When we started our adoption journey, I remember our social worker telling us that adoption was not for the faint of heart. How true that statement was. Today, I thought I would share with you our other adoption story. After our rocky experience in Kyrygyzstan, my husband kept bringing up exploring domestic adoptions. I was DONE though. I wanted another child and always thought we would adopt our third but I was done with the whole process. I had been fully consumed by Altynai's adoption and I was grieving the loss of the child that I thought was going to be our daughter. I was also dealing with a ton of guilt over the fact that she was still there and I wasn't going to be able to bring her home. So when my husband brought up adoption again, in a sarcastic way I said "fine but YOU are doing all the work! I can't do this again." Well, he took me seriously and in a short period of time, he did a little research and had us signed up with 3 different agencies. I went and met with them but I was tearful throughout the our meetings because of Altynai. I am sure that they were wondering what the heck we were doing. They all made sure to tell us that we needed to plan on at least 12-18 month wait at a minimum. We could hope for better but longer was absolutely a possibility. I was OK with this because I had a lot of healing to do.
Four months later, in record breaking time, Andrew "Drew" Ryan joined our family. I always tell people that God handed him to us on a silver platter! I think God was saying, "I had you on Altynai's journey for lots of reason but you were never supposed to be her parents BUT this little guy, well he is yours! And I am going to make it so easy that you will never, ever doubt it." And that is exactly what happened. Two months after our application was in, we got a call that a young couple had chosen us to be the parents of their unborn son. Two weeks later we met with them and had an incredibly meeting. In fact, when it was over, Craig and I walked away and said, "well, that was just too good to be true. They are definitely going to change their minds." Not even two months later, and one month ahead of his due date, Drew was born. Twenty four hours later he was ours! We had just become a family of five!
The following day, his birth parents, came back to the hospital to see us. We spent over a hour with them in the lobby. It was a meeting filled with genuine happiness and thanks. Thank you's from us to them for the child that they were allowing us to welcome into our family and raise as our own. And from them to us, for giving their family and Drew the opportunities to have the best life moving forward. When the meeting was over, I found our social worker crying in the hallway. She was crying tears of joy and amazement because in her 20 years in the adoption business, she had never seen such a genuinely beautiful end to an adoption.
As we left the hospital with Drew, Craig asked me if I was OK? I know that it seems like an odd question but after the prior two years of disappointment it was a reasonable one. He wanted to know if I was OK with the fact that Drew was the exact opposite of the child that I thought was going to be ours. A healthy baby boy from south Florida was not what I had planned on and yet, that is exactly what God had in store for us and I couldn't have been happier. Drew is our son and I can't imagine what our life would be like without him. What an amazing gift we have been given!
All our children, Ansley, Alec, Drew and Altynai, are all incredible blessings from God. My life has forever been changed because I have been allowed to be their mother, even if for a short period of time, and I do my best to cherish every second.
In parting, here is a fun Kyrygyz 65 fact. In the last 3 years since all of our international adoptions ceased, over 25 children have been adopted, both foreign and domestic, by the waiting parents. It is wonderful to know that the delays have had some wonderful silver linings too.