I think we are supposed to adopt a girl from China!
Not the words I ever expected to hear out of my husband. After all, we had five daughters and had never before discussed having more children much less the possibility of adoption. None the less as Kurt stood in the entry way of our home in his dirty overalls , I remember I didn't even look at him or stop brushing my hair. I just replied, "Okay."
That morning Kurt had been outside fixing something in one of our many crusty old farm vehicles and was listening to the radio. That particular morning there was a program that had Steven Curtis Chapman on who was discussing the one child policy that was in place in China, and about how many little girls were abandoned there because of that. As a result he and his wife had adopted a little girl from China (the family went on in subsequent years to adopt three other girls from there.) When my husband heard that for some reason it really touched him. I am convinced that in that moment he had what can only be described as a "God moment!"
After our last daughter was born we had decided that our family was complete. We had four beautiful healthy girls (all eighteen months apart) and were satisfied and busy raising them as well as running a busy ranch. In short our lives were very full. That being said I still felt a bit of private sadness when we made the decision to permanently take steps to ensure we did not have more children. I loved my kids, enjoyed parenting and felt a little empty at the thoughts of there being no more babies.
When Kurt announced his thoughts that we should adopt, something within me leapt at the thought and I didn't need to really even think about it. In fact before any big discussions were had about the why and how ,I was on the phone researching the process of international adoption. Two weeks later we were attending an international adoption seminar.
Originally we put our name in for a four year old. We wanted to try to keep the gap between our youngest and the new child as small as we could. Our youngest daughter Paige was seven. The process was being drug out because at that time the SARS epidemic hit. What was supposed to be year long wait turned into two. When we finally received our proposal for a child, we were some what shocked to learn that the child being proposed was only a year old! I will say that we did have a few hours of crisis. My husband was discouraged because he was nervous about going back to the baby stage of parenting, and the gap would be wider now with our youngest being nine. He was actually quite stressed out about the whole thing… to the degree that I told him it was okay to change his mind. We could still say no…I just did not want to see the picture of the baby or know anything about her if that is the decision we needed to make. It was just too hard. I needed Kurt to be fully on board and to not feel coerced in any way and so I told him to give it some time and that I would come to terms with it if he had changed his mind. (Inside I was dying!)
I went and lay in our bedroom and well…I prayed to be honest. I prayed and cried, feeling overwhelmed with fear and sadness at the thought that this might not happen. About an hour later, Kurt came in with a measuring tape and said ,"This is how long our daughter is!" He had opened the packet, read her information and looked at her little face in the picture they had sent. That was the end of all doubts or questions. We named her Mya Faye. Two weeks later we were on our way to China to get our little baby girl.
To say I wasn't scared would be a lie. I was out of practice with babies. In a foreign country for two weeks without my other children who I had never left , and about to meet a new human being who was to become my daughter. I wondered what it would be like. Would I know what to do? Would we bond properly? Would she be healthy? A million questions kept me up until the day they put her in my arms.
I will never forget the moment they called our daughters name and our name and handed her to me! She was so tiny! We soon discovered she was in fact too tiny. Malnourished and developmentally behind from neglect, but in that moment all I can say is it was love at first sight. We have a video of that time and you can hear Kurt saying "Look at her! She's the cutest baby here!" Just like every new parent thinks their child is the most adorable, so did we!
The moment I know all would be well was later that night after all the paperwork was finished and we were finally in bed for the night. I had little Mya snuggled right in with me and could not help staring at her for most of the night. Kurt who was a sound sleeper, that night reached over me and was stroking her little face and was going on in a hushed tone about how perfect she was …how beautiful… my big rough rancher husband reduced to a teddy bear once again over his little girl. Love does strange things to us.
Mya is ten years old now. She has been a delight for every one of us in this family. When we decided to adopt we had no idea how much having her would enrich our lives.People have asked me if the feelings are the same as what they are for my biological children. That's a hard question. In some ways an unfair one. We love each of our children (adults now) equally yet in different ways. They are each unique and special. Mya is no different in that regard. What I will say is that there is not one day that goes by that we aren't thankful for that day that Kurt flipped on the radio and heard that program on adoption. Each of our adult kids won't consider having men in their lives who won't adopt… that speaks volumes I think about how much she means to each one of us. We are a blessed family and certainly a family who has come to understand that family bonds have less to do with blood lines and more to do with deep rooted love. Adopting Mya taught us that lesson and it is one that will have long reaching effects into our family tree for generations.
I think we are supposed to adopt a girl from China!