Adoption of the Month - January 2013
My husband Andrew and I had traveled and worked in China several times before we were married almost 10 years ago. When an opportunity came for us to go back in 2008 to work at an orphanage with special needs kids we were so excited. We had one son at the time and one on the way- and it was on that trip that we knew our third child would be born on the other side of the world from us. Unknown to us at the time, around the time we started looking into the adoption process two years later our daughter was born in China.
We saw her picture for the first time when she was six weeks old. Our good friend was on a trip visiting a few rural orphanages and when he saw her he knew she wasn’t getting the care she would need to survive. She was born with bladder exstrophy- her bladder was on the outside of her body and her hips had developed too far apart. Her picture was sent out with an email asking for help, and all we could think was- if only it was as easy as flying over there to get her we would be on the next plane! The adoption agency we were working with told us there was little chance of being able to request to adopt her, although they eventually agreed to give it a shot. While we waited and prayed and tried not to get our hearts set on her (they already were!) we saw miracles happen as she was moved to a better facility and then to receive surgery in Hong Kong for her bladder and hips the same week she turned one. We were able to follow her journey all this time, but it wasn’t until she was 15 months old that we got the amazing news- she was going to be our daughter! We met our sweet girl a little over a year ago on a hazy morning in Beijing and brought her back home to eagerly waiting brothers and grandparents two weeks later.
Adopting Sophie has shown us a different side of love than we had known before. We are seeing her learn to trust and love little by little and we celebrate the little things along the way- like the first time she didn’t pull away when we held her close or when she enjoys being rocked and snuggled to sleep. Our boys, as young as they are, have also grown because of her- they are protective brothers and want to help other kids without a family to call their own.
We are very grateful for Mark and his staff helping us complete the needed steps in our adoption after coming home with our daughter, and we hope to work with him again in the future. We especially appreciated the great communication and the experience that Mark has.
It has taken a long time to adjust as a family but we have learned that sometimes the hardest things are the ones that are most worth fighting for. Saying yes to adoption has given us the most amazing gift of a daughter and a deeper understanding of unconditional love.