Before there were the children, there was just us.
We adopted nine children in just a little over ten years. We never intended our family to become so large so quickly. We adopted our first four children from the U.S., through private adoption situations.
Then we met our three Ghanaian children.
We went from a family of six to a family of nine in under a year. The transition wasn’t easy, but it was beautiful. It was because of our then seven children that we decided to adopt again. It was because of them that we leapt out in faith again. This time, we entered the world of special needs adoption.
Our daughter, Tess, is from China and was labeled ‘terminally ill’ by the country that had given birth to her. She’s not, but the idea of it was so very frightening. We all had to take that step together though, and we became stronger because of it. After adopting our baby girl, the idea of special needs adoption became less scary, and our kids, once again, rallied for another sibling.
This time, we found our son, waiting in China, just like his sister had been. Our son is our first experience with a visible special need. It turns out though, that aside from his size, his need is a non-need. On a daily basis, it doesn’t effect him in the slightest. He is an amazing little boy.
Cate was born with a visual impairment and a whole lot of sass. She was cared for at a medical foster home in Beijing. They saved her life.
Genevieve (Gigi) was born Deaf, blind in her left eye and with a heart defect that we didn’t understand at the time, but that has come to rival Tess’s. Heart defect aside, Deaf/blind was another leap of faith. We threw ourselves headlong into learning American Sign Language (ASL).
It was our experience with Gigi, and all that her deafness brought to our family, that had us searching the world for another Deaf child. In March of 2018, we ALL (yes, all 13 of us) went to Colombia to bring Isabel (Isa) home. She is a natural born troublemaker and the light of our lives.