Each adoption story is as individual as the child being adopted and the family they're being welcomed into. Ours started out as a foster family.
We began doing foster care almost seven years ago. At the time our first biological child was just six months old. Having lots of children in and out of our hearts and our home was a way of life and never seemed odd to our biological children as they aged. Over the years we have had numerous emergency foster care placements, both short and long term. We have had up to six children at one time living in our home, including our biological children.
Foster care was our way of helping out and sharing our lives with children in need. We didn't ever expect to adopt, we were content to fill the need that the foster care system asked of us. I'm not going to sugar coat it though, adopting our children has been one of the hardest yet most full filling things we have ever done.
Our son was placed with us for foster care just after he turned three and almost two years later we picked up his sister from the hospital nursery when she was just 3 days old. It wasn't until they were facing termination of their biological parent’s rights that we seriously started considering adoption. The realization that we could lose them to another foster family made us realize that we wanted them to become permanent members of our family, the family we had become already. Once the decision was made; the fear set in. There were hundreds of questions about whether we were doing the right thing for them or for our family. In our hearts we knew and felt that they belonged to us but we were afraid of the unknown. Charles F. Glassman wrote, "Fear and anxiety many times indicates that we are moving in a positive direction, out of the safe confines of our comfort zone, and in the direction of our true purpose." We decided to trust that this was the correct choice for our family, even if it was not the easiest one.
Our biological children have accepted their new brother and sister without question and while they have at times had to face challenges related to the difference in their races, our family is supportive of each other and we look forward to incorporating our cultural differences in our lives and embracing the diversity they add to our family. Our kids were all born in the United States but embracing their Sudanese heritage will enrich all of our lives and keep them in touch with their family history.
Our new family is the one we have chosen. Our five children fill our lives with more than occasional chaos, a never-ending mountain of laundry, lots of laughter, toys, and artwork on the walls, forts made out of sheets, crumbs and handprints. They keep our imaginations alive! Adoption was not the path we expected for our family and the road we have traveled has had its speed bumps and challenges but we have become a loving supportive family through this process and our children will live happier more tolerant lives as a result. We can’t imagine our family any other way!