Q: Can you tell us a little about your family?
I grew up as the daughter of Christian missionaries to Latin America, primarily in Mexico. Adoption has been part of my life for as long as I can remember thanks to my parents who adopted my baby brother Glen when I was 3 years old. I have been married for a little over 20 years to my college boyfriend, we have 7 children, and live wherever the job sends us.
Q: What led you to adopt from China?
My husband and I spoke about adopting even before we were married, in fact we spoke about adoption more than we did about having biological children. The Lord blessed us with our three daughters very early in our marriage and it wasn’t until the youngest of them was a year old that we once again spoke about adoption.
We began to research countries and agencies and were praying about when to begin the international adoption process. The Lord had very different plans for us, the fall of 2004 through word of mouth a pregnant teen in our city heard about our family’s interest in adoption and we set up a meeting with her. It was pretty much love at first sight for all of us, we loved her and she loved us back. Four short months after that initial visit our son Samuel was born. We maintain an open adoption with all of Samuel’s birth family and they have become an extended part of us, we look forward to corresponding with them and love it when we get to see any of them.
Samuel was in kindergarten when my husband once again brought up the topic of adoption. However he was feeling led to become a foster family with the intent to adopt. It took a few months for him to convince me and for us to begin the training and licensing process. We became foster parents to one baby girl named Teagen, who ended up reunifying with her parents who worked extremely hard to fulfill all the requirements to get her back in their home. We became her “godparents” and still get pictures of her and hear from her parents.
The experience of fostering once again planted a tiny seed in our hearts showing us that we had room in our hearts and home for more. It was also at this time that I was doing a study on the book of Nehemiah (http://www.lifeway.com/Product/nehemiah-bible-study-book-P005371581) and I was so moved by how his heart broke over the destroyed wall of Jerusalem. I prayed that The Lord would break my heart for what breaks His as well (a very dangerous prayer!) and the rest is history.
We once again began to research adoption programs and countries and felt that China was a perfect fit for us. We had great health insurance, I am a nurse, and our four children were a bit older. We felt like we would be immensely blessed by becoming the family for a child with special needs. We began the process for the first time July of 2012.
Q: Which provinces are your children from?
Guangzhou, Jiangsu and Guangxi
Q: What special needs are represented in your family?
Beta Thalassemia Major, symbrachydactyly, feeding issues, plagiocephaly
Q: Favorite aspect of adoption? Hardest?
My favorite is pretty straight forward and obvious. My children.
The hardest is a bit more complicated. There are so many hards. Jet lag, transition, trauma, emotional scars, tough anniversaries, regression, feeding challenges, grief, doubting that we are doing the best we can for these children, accessing services, patience, offering and receiving grace, I could go on and on.
Q: How has adoption grown/stretched/changed you?
I have learned more about grace, especially toward myself. I have seen how modeling God’s love to others changes those around me, including my older children and friends.
Q: Can you share a few of your favorite personal blog posts? Some shared by others on NHBO?
The post that always comes to mind as a favorite is one Rebecca authored titled Saying Yes to Complex Needs – so powerful and it was exactly what I needed to read at that point in my life. This was also the very first post Rebecca wrote for NHBO – so the start of a beautiful journey of reading her amazing posts.
Q: What is your favorite book? Quote? Verse?
I love literary fiction, although I don’t have much time to read.
Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?
I speak Spanish and I had a Quinceañera party for my 15th birthday #missionarykidperks
Q: Can you share a favorite “mom hack” that makes life easier for you?
This isn’t really a hack, but having teen daughters who want to earn babysitting money is amazing!
Q: If you could share one parting thought with someone considering special needs adoption, what would it be?
He goes before you. Be immersed in peace knowing that things may be hard, there may be pain, but He is there preparing the way for you. The blessings for all involved will abound.
Q: (Wildcard question) What are your favorite restaurants and food?
Authentic hole in the wall Mexican places. If they have sopes, tortas, pozole, huaraches, mojarras fritas I know I am in the right place and will be very happy. On the other hand, if they have burritos, chimichangas and sopa pillas, I know I’m in the wrong place #thosedontexistinMexico