I always knew that I would probably adopt someday. Well, at least since I was a teen girl who had issues with her monthly cycle. I was told at age 14 that I would probably have difficulty getting pregnant some day, but not to worry about it until I was older. My sister and I would joke about how I would some day have quads because I would probably have to use fertility drugs.
Fast forward to college and I am dating the man of of my dreams. It was kind of a tough conversation to have when we started to get serious and were talking marriage and family. Lucky for me he was open to adoption too. We ended up getting married and decided to wait a few years to have kids. We had some large college loans we wanted to pay off and be settled for a bit first.
Once we started trying we knew there would be issues. So, it wasn't long before we got referred to an infertility specialist. I am not going to go into detail of my infertility testing and procedures, but let's just say it was a year of doctors knowing way too much about our sex life, lots of poking in places you don't want to be poked, and some bad side effects from fertility drugs. As we moved through each stage our chances of conceiving got less and less. The more infertility stuff we did the more we felt hopeless.
We decided that we had had enough of trying to conceive and were ready to start a family. We did not need to be pregnant- we needed to have children. We started to research different adoption agencies and different adoption programs. The more steps we took toward adoption the more excited we got and felt that we had HOPE!
Education is really important to us so we tried to get as much of it as we could about all the adoption programs so that we would know the best fit for us. We decided on international adoption right away. We both love to travel and we know we couldn't handle the unpredictability of domestic adoption. We finally decided on the Korea program because, at that time, the kids were still under the age of 1 when they came home and it was a stable, predictable, program.
Adoption requires a lot of trust in God. There are a lot of factors you cannot control. And waiting to get matched with a child is really hard. The whole adoption process was an exercise of faith for us and really made our relationship with God stronger then ever. We had no choice but to trust that God would match us with our child... the one he created for our family! Psalms 139 took on a whole new meaning to us. Knowing that God was knitting our baby in another women's womb, that He knew how many hairs were on his head, that He was with that baby even though we could not be was such a comfort to us.
It is not a secret that adoption is not cheap! It comes with all sorts of adoption fees. This also was an exercise in faith. It was amazing how God provided for us each step of the way. Just when we would need some money my husband would get almost that exact amount in a bonus from work, or our tax return would be about the same amount we needed. It was truly amazing to see the money show up in just the nick of time.
I will never forget when we got our call to tell us that we had a referral (a referral is when you are matched with a child). It was so exciting hearing about the child. They emailed us all the information about the baby which included the medical records and little family history. We were told not to look at the pictures until we had decided that we were going to accept this referral. We are rule followers so, we did just that. Once we knew that we were going to accept this referral we opened the photos file.
It was crazy waiting for the photos to load! We were just hoping the baby would be cute! As the pictures loaded line by line down the screen we watch with anticipation... and of course he was SO CUTE... I mean adorable! honestly- what Korean baby isn't, right?! Now we just had to wait for some more paperwork to get done so that we could bring him home! The Korean and US governments had to get all the right documents together for us to travel to bring our baby home.
It was so exciting sharing the pictures with our family and friends, planning our baby's nursery, buying him clothes. Our families and friends threw us showers. We had lots to do but still ached to be with our son!
I can also remember getting the call to travel... I was at school teaching my first hour class when the call came into my classroom. I picked up the phone thinking it was the office calling for a student and it was one of the social workers. She asked "Are you ready to go and get your child?" YES! All teaching stopped that day! I called my hubby, my mom, and my long term sub! I told my students that it was going to be my last day because we were going to Korea to get our baby!
The trip to Korea was, of course, amazing. It was so exciting and scary getting on the plane to Korea knowing that when we came home we would be parents. We got custody of our son the morning that we left Korea to come home (we had meetings with our son and foster mom, but we didn't get to keep him until we were traveling home). Then began our bonding experience. We had over a 24 hour trip home, which included a 1 hour van ride, 14 hour flight, another 5 hour flight, and lots of waiting to get through customs. We came home Nov. 5th 2008.
1. Our "Before" picture at the airport leaving for Korea
2. Fawnda's first time holding Kyan at our first meeting.
3. At our Second meeting Kyan fell asleep on Fawnda
4. Jason's first time holding Kyan at our first meeting.
5. Our first family shot.
6. On the plane ride home.
We were so happy to be home and starting our family. 1 year later we started the process again to adopt a girl. We were told at that time, lots of things in the Korea program had changed and that the wait times to bring a child home was much longer. They told us that it would probably 2 years before we could bring a little girl home. That was much longer then our son, but we trusted in God's timing and said OK. And then we prayed that God would speed up the timing so that we would bring a daughter home... and speed it up He did!
3 months later we got a phone call telling us we had a referral... ummmm- isn't this much sooner then we were told? Yes! And then we traveled to go and get her 9 weeks later! The total time between we were approved to when we brought her home was 6 months. It was CRAZY fast and such a whirlwind I don't remember much of it! :) But, I do remember that our Second trip to Korea was equally amazing and it was such a blessing to bring our little girl home. We came home Dec 23rd, 2010 - just in time for Christmas!
1. Our First meeting with Nyah at her Foster Family's home
2. Lots of crying the first day that we had her.
3. Finally crashed after all the crying.
4. Happy with daddy
5. Waiting at the Seoul Airport for our LONG trip home (it took over 25 hours total)
6. At home with mom and brother!
In 2013, 2 1/2 years later, God surprised us again with a 3rd child. This time I was pregnant! What?!? Our 3rd son was born April 8th, 2013.
We are so blessed by our children We know that God created each of them to be a part of our family. It is crazy all the similarities we have with the personalities of our kids, that I know that God selected us to be their parents!