Friday, January 13, 2012

Our Adoption Story

Many of you are asking questions about our adoption and how things came about/is Evelyn in addition to both boys etc.  I am here to tell you the entire story… this might get long.. maybe…definitely….Gods plans are NEVER simple and to the point are they??  Smile

So this journey all started about a year ago… with my decision to attend a Down syndrome Conference in Bulgaria as a parent speaker.  On March 16th, 2011 I boarded a flight bound for Sofia.  I went with specific instructions from my better half  “not to fall in love with any kids” because we were not adopting again.  I was strangely ok with this request and assured him that I had no intentions of doing that…..we already had 4 kids and that was PLENTY!!!!

While in Sofia, as part of our trip, we visited an orphanage.  We went from room to room looking at children and then we went into the baby room.  My friend Angie and I immediately gravitated towards two tiny ones in their cribs.  A little girl, Nicole (not her real name) and a little boy, Ian (not his real name).  Angie held Nicole and I held Ian for the entire 15-20 minutes we were allowed in that room… everyone else was playing with the older kids, but we were smitten with these little ones..both with DS and cute as buttons.  We took note of their names and their dates of birth on their cribs incase we or anyone wanted to inquire, but we were then whisked away as our time there was over. 

When we left, Shelley and Angie looked at me and said… you are going to bring him home aren’t you???  My answer NO…. we were DONE, however I was going to find him a family…I had fallen in love but not as a part of our family, but rather as a part of A family.

Finished our time in Bulgaria…. came home…..sitting with Joe at dinner a night or two later sharing my AWESOME experiences in Bulgaria.  Told him about Ian at the orphanage…he looked at me and said…”I am sure he will make a great addition to SOME family.. but NOT ours!”  I know… I know… I was just sharing my experience, not that I wanted to bring him home.  And at this point that was TRUE.

Later that night, looking on FB, I came across photos of Carrington Bruman and her story.  I know her mother Shelly as they adopted three little ones from Jakes orphanage just after we came home.  We had gotten to be friends during her process.  They had just returned from Ukraine for a second time with Carrington and her sister.  Carrington was just 11 lbs and I believe she was 5 years old at the time.  I showed Joe because I was just sick that she had gotten to this condition in an orphanage not far from where we got Jacob from.  It apparently spoke to Joe’s heart.

The next day after a flurry of text messages… phone calls….prayers, prayers and more prayers…. we decided that we wanted to start the adoption process.  We at least wanted to inquire about this little 7 month old that I had met in the orphanage, Ian.  At that point, we had no idea if he was registered for International Adoption or not…..or if he ever would be, but we had to find out. 

We were told that the paperwork had been started and that in about 6 months he would be available or so we thought.  We were excited.  He was going to be our son!  I was thrilled at this new journey God had placed in front of us.  Called our social worker and started moving forward.  This would have meant that end of November, or beginning of December his file would be available.  We drug our feet a bit on getting stuff done because we were having to wait for him to be available anyway and didn’t want our documents to expire.

During this whole time, we had also been tossing around the idea of bringing home another child, but weren’t actively looking…Then we saw Landon’s photo on FB.  He was adorable and in desperate need of a family to commit to him.  He had just turned 5 and would face going to an institution if he didn’t have a committed family.  We prayed about it and talked A LOT about it.  God said “Go”.  Very clearly to me, it was almost like he was talking into my ear.  Joe said yes by saying “I guess we are in the market for a larger vehicle!” Smile

We committed to Landon… so now were were going to be parents of two boys… Landon (5) and Ian (1) at this point.  We were so exited.  We were still waiting on word that Ian was going to be available and everything would fall into place.  This was August.

Fast forward to early November… we were working on finishing up our home study…getting dossier requirements going etc.  I received an email from Toni, our attorney and adoption agent in Bulgaria with some terrible news…. Ian, the baby, had not ever been registered for International Adoption as we had thought in August… in fact there were some issues with the director there and another director had recently taken over her position.  It was now one director that was overseeing Ian and Landon’s orphanage.  She had verified that the paperwork that we had thought was done in July was in fact never done and she would be doing it to get him registered, but the 6 months started ticking when that paperwork was file which wasn’t going to be sometime into November… so that meant that Ian wouldn’t even be available until AT LEAST May… Landon couldn’t wait that long…. we couldn’t wait that long …. if we wanted to bring the boys home, we would have to do back to back adoptions….though some of our fees wouldn’t be charged a second time, it’s still a significant cost and nearly as much as one adoption.  We were so sad, but decided to move forward with Landon and see when and if Ian became available and decide at that time.  My heart hurt…. I thought it was because I felt like I was leaving Ian behind.  That’s what I thought… I think I was wrong about what I was feeling.

It became more and more apparent to us that we financially could NOT do back to back adoptions… there was just no way.   That would entail 4 trips to Bulgaria….2 costs of adoption and everything that comes with the stress of adoption and we knew that our family could not handle that.  We were content with just adding Landon and advocating for Ian when and if he became available, however my heart still hurt.  I couldn’t figure out why.

Enter Evelyn… several weeks ago, I saw her picture… she was so adorable, but in the picture she was laying down and looked very very delayed for her age.  Now I realize that picture was old.  But at the time, I didn’t know that.  Though I was in love with her, I didn’t know if she was the right fit for our family… we prayed about it… talked about it… went over her medical info.. hadn’t decided no and hadn’t decided yes either.  Just hadn’t decided anything.  New picture of Evelyn showed that she was thriving and she was walking, looking alert… do make the world of difference.  Joe and I talked about it… I already knew what I wanted to do… Joe looked at her pictures not realizing that it was Evelyn.. he said “it’s too bad she’s not in Bulgaria” and I told him it was Evelyn and he looked at me and said “Make it so Obi-One”.  And we made it so.

6 kids… three boys… three girls.. 4 with DS…. 2 boys…2 girls… our family will be COMPLETE!!!

I realized my heart wasn’t hurting because I thought I gave up a son…. but rather because I had not found my daughter yet!  I love how God works… sending me to see Ian but because we were supposed to be parents to Landon and Evelyn!  Blessings…Blessings.. I love them!!!!!


The Monier Family said...

WOW!!!! Awesome story!!!! Blessings on your family:)

Carla Dobs said...

Brigitte! You need to message me with Ian's
Info.... I have a friend looking to adopt a little
Boy under 3 with DS from Bulgaria!! They are
just starting their paperwork here in IL so
it will be about 6 months before they are
ready to travel! Wouldn't it be amazing if
FB and your blog find Ian his home too!?

Carla (adopted Henry from U)

Rays-R-Us said...

Soooo cool! I'm so happy for you. Funny how God works in mysterious ways. Still laughing about Joe's comment "I guess we're in the market for a bigger vehicle." We moved down from a Suburban to a mini-van so we DON'T get any ideas of adding any more, lol :)

Alicia Llanas said...

oh so happy for you!! cant wait to see how they will fit perfectly in your family! :)

Michelle said...

I loved reading how it all came to be. I got Geary eyed reading "text messages" because my husband and I have had many text messaging adoption conversations...even quite recently. I love how God works I love seeingnyou will have four kids with Ds, we will have 3 with Ds and 1 with CP (and 6 "typical" kids). I couldn't be happier to see Evelyn's mama and papa are coming for her. god used her to prepare my heart for a second one in Bulgaria.

Eight Is Great said...

Oh my Brigitte!! I just saw you are bringing home 2 precious angels!! I am so excited for you all. We are right there with you in bringing home our 2 boys from Bulgaria. Funny how we meet up again!!

Jenna said...

That's amazing![: How awesome. Praying for your journey!