By Norie, Adoptive Mom
Our adoption journey began many years ago, when I (Norie) was 16. At that age, I learned that my body would be unable to carry a baby. It was a difficult and confusing time in my life, to say the least. As I considered the avenues for growing my future family, adoption quickly became the path that was closest to my heart. When I met Linden, he was open to the path I had chosen. After a few years of marriage, we decided it was time to officially begin the adventure, and we chose Choice to help us.
When we first thought about adoption, we assumed we would adopt internationally, or would adopt a newborn. Most of the adoptive families that we knew at the time had grown their families in these ways. However, we began to volunteer with children in foster care and our eyes and hearts were opened to the need for loving families for so many kids. We did some research, spent a lot of time in prayer, talked to families who had been through the process, and decided that foster adoption was the plan for us! We chose Choice as our adoption agency because they had a lot of experience with that realm of adoption. Everything that Choice needed to help us with went so smoothly. The home study (despite its mountains of paperwork) went quickly and our adoption worker was kind, experienced, and had a wealth of information to share with us. Then came the hard part…waiting to be matched.
Waiting to be matched made us extra grateful for our support system. Our friends and family encouraged us, cried with us, and lifted us up when the waiting felt unbearable. And when we least expected it, a DHS caseworker got back to us about a little girl! Suddenly we had more questions to answer, another mountain of paperwork to get through, and phone interviews to navigate. The more we learned about this little girl, the more we fell in love with her. We were attending a seminar the day her case was taken to committee. I saw a call come through on my phone and we left the auditorium to take it. It was our adoption worker with some news that brought joy-filled tears to our eyes…the little girl we fell in love with would soon be our daughter! Needless to say, we didn’t finish the seminar that day.
Shortly after, we met our girl for the first time. It is a moment that we will never forget! She came right up and sat in my lap with a book to read and I wanted that moment to last forever! Becoming instant parents was kind of terrifying, but I suppose most first-time parents are at least a bit terrified. Our wonderful friends and family were there for us with meals and lots of gifts! We learned that asking for help wasn’t a weakness. We found a wonderful counselor who helped all three of us walk through the ebb and flow of emotions that come with such a huge transition. We began building a relationship with some of our girl’s birth family, as well as her foster mom. Mostly, we started to get to know this little girl who we were blessed with.
It has been about two-and-a-half years since we first met our girl. People tell us that she is lucky, and we politely correct them and tell them that we are the lucky ones. Lucky and blessed to get to parent this remarkable human. Blessed every time we hear, “I love you, Mama!” or, “I love you, Daddy!” Blessed to watch her grow, struggle, overcome. Blessed to grow, struggle, and overcome right alongside her. Blessed to be there for so many of her firsts, to share inside jokes, and to witness the depth of her kind and loving heart. Blessed that a journey that started so long ago led us to her.