Last night while I was rocking Maria, Jeremy was getting ready to pick my parents up at the airport who were returning home from visiting Nick, Meredith and Jake in Germany. It made me think about all the time I spent traveling with my last company and the scene I saw replayed over and over again as I would return home from Cleveland or Chicago on many a late Friday night. Coming through the terminal, welcome banners and excited family and friends would be waiting to meet a child who had been adopted from a foreign country and was finally home. Sometimes the children were toddlers, other times, a little older, but all were clinging to their new moms. I always loved this scene and without fail, it brought tears to my eyes as I marveled at how awesome adoption is and often wondered about their story. I also envisioned us in a very similar situation some day. At the time, adopting embryos wasn’t even on my radar and I was convinced that one day, Jeremy and I would be bringing a little girl home from China. As I thought a little more, I see how I was being prepared at a very young age for adoption. I distinctly remember a little girl being adopted from Korea by a family my brother played soccer with when I was only 4 or 5 years old. I was intrigued by her and even then thought it was pretty awesome. A few years later, when I was around middle school age, my mom was involved in community theatre with a woman who also adopted a little girl from Korea. Again, I was intrigued.
When I was 21, I went on a short-term mission trip to Romania and worked with children in two different orphanages. It was in the state orphanage in Braila where my desire to adopt was solidified when I met a set of twins, Mihaela and Sarah. Twins are not an uncommon occurrence in Romanian orphanages due to the financial implications of two babies. I was instantly attached to these little girls who were 16 months old. My first day there Sarah was a bit hesitant, but my second day, she reached up for me and my heart melted. Again, I think this was early preparation for what lay ahead for Jeremy and me. I eventually learned that adopting from Romania was nearly impossible due to many of their rules and government corruption, so I started researching other countries and was drawn to China. I remember Jeremy calling one night while he was at work and I excitedly started telling all about Chinese adoption and how I thought we should pursue this avenue one day. He said he wasn’t opposed, but in typical Jeremy fashion, he asked if we actually had to go to China, to which I replied “yes.” He followed up by asking if they could just mail her to us…you know…UPS or FedEx? We laughed about this and put China on the back burner because at the time we weren’t yet 30 years old, which is a requirement for China adoptions.
Now look at us. I never could have drawn up our life like this. I do know, though, that I was being prepared for adoption for many years. I don’t know what our future holds with regards to international adoption and know that God will either open or close that door. We just have to listen. I’m thankful that embryo adoption has allowed us to experience the fears and joys of adoption, while also getting to experience the ups and downs of pregnancy and beyond.