Our Adoption Story
Anyone who knows me well would find it only fitting that the Lord would use a book to show me His calling for my life. I was only fifteen the day I checked The Family Nobody Wanted out of our high school library. I read it three times over the weekend. The book relates the story of a minister and his wife who adopted twelve children in the forties. Ten were considered unadoptable because of their ethnic backgrounds. I was immediately intrigued with the idea of adopting children from other countries.
A few years later I met my new college roommate. She had been on a mission trip to Mexico and was telling me about her experiences. While this might have kindled a desire to be a missionary in some hearts, my attention was immediately drawn to the story of the small orphan child who had climbed into her lap to be held. In my Bible reading time later that day 1 Corinthians 7:17 (“Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches.”) jumped off the page to me. I believed that God was confirming his call on my life.
I held onto the verse in 1 Corinthians for several more years. I graduated from college, married my husband, and began to think about starting a family. It was important to my husband that we try to have biological children. We intended to follow my dream of international adoption after we had one or two children by birth. Things didn’t work out the way we had planned. After a few emotionally painful years of infertility treatments we became serious about adopting. We had a home study written by our local adoption agency and were praying about where to go from there. I spoke Spanish and had taught ESL to Mexican immigrant children, so we at first believed that we would adopt children from a Spanish-speaking country. God had a different plan.
My husband and I had been trying to have a family for nearly four years in late 1999. It seemed like an eternity and I was beginning to feel as if I would never become a mother. The most likely country for us to adopt from was Guatemala, a very expensive program even then. We were working on saving the money when one day I went to the mall. I was walking past some of the booths that sell items such as cell phones and purses when a different booth caught my eye. It was full of items for sale from India. The vendor displayed three photo albums for customers to look at. I had never been particularly interested in India before; however something about the beauty of the people in the album captured my attention. The next time I was at the mall the booth was gone.
I searched India adoption programs on the internet. When I clicked on the first link in my search I discovered Dillon, International, an adoption agency in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dillon was actively seeking parents for their India program. When I called the program director on the phone I felt like I was talking to a friend. The last week of December, 1999, we nervously mailed our application to adopt a child from Kolkata, India. Not quite two months later we received a tiny black and white photo of the most amazing newborn baby girl. Finally, on a beautiful day in June I reached out my arms and accepted my daughter. Instantly, I was a mom.
We adored our daughter so much that two years later we were standing at the mailbox with another application. For a number of reasons, our son’s adoption process was much more difficult than our daughter’s. Little did we know when we mailed the application that it would be more than 2 1/2 years before I would bring a small boy home on an airplane and hand him to his daddy. He was worth the wait! The small seed of a dream that began the day a fifteen-year-old girl checked a book about adoption out of the library had sprouted and born fruit. Our family was complete.
Isaiah 43:5 NASB
“Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west.”
For more by Stephenie, read her adoption article in Home Educating Family Magazine Issue 4 2012.