Then came the big question: what country? The only answer we could articulate confidently was that we wanted to meet a need. Our first desire was to adopt from local foster care. When we learned that the youngest child was 11, we knew that was not an option for us at this time (although, that route is by no means off the table).
We felt strongly about seeking an adoption in Uganda. Our eyes had been opened to the amazing work that Sixty Feet was doing to help children in prison (yes, you read that right). It was a good plan, but something just wasn't quite right.
I read a post by another mom adopting in Uganda about a need for adoptive parents in the US. This was it. I could not believe there were birth mothers in the US who had trouble finding adoptive parents. We dove in head first. We finished our home study, we made our profile, and we applied to many agencies who would present us when they had a birth mom in need of families.
For every "situation," we received a phone call telling us about the birth mother, her family, her history, and her desires for her unborn child. Some calls tore your heart out. Some told of a life with little hope. Some created instant respect for women you would never know or meet. And some just made you angry. In yoga, there is a practice of santosha where we try our darndest to accept things for what they are. Yeah, there wasn't a whole lot of that going on during this time...
We had hope each time that this could be our child, but there was that nagging feeling behind it all that we still weren't right. Something was off. I went to an adoption conference in Atlanta and I remember telling Ben that something about our adoption was going to change after that weekend. I literally had NO idea what that something would be. I just kept saying something will change. And he kept giving me that "I don't understand you, but I still love you" look.
The first night of the conference I could not believe what I had signed up for. I'm not the type of person who usually enjoys sitting down at a table with complete strangers and spilling my most deepest desires for my family. But I did my best. Most of the conference soon became a blur except for one thing. At some point, I can't even tell you who said it, I heard the speaker say that in the adoption world (and in other areas of life) it is easy to follow the call instead of the one who called you. Boom. That was it. That was the change. We had said Yes! Yes! Yes! to adoption and took off without looking back. It was our mission. It was all anyone ever asked me about. We made so many decisions without pause, without direction.
So our prayer shifted. We began to ask God for direction in every. single. detail. That is unbelievably hard for me to do. I act just like my two year old who wants to make every decision herself. And mine, just like hers, are most certainly not all wise decisions.
It was in that surrender that we were introduced to Down syndrome. We presented to two birth mothers expecting babies with Downs. For various reasons, we were not the parents for those babies. But we had a new desire. And just in the middle of our prayers for direction in the details, up popped Reece's Rainbow. It was the answer to our prayer from the very beginning. We desperately longed to find a child who was waiting on us, waiting for a mom and dad. And where all our previous decisions had felt like they were missing something, with all our hearts in the purest place of gratitude, we sent an email saying we had found her. Our precious daughter. Our knowledge of her consists of two pictures and two sentences. And she is amazing. Worth every doubt, every frustration, every moment of "what the heck have we gotten ourselves into?!"
This journey is new. We now embark on the daunting task of updating our home study and compiling a dossier (something we did not have the pleasure of doing for a domestic adoption). To say that we cannot wait to hold her is the understatement of the century. We will soon whisper in those sweet little ears that every twist and turn was leading us to her. Oh how blessed we are.