Monday, February 27, 2012


There is a funny thing that happens to you when you adopt. You don't think about it at first-you decide to adopt a child to grow your family. Another little face at the dinner table, to read bedtime stories to. But what a lot of people don't realize is, whether you like it or not, you can never add a child to your family without bringing part of their history with them. Adopting a child is not a 'cleaning of the slate'. They get to start a new life in our family, but they come to us with a history, and people who helped them to get to where they are.

Adopting the girls as babies, we bring their people up to keep them in their vocabulary and their thoughts every so often. Had it not been important to us, we could have just left their past in the past and they wouldn't remember anyone, but that wouldn't feel right.

Adopting an 'older' child though, comes with even more of a history, and not one that we can choose or alter for them. Jebriel spent his time at his orphanage with a handful of other children, all of whom he mentions from time to time, but he has 2 best friends who are on his mind a lot. He is old enough to understand adoption, and to understand that he left his friends and came to America with us, while his friends stayed 'home'. They spent every moment together for so much of their little lives, and suddenly he left them, not knowing when he would see them again.

Thankfully, and amazingly, he WILL see his best friends again. We were able to connect with the parents of both his best friends (across agencies even!). They both live in neighboring states within a day's drive, and when Eric was there to pick Jeb up, both other sets of parents were there for court, so they all got to meet, and were able to tell the boys that they would see each other again.

Eric and Jeb left for home before the other families, and they reported that their little boys, who had to stay behind for now, took his leaving very hard. For Jeb, he hasn't been upset about them until tonight. Everything was new and different and exciting. He was finally getting parents and coming to America, something the older kids at the orphanage apparently talked up quite a bit.

But tonight, as part of our daily routine, Eric finished reading bedtime stories, and we all sat on the bed and held hands to pray. We pray specifically for his best friends, as well as 2 other girls being adopted with one of the boys, and usually Jebriel enjoys repeating their names, but tonight he looked really sad. We tried to assure him that they would come to America soon, and he asked "after take a nap?" and looked even more sad when we had to tell him no, they would not be in America after his nap. He is old enough to understand the concept of seeing them again and their joining him in America, but doesn't quite understand the concept of time yet. These boys are more than best friends to him, they are his brothers, a constant in his life. We know that he is happy here and adjusting and attaching to us very well, but they are his family too.

With the addition of Jebriel to our lives, we also add these little boys, and their families. Their pictures decorate our son's room. We have 2 more Christmas cards to send, 2 more road trip destinations, 2 more people I can call friends. While we wait for all the boys to come home, we keep up with each other on facebook, through emails, and even phone calls. We share this special bond, and have so much else in common as well, only God could have orchestrated it this way.

It makes life a little more complicated, a little harder to explain to the kids and to others about our 'extended family', and it isn't the life some people want, but adoption has helped us (forced us?) to broaden our horizons, and our family, and step out of the familiar and comfortable to experience all the amazing things that God can do, and it is always amazing us!

We aren't able to post pictures of the other boys until they are home, but they are a very handsome, photogenic bunch and we have a lot of great pictures of each of them, as well as some great group shots that we cherish. Please pray that all of the paperwork gets done quickly so they can come home to their families where they belong. I can't wait to see their next group picture!

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