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Adoption. My husband and I always thought adoption was an amazing thing. For other people. We have five beautiful boys, and our plate is full. Our oldest is eighteen and our youngest is almost six. We have battled ADD with our oldest son and are currently on quite a journey with our youngest son who has Spina Bifida. You can read about him here. When we were in the beginning stages of this journey called Spina Bifida, we were often overwhelmed, and felt grateful that Kumaka came at the end of our little family because there were times we felt like we never would have had any other kids had he been first. As he gets older, we have become wiser, we have learned to be patient, to deal with the fact that we are not in control of his health. We have learned to roll with the punches. Although we never ever like seeing our baby in pain or suffering in any way, there are times when we feel like we have been truly blessed because of Spina Bifida. We have seen miracles, we have met amazing people, and our little man brings us so much joy every single day. His smile brightens even the gloomiest day.
One day I asked my husband if he would ever consider adoption. He looked at me and said of course. I was a little surprised he so readily agreed that he would consider it. Still, we never really thought we even qualified for being adoptive parents. Hello, my husband is 52, we have five kids, and let’s face it….we are not wealthy people. So yes, we both felt like it was something we would do, but it wasn’t something we felt we would be able to do. One day I was looking at an agency, at some of the kiddos , and I thought I would just contact them and find out what the criteria was to adopt a little girl with Spina Bifida. It wouldn’t hurt to ask, right? The agency was so nice, and the lady I spoke with sent me pictures of a few girls that had Spina Bifida. (Here is where I confess this ISN’T the first time I had perused various websites, saddened by these children in orphanages all over the world.) As I clicked open to look at the pictures, one sweet little girl with huge brown eyes and brown hair stared out at me and I literally bawled.
I showed my husband her picture and he too fell in love. When we looked at other websites, we felt saddened but never felt pulled like we were at that moment. I emailed our contact person and asked what exactly the criteria were…and told her all of our “issues” (age, amount of kids, etc.). After I listed my concerns, she told me that we still qualified. We were over the moon excited…and terrified at once. We felt very strongly that we were prompted to find this sweet girl. We both feel like we have been blessed with knowledge, love, and the ability to help another child living with Spina Bifida live life to the fullest. How could we be so blessed and not help another child who just needs a family, love, and support? The only way we can show our Heavenly Father how grateful we are for His love, for the blessings He has given us is to help at least one of His children. Kumaka was born into a family while Sofi was taken to the orphanage. It is heartbreaking to think about these children wasting away, because in other countries children with disabilities are not considered worth living. This sweet girl has the right to be loved, to have a forever family. She has the right to have the best medical care available to her. She has the right to have five big brothers love her and adore her. Sofi hasn’t smiled yet, she hasn’t spoken yet and she’s three years old. We decided we could help Sofi smile, we could be her forever family.
We decided to go forward with the adoption. We sent papers to the country in August, and every single day for a month we held our breath to see if the court would find us a worthy family…and allow us to be her parents. They gave us the green light. Now we are in the crazy busy fundraising madness. It costs approximately $30,000 with travel fees. We don’t have that kind of money lying around…so we are trying to be creative about raising money. We have raised a little over $1000. We look at each thousand as a goal. We only have 30 goals. We have met one. So we are basically 1/30th of the way done. We are now officially in the program, but now we need to come up with $9000 to cover the various fees that come up while filing papers as well as pay for our Home Study. Although it’s stressful to think about the money and how we’re going to come up with it all, we have already seen miracles. People have stepped up to become angels to help us bring home Sofi. We have seen people donate money and we don’t even know who they are. An article was written for our local magazine, Fountain Valley Living, and three fundraisers have been planned, one of them being an $1800 diamond heart pendant that was CREATED for this event by one of the local jewelers to raffle off. A dear friend who is a photographer is doing mini sessions next week and 100% of the proceeds are going towards Sofi’s adoption. Who does that? I am so in awe by the amount of people who have come together, and shown us LOVE. That’s what the world needs to see more of….that is what will change the world. We love Sofi, and we truly cannot wait to bring her home.
Our boys are excited to have a sister (of course after their initial chagrin about the fact that she was a girl…they are so used to it being a boys world). We talk about Sofi a lot, and we ask them questions all the time. We asked Kumaka the other day where Sofi will sleep. He said she will sleep in her bed…in his room. Kumaka likes “sandwich” hugs. I asked him where Sofi would be in the hug sandwich. He said “I will be on this side by daddy, and she will be on that side by mommy, and then we make a sandwich”. Adorable, right? Kumaka told me he would teach her how to talk, and he would take her to physical therapy with him. He told me he would take care of her when she has to go to the hospital. I love the fact that he is so willing to take care of her.
This journey will take a year, and I’m sure we will face challenges along the way. But bringing home this sweet angel is well worth it. Once she is here, we will have another set of challenges. We know that we will be okay….that God has brought us here and He will be there for us throughout the journey.
Written by: Tracy Jensen
Read more about Tracy and her family’s journey with spina bifida and adoption at her blog, Dear Life, from Mom of Boys.