Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Story of My Adoption


So I have had several bloggie friends mention wanting to know the story of how I came to adopt - so here it goes!

I remember being downtown Charleston during Christmas at the Omni Hotel (it's fancy and full of shops ) probably on my way to Laura Ashley - around the corner came the CUTEST family I had EVER seen - it was a tres posh mom and dad with the most beautiful little girl - she was Chinese and looked nothing like them and they were laughing and so full of joy - I knew RIGHT then I wanted to adopt - I really went home at 10 or 11 and told my parents when I grew up I was going to adopt a little girl from China - I just knew that my family wouldn't be complete without it!
Fast forward 16 years - I am on the verge of getting married - Kevin and I had discussed our family situation - and that was the plan - we would have one baby - if it was a girl - I could decide if we wanted to adopt or not - if it was a boy - adoption was NOT an option! Several years and lots of trying later - neither our marriage or our plan for children worked
I had always said I wanted my babies by the time I was 30 (I lost my dad when I was 25 and right before my wedding)
So I bought my house in July - got my divorce in November and in February had my first meeting with my social worker - I had started doing research and realized that China was probably not going to work for me because of length of referral time, I didn't have the input and the travel - My social worker thought I should go to Russia because the baby would look like me - I didn't want to travel twice and I was concerned about fetal alcohol syndrome - so i suggested Guatemala because it was close - they were in foster care and they were not prone to alcohol syndrome!

I picked an agency out of Simpsonville, SC and off I went - They sent me a referral picture of Annie and it was sooo strange - she looked JUST like me when I was little
I knew the instant I saw her face - I said YES and NEVER looked back!
I turned 30 in May -
I went to visit her in June when she was 4 months old - I went to visit when she was 6 months old and thinking I would be back in a few weeks (that's another story) went to pick her up at 9 months old - We flew into Charleston Airport at 11:15PM on November 17th and as we walked off the plane - My friends had come to SURPRISE me at the airport! it was awesome - off we went the next day to work and the rest they say is history!

I would LOVE to adopt again and am have been on the verge several times in the last 4 years - I have been asked numerous times
"Don't you want a baby that looks like you?"
I really could care less if they look like me (probably better if they don't :)
"Don't you want the experience of child birth"
Uh - NO NO NO

I say "Do you know how many children don't have homes and are starving for love and parents?" "Could there be any greater joy in life than looking at YOUR child no matter how they came to be yours?"

Adoption is BY FAR the greatest experience God has EVER blessed me with and to say I have been blessed in life would be the understatement of the world!




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34 comments:

Cheri said...

Oh Dena, That is a beautiful post.
I know personally that as the parent we are the lucky ones- but I have to say Annie is very lucky to have you as her mom!
I'm so glad you posted that- I've always wondered what your story was!

Margaret said...

What an awesome story, Dena! Thanks for sharing your story. Annie is very blessed to have you as her mama! :)

HomeSchool Mommy said...

YEA! I've been waiting for this story FOREVER. I'm so glad you told it!

I agree completely adoption! I don't care what s/he/they look like...It doesn't matter they didn't come FROM my body...

I AM glad I had the childbirth experience and I hope to have many more. We're in the process of adopting right now and I hope to have many more of those, too.

Buffie said...

I am soooo for adoption and so glad to know you and Annie. I cannot imagine my life any other way!!! BTW, you two are a tres cute family yourself!!!

Darby said...

Thanks for the scoop, Dena! And besides even if you had a biological child they're not guaranteed to look anything like you... from a very brunette mother of 2 blondes! And you didn't mention what an amazing blessing you are to Annie!!! I know her life is rich & full with you as her mommy!

http://bp1.blogger.com/_JlHKH5d98gE/SEyVhT4m3CI/AAAAAAAABbo/WbDK8_03Y6U/s1600-h/IMG_6600.jpg

The Birds Nest said...

I couldn't agree with you more!! Mike and I have nothin' but love for some bundle of joy- whether I give birth or we are blessed with the baby another way. I mean, goin' to visit and pick up Annie and being right by your side through the process is definitely one of the best things that I have ever experienced in my life!!! Obviously, knowing and loving you and Annie is rock solid too:)

Laurie said...

Dean that is awesome! I LOVE your answers when people ask you those questions. Who cares if they look like you! I totally agree that my adoption journey was definitely God's plan for my life and no blessing has been bigger or better. I get tears in my eyes thinking about how blessed I am.

my--four--sons said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I also feel that adopting my little boy was one of the greatest experiences god has given me.

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I agree with you about it not mattering if your child looks like you or not. In fact sometimes I forget John and I don't look alike and then I see a pic of us together and am surprised.

Also, I am thankful that my life didn't work out as I had planned either or I would have missed out on the best thing in my life...John.

Love that picture of Annie. Just precious!

Lisa & Madeline said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. I think I would also adopt if I had the money. I am a single mommy now and wouldnt trade it for the world. I love every minute of it no matter how Madeline came into this world! Madelines dad is not in our life and we are surrounded by loving friends and family.

So thanks for sharing your story about your precious Annie! You are lucky to have each other.

Lisa

Faithful Froggers said...

What a wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading it. Adoption is such a huge blessing. You and Annie are so lucky to have each other.

I just noticed on your profile that you are from Summerville. My husband grew up there and I lived in Charleston for several years. We both just love it there!

Christie said...

Wow! What a great story! I hate thinking of all of those kids without a home and loving family...

Sarah said...

What an awesome story Dena! I love how God knew long before we did that one of our babies was going to grow in our hearts and not under them... he must have whispered into your ear that day when you saw that other family! I had a similar experience when I was a teenager and said the same thing... and like you, am blessed beyond measure!

And as far as resemblance, I see it in you and Annie... but whenever I look at my three kids, I truly do forget which one was adopted...

Mari said...

How did I miss this? I'm glad I scrolled down now and saw it because I loved it. It even made me a little teary. Yes - you are so blessed to have Annie, but she is equally blessed to have you - and all your friends who love her too!

annie said...

What a sweet story Dena! Thanks for sharing it. Annie is a special beautiful blessing!

Laura said...

Wow Dena! I'm so glad you told that story. And what a cute little peanut Annie was when you got her. But of course - she's still a cute peanut - just a little bigger now! :)

Heidi said...

I love your story! Wow, can you imagine if that family you saw that day knew they inspired you to adopt? That is just awesome.

Ruthanne said...

Beautiful post. You and I share similar stories.
And I agree--pregnancy and childbirth...no thank you. :)

Hannah said...

Totally agree. My children are MY children. I get tired of don't you want children of your own? I have children of my own thank you. I also have friends who have opened their hearts to adoption after knowing my children.

Hannah

Bonnie said...

That is so fantastic Dena ! I'm glad you posted that story ... I had wondered how Annie and you had come to have each other !!

Donna said...

YAY - add me to the list of those wanting to hear your story! And I love it.

My favorite part is when you say, adoption is the greatest thing/experience God has ever done in your life. That's what I always try to impress upon and tell my friends - that these guys ARE my children. We couldn't be a more perfect fit. GOd knew exactly what he was doing matching us up - it's just amaing.

I hope you get to adopt again if that's your dream. You're a fantastic Mommy!

Jeffcoat House said...

I am so glad you shared! That is an awesome story!

jenniedub said...

Oh my you brought some tears! Thanks for sharing. I have been wondering how it all happened! :)

Jamie said...

What a great story, thanks for sharing.
I really don't think you and Annie look that different. To be honest, when I first started reading your blog, I didn't even know she was adopted.
My kids don't look like me, and I don't really think of it unless I catch a reflection of us, or see a picture. I guess it's just something I don't spend a lot of time thinking about. Even though that's ALL some people see.

My Heart Strings said...

What a sweet story. Thanks for sharing. Single mom here too. Ps....I love your daughter's haircut.

Terri said...

I love your story. That is a wonderful post. It's funny because I always wanted a little girl from China since I was 12. So many times people say that those kids are so lucky that we adopted them but we know - we are just as blessed as them!

Lindsay said...

beautiful. I love that you have a heart for adoption.I remember the first time I met you at Leslies moms pool and you told me this story after I assumed annie was your biological child- I remember I asked- does she get her dark hair from your husband!? I thought she looked just like you!

Jennisa said...

I LOVE your story, Dena...Annie is so blessed to have you, and I'm sure you feel the same towards her! :) It's so neat to hear about your life "pre-blogging" days...

April said...

Love this story, so precious...The miracle of adoption is so beautiful, there is nothing better...

LeslieW. said...

You rock!!!...and so does that Annie-belle. We are so glad to have her in the fam.

LSU Melanie said...

What a sweet story. Annie is such a blessing. Adoption is very close to my heart. My mother was adopted and my grandparents were so happy to be blessed with a child. Thanks for sharing your story:)and praise the Lord you didnt have any morning sickness!!!

Beav's Wife said...

i'm sooo glad you did this post. what an amazing story. isn't it amazing how our plans don't always work out but that God always has something so much better in mind? i'm so incredibly grateful for that!!!

Michelle said...

thank you for sharing your story! You and Annie are both blessed to have found each other :)

Andrea said...

Wow! What an amazing story! It brought tears to my eyes!! I have always wanted to adopt. I have a brother that was adopted. What a blessing you are to her!! And her to you I am sure!