Yes, it is!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Adoption: Another Passion of Mine

During my childhood, I used to say that I was never going to get married and I was never going to have children.  The idea of either one actually frightened me.  I did not have the best example of marriage and I was not sure if I could ever raise a child without abusing him/her.  Even as young adult, my thoughts didn't change on marriage but, I began to think that perhaps I would adopt someday.  My desire to adopt was given a boost when I went on a trip to Romania.  I had the opportunity to visit one of the "better" orphanages in that country one day and I immediately fell in love with one little girl in particular.  Her name was Lumanita.  She was about age 4 and oh, so beautiful.  When it was time for me and my group to leave that day,  Lumanita grabbed hold of me so tightly and wailed.  It broke my heart.  Thankfully, the orphanage worker allowed me to walk Lumanita upstairs to the room where the kids were being served their lunch.  I have never forgotten that day and Lumanita will always be in my heart.  I thought, "if only I had my life together and felt ready to raise a child, I would jump at the chance to adopt her."  I felt such love for that beautiful little girl.  As the years passed, I often found myself thinking about her.  And I thought that I might even go back to Romania to adopt Lumanita.  But, unfortunately, I let too many things hold me back such as my emotional health at that time, my fear of what people would think (especially as a single parent),  and the huge financial expense of international adoption. 
Even though I had a desire to adopt a child someday, I was still confused about my feelings on marriage.  I did know, however, that I wanted to adopt a special needs child, meaning an older child, bi/multi-racial child, minor disability, cleft lip/palate. More time passed before I even felt the slightest bit ready to adopt such a child.  Before I met my husband, I actually inquired about and received information on adoption through the foster care system in Florida where I lived at the time. 
I was still contemplating the foster-to-adopt route when I met Tim.  After having been involved in an abusive relationship just a couple of years prior, I was not quite sure about dating.  I was content being single and enjoying my freedom.  However, Tim pursued me and eventually, love happened.  Then marriage.  Tim said he was open to adoption but I did not get the feeling that he truly was 100% on board with the idea.  We received adoption paperwork from an attorney and began to fill it all out.  I got the referral letters done first thing and my and Tim's fingerprints were already done.  When I tried to discuss this with my mother-in-law, she did not give a favorable response to the idea.  At. All.  This makes me sad that she may not have loved whatever child Tim and I could potentially have adopted.  Then Tim got orders to transfer to South Carolina (due to the war, the orders were put on hold until a year later when we got orders to move here to Illinois, instead).  So, once again, I saw this as another roadblock to adoption so I didn't pursue it any further.  
Now that Tim and I have 2 (surprise) biological children,  I am still open to the idea of adoption.  Including a special needs child.  I already have 2 children with special needs.  What's one more?  Unfortunately, I don't think Tim is open to the idea.  Plus, we still have some work to do on our own relationship before we even consider bringing another child into our fold.
Even if I never realize my dream of adopting, I still feel like I can do my part to help orphans who need to be adopted into loving homes.  I follow a handful of blogs by families who have adopted special needs children.  And I feel honored that I have been able to help in small ways such as purchasing items from those holding adoption fundraisers.  Just this past week, I received 3 of my items that I ordered from 2 different adoptive families.  These are items that will actually help to spread the word about adoption.   
The first item I ordered is a window decal.  I ordered it from Christine at www.smilesandtrials.blogspot.com.  She and her husband have a large, beautiful family and they are getting ready to add 2 more precious boys to their fold.  Here is a picture of the decal (there are 4 different styles available.)  It isn't the best picture as the decal is still on the backing.  I hope to attach it to my car soon.

I ordered t-shirts for my children from another family who has adopted several special needs children and are on their way to adopting 2 more orphans from Eastern Europe.  Shelly's incredible family story can be found at www.carringtonscourage.blogspot.com.  I love the slogan on these t-shirts and it has become my own motto.  I've never been a material person so to live simply is okay by me.  And I certainly hope that I can continue to teach my children that the world isn't all about them but about helping others.  I'm excited about my children helping to spread the word about adoption.
I wish there was some way that I can find Lumanita.  I don't even know where I could begin.  I will never forget her.



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