“When it comes to adoption, someone always has to choose to let go for others to receive and we couldn’t thank them enough for allowing us to receive Gia into our family.”
I WAS BORN IN TEXAS I have a big wonderful family with 7 amazing children. When my adoption story began, I already had 4 biological children and one that we had lost through miscarriage. Our family felt that loss deeply and we grieved like we would if we had lost any of our children. To keep the memory alive, we always left a seat open for them at the dinner table. A symbolic gesture that they will never be forgotten, and that they are loved whether here with us or not. We always felt that there was still someone missing from the table.
One Sunday, while my family and I sat in church listening to the sermon, I felt that God started speaking to me. All I heard was a single word that hung on my heart, “adoption.” I wrote the word in my notes and noticed as my husband glanced at my paper and then wide-eyed at me. We talked about it on the way home, and while we were both open to the idea of adopting a child, there seemed to be something missing.
We had committed the idea of adoption to prayer and moved on with our busy lives. One evening we were sitting on the couch, watching one of my favorite TV shows. In this episode, a young man with down syndrome was taken in by an adoptive family after losing his mother. At the end of that show I turned to my husband with tears in my eyes and said “we’re supposed to adopt a child with down syndrome.” Surprisingly he nodded in agreement, the missing piece had been discovered.
We began looking into it straight away, researching international adoptions. We found that in many foreign countries, babies born with special needs have a much higher chance of being neglected, or cast away by their families, mistreated, and misunderstood. We got connected with an international adoption agency in Asia and began our search. Soon, we came across a little girl named Gia, who had down syndrome and needed spinal surgery. We fell in love with her immediately, and it was the perfect timing in our lives.
We met with the social worker from the adoption agency who helped train us on what to expect when adopting a child with special needs from another country. It was no small task. As a family, we had so much love to give, but at the same time it was so overwhelming– we realized the magnitude of the responsibility we were taking on, and tried to prepare as best as we could. We did home assessments and studies, we made plans and even took classes training us on dealing with trauma and challenges she might face with learning. We found great books with stories about other mothers reflecting on the impact that their special needs children had on their lives–we did everything we could to make the transition as seamless as possible, for Gia, for us and the rest of our children.
When we were finally able to bring Gia home, it was a very special day for the family. Gia was adorable, and our other children loved and spoiled her as the youngest child. We never expected that it would be easy to adopt and raise a child from another country with special needs. It has brought certain challenges which have made us all stronger and more resilient. God blessed us with two more biological children, and Gia gets to experience being a big sister. Our table has grown and so have our hearts.
When it comes to adoption, someone always has to choose to let go for others to receive and we couldn’t thank them enough for allowing us to receive Gia into our family.
Life’s About Choice