It is sometimes hard for me to believe that just 5 years ago, our family consisted of just two of us. My husband and I were so eager to have children, but after two years of struggling with infertility we wondered if this would ever be a possibility. Our hearts had always been open to adoption, but the prospect of actually starting that journey seemed scary and uncertain. There were so many options, so many choices, so many unknowns. The length and cost of international adoption seemed almost impossible to us at the beginning, but as we prayed about our decision we found ourselves coming back to this option over and over again. In January 2008, we took the plunge and began the journey to our son, Matthew, who was born in South Korea.
The moment we held Matthew in our arms, our fears and anxieties about adoption fell away. He was ours, totally and completely! We were so in love with our sweet little boy and knew without a doubt that we would be adding to our family through adoption again in the future. I must admit, even I was surprised to find myself talking about another little one only a few months after Matthew came home! When he had been home about a year, we started our second adoption.
This time as we started the process, we started wondering if we might be more open to special needs than we had been the first time around. We started learning about different medical conditions and prayed that the Lord would lead us to our child. I spent many evenings reading about waiting children on different websites, and one day I saw a little face that instantly made me smile. Our Nathan was listed on AAC’s waiting children website and he had the best chubby cheeks and spikey hair I had ever seen! It did take a while for us to research his special needs and honestly the unknowns were pretty scary for us at times, but we knew he was to be our son and I’m so thankful that we didn’t let our fears get in the way of bringing him home. We met Nathan in June 2011 and he is an absolute blessing to us!
In December of that year, I told Brad not to worry, I wouldn’t be bringing up adoption for quite a while as I knew our hands were full with two active little boys.
Then in January, I got this strange feeling that the Lord had another child for us. We started talking about adopting a boy older than Matthew, but in the end the Lord made it very clear that our next little one would be a girl younger than Nathan! We were thrilled to begin the journey to Hannah last February. Hannah has the same special need as Nathan (they both have bilateral Microtia, a congenital ear deformity, and hearing loss) and we were so excited to travel to China in January to bring her home!
Everything about our trip went more smoothly than we could have even hoped. With this being our third adoption, we knew that it might be an easy transition (we’d had one of those) or it might be a really difficult transition (we’d had one of those, too!). We were amazed at how quickly Hannah took to us and began bonding with both of us. The moment we arrived home, her two older brothers welcomed her with open arms into our family and they never looked back!
When she was first home, we had Hannah evaluated as it was obvious that she was delayed in her physical development. At 18-months-old, she couldn’t get into a sitting position on her own, and couldn’t crawl or stand alone. She had very low muscle tone and was assessed to be at a 6-9 month old level for her gross motor skills. She is a very determined little one, though, and now just six months later, she is running around chasing her brothers, climbing on things, and she has been discharged from physical therapy! This week she received her hearing aid and she has once again shocked us with her adaptability and resiliency. We are so thankful for all of the progress she has made in the last few months and it has been a joy to see her personality emerge as she continues to settle into our family. Hannah is a cuddly, kind, spunky, sweet, smart little girl and we are so glad that she is ours!
Life is very busy these days with a 4-year-old, 3-year-old, and 2-year-old, but we really wouldn’t have it any other way! Hannah has fit seamlessly into our family and we can hardly remember life without her here. We all love her so much!
I never could have imagined 5 years ago the incredible plan God had for our family. We are blessed beyond words!