Every now and then, I turn this blog over for the occasional guest blog. Usually it means that I’m in the middle of writing deadlines and I’m crunched for time. Now is no exception, though some of my writing deadlines, ironically enough, are for blogs. Adoption is a bit of a recurring theme on my blog, mostly because many of my friends are in the process of adopting children, all of them across racial lines. Since I’ve already written about one such family pursuing a multi-cultural adoption, I thought we’d hear from my friend, Stephanie Weber, first hand.

We celebrated our first “Gotcha Day” with our adopted son Noah on October 4, 2005. Gotcha Day is the first day that you are united with your adopted child. That day is burned in our memory and one of the happiest of our lives. The often painful lead up to Gotcha Day, just as in giving birth, is not nearly important as the day that you hold your new child in your arms.

We are blessed with one biological and one adopted child. We are currently in the process to adopt again, adding our third child to the mix. We are again treading water, waiting for a child that will someday join us, with God’s blessing.

With adoption, we don’t get to celebrate pregnancy or the process. For us, it’s usually a time of frustration, doubt, worry, financial strain and emotional anguish. For most of us, it comes on top of the physical, emotional and financial strain of infertility. People don’t talk about it or, you don’t want to talk about it with certain people. How do you keep the faith thru it all?

The wonderful thing about adoption, is that with patience and the finances to pursue it, you will have a child in your arms. You can’t say that with the biological process, regardless if you have experienced infertility issues or not. There are so many children that need homes, here in the US and all over the world. Now in the US, people are adopting more often and more open about it. Via the internet, you can communicate with countless people that are in very similar situations. I was often comforted during our waiting time by people at forums.adoption.com.

We got to see faith in action thru adoption. As we are adopted into God’s family, so we add children into ours. We are not added to God until we are ready, and our children come to us in the perfect time for them and for us. Some children slip through our fingers, and we have to trust in God and his infinite wisdom. I can’t imagine making the adoption journey without God. Following is our story.

As I had lived in Japan and spoke the language, we had looked into adopting from Japan but found it generally took around 2 years and cost over $30,000. We then began the private adoption process, with the intent to adopt a black or biracial child. We wanted a child in need, whatever that need might be. As a Caucasian couple, it wasn’t important to us that our child “match” us. As an international minded couple, we wanted to add a culture to our family to celebrate.

The agency for Japan contacted us and told us they had a Japanese/Congolese baby about to be born and wanted to know if we’d be interested. We’d just finished our home study a month before for domestic adoption and immediately began amending it for this child. Two months later, as we waited for news about “our child,” we found out he’d been born with health concerns and was no longer eligible for adoption. We petitioned the Japanese agency, letting them know about our local children’s hospital and our commitment to the little boy but we were denied, told that his problems were too much for a family to handle. Devastated, we were asked if they could keep our names and that we might have another match in 6 months to 2 years.

We began our private adoption process again. Two weeks later, the same day that a local pregnant birth mother had chosen us to parent her child, we got a call from Japan. They had a baby boy born with a cleft palate and wondered if we’d be interested. We both knew that we wanted the little boy from Japan.

The next 6 months were very difficult. We were first told that we could probably bring him home after 3 to 4 months. At 2 months, they told us they wanted to keep him until 5 months for another check up. Afraid that we were going down the same path as the first matched child, we again petitioned for him, sending them lots of pamphlets from our children’s hospital, letting them know that he was “our child,” regardless of health problems and whatever the issue, he’d do better with us, at home.

God matched us 3 days shy of Noah’s 6 month birthday. We took our older daughter to Japan with us and got to spend 2 weeks together in Tokyo, adjusting to being a family of four.

Our son has some health problems but so did our daughter. I know that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. It’s written that trials bring us closer to God, to conform us to the likeness of Christ. While I don’t like the pain, and I have days where I doubt that truth, I know that God’s plan is always better than mine. When I look back at the trials that brought us Noah, I would go thru it all again, to have my son in my arms.

May God bless you and keep you as you wait for your “Gotcha Day.”

Feel free to share your adoption stories with me. I’d love to hear them, plus, I know my friends would love to see what other folks are going through.

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