I knew when I was 9 years old that I would be an adoptive parent. My mother was a case worker for Worldwide Love for Children in Springfield, MO. I can remember sitting in her office turning page after page in her albums of waiting children. I think what hit me the hardest is that I was looking at children my age or older who had never had a home of their own.
Nine years later I was sitting in my apartment (that for what ever reasons was 1/2 block away from Worldwide Love for Children) discussing marriage with my boyfriend Robert. I explained to him that it was imperative that if he and I were to marry he had to understand that I was called to adopt at least one child. He said yes, so I said yes also.
Fourteen years later and after killing a small forest in paperwork to prove our worth as parents, a grainy referral picture arrived via internet. Our son Alex had arrived 10 days earlier in Guatemala City. I can’t even begin to explain to you my feelings at that moment. That was MY son. That was my baby boy thousands of miles away from me.
We got to meet our son 4 months later in Guatemala. We met his wonderful foster mother and got to keep him for a week. Handing him back to Flory at the end of that week ripped my heart out. It was possibly the most heart wrenching day of my life.
Five months later, on June 20th almost on Alex’s 9 month birthday, he became ours forever. We took the whole family down to Guatemala to be apart of this incredible moment. We met with Flory again and cried and shared and cried and hugged. We promised her that Alex would always know about his country and their people in that country that loved him dearly.
Five years later Alex is the heartbeat of our family. He is a precocious, high energy, too smart for his britches, little boy. He plays hard and laughs even harder. He’s healthy, has a friend wherever he goes, intelligent, and creative. He doesn’t know life before us and we can’t remember life before him. We talk about and pray for his birth mother, Marta Isabel, and we let him know how grateful we are that she chose to give him life. We talk about and pray for his foster mother, Flory, and how grateful we are she cared so diligently for him before he came home.
We still get prickly when people say or ask insensitive things like “we could never adopt, we want children of our own”, or ” how do your real children interact with Alex?” “how much did you pay for Alex?” or the real kicker “Is he adopted?” Seriously? He has beautiful brown skin and we’re all pasty white. Most of the time I respond sarcastically but as time goes on I try to educate people and be an advocate for adoption.
Adoption is not for everyone but it is available for a lot more people than they think. If you have any questions about how to finance an adoption, agencies, adoptive children behavior, or anything at all concerning adoption. Don’t hesitate to ask. God bless you.