to finish up his PhD. We lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment with not a whole lot of extra income at the end of the month, let alone extra thousands of dollars lying around to be able to afford this! We knew we wanted to adopt eventually because we both have some serious genetic health issues on both sides of our families that we didn’t want to risk passing onto our children. But now? My brain knew it didn’t make sense but my heart wasn’t listening!

Not long after I began my research I got a call from my cousin Kimberly.  We had become closer since the sudden passing of her mother.  She offered me a full time job working for her!  Looking back I see that as soon as I was blindly following God's call for my life, he was providing for our needs.

After Christmas we really began finalizing our choices as far as agency and country. We chose our agency because it was the same one that Geeta had gone through and we chose Ethiopia because the kids were healthy, they were being hyped as not having attachment issues (HA!), and they were beautiful! It was a new program so there was less red tape and less of a wait time.

Now came the issue of financing this. We starting some fundraisers that yielded small profits but realized we were going to have to come up with a better plan. I am blessed enough to have very generous and well off grandparents, so we wrote up a business plan of how we would pay them back and presented it to them. This was a very big chunk of change we were asking to borrow but luckily for us they said yes and we were on our way!

We started our homestudy in mid-February 2010. When our social worker came out to our home, one of the many times, she asked about the possibility of us adopting 2 children. After talking it over we decided that we never wanted only one child so why not go ahead and get 2 at the same time, preferably biological siblings! We figured at least if they are going to look nothing like us, they can at least look like each other! So we got approved for 2 children and when we said we didn’t want to request a gender, we were informed that we would probably get 2 boys then, because most people have been requesting girls. At this information my husband, who grew up with no sisters, says “Wouldn’t it be cool if we got twin girls!”. I said “No! You have no idea the kind of drama that would come along with that! Two prom dresses, two weddings, and let’s not forget the hormones!!”

There were a few road blocks that we ran into during our homestudy process.  For one, when we were married I chose to change my middle name to my maiden name.  I was told at the Social Security office that I could do that and was not informed that any other legal action needed to be taken.  Well, it turns out that I needed to go to probate court to officially change it legally.  Due to strange rules I was going to have to wait an entire year before I'd be allowed to go to probate court for this which was going to set us back an entire year!  My doctors were also NOT fond of me going to a third world country in Africa since I was on so many immune-suppressant medications.  There were some vaccines that were recommended that were live viruses, which I was told I was not allowed to have because of the meds I was taking.  Many tears were shed over these seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

During this process our agency connected us with another family who was local and also adopting from Ethiopia through the same agency. We became Facebook friends and had sent a couple of emails back and forth. When they made their trip in late March to pick up their children, I found myself glued to my computer! I just kept looking at their pictures. I was amazed with the scenery, and the culture and of course, the children. I showed her pictures to everyone I knew. When my
mom saw the pictures of the children this family was bringing home, she gasped and said “Oh Sarah, can’t you just have them? They’re beautiful!!”. My response, of course, was that I was pretty sure it didn’t work like that!

We were moving into my grandparents former house that spring.  On April 30th everything changed. All of our things were in boxes as we were moving the following day. Our phone rang at about 8pm. Our adoption agency was on the other end, asking us how we would feel about adopting twin 4 year old girls. We were in shock! Our homestudy wasn't even finished yet! When we ask when, her response is just “soon, very soon”!  We asked them to give us the night to pray about it.
From their description of the girls’ ages I knew it was the same 2 little girls I had been looking at pictures of over the last 2 weeks. So we logged onto our computer and looked at their pictures again…and wept. These were our daughters!!

Read part two for the rest of the story!


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