It Started with a Stork…Our Adoption Story

StorkI’ve always felt a certain kinship with Captain Hook. While a mean and menacing man, he and I have something in common—the tick-tock of a clock is most unpleasant. Which is why I’ve always been relieved that my biological clock never gave me so much as a tick, never mind a tock.

And while I did love Peter Pan as a child, I was much more of a Dumbo sort of girl. We nearly wore out the VCR with that one. I just loved that Baby Dumbo—so sweet, so innocent, so…delivered by a stork. Interesting.

Another favorite childhood movie, The Fox and the Hound, features an orphaned fox, Tod, becoming best friends with a hound, Copper. To build a deep and everlasting bond, one does not need to be related, or even all that similar.

While my life is not a fairytale, it’s pretty darn good. My husband and I are very much in love, we have a nice home, good jobs and peaceful days. So it can come as quite a shock when we share our very non-traditional plan to adopt—that is, to adopt without even trying to have kids biologically. Adoption has always been my plan, and my husband is 100% on board.

While Walt Disney loved stories of orphans and unlikely friends, the real world does not often go this route. They should. There are an estimated 143 million orphans worldwide. No matter how one comes to adoption, the only thing that matters to the child you adopt is that you got there.

According to http://adoption.state.gov/about_us/statistics.php, there were 400 adoptions in the state of Florida in 2012. More were girls than boys, and the majority were 1-2 years old, with 5-12 years old in second place.

According to http://www.statisticbrain.com/adoption-statistics/, 25% of adoptions in the US are international, however, 40% of all adoptions overall in our country are transracial.

We began our adoption paperwork in October 2012, and are just now, in September 2013, close to getting our “referral.” In the adoption world, a referral is basically when they share with you the identity of the child that you will adopt, so long as everything goes smoothly. That’s the thing with adoption, especially international adoption—keep your expectations and your excitement levels low and you’ll be much more tolerant of all the time and paperwork it takes!  After we get our referral, we can expect to wait at least another eight months until we can travel to Africa bring our little one home.

I’m often asked “why ?” The response is pretty simple for us—after researching and learning about the staggering conditions that international orphans face, we really couldn’t consider anything else. We’ve chosen what is almost certainly the most difficult way to grow our family. We’ll weather the uncertainties, the unknowns and the fears that come with adopting a child from one of the poorest countries in the world. We’ll study how best to raise an adopted child, a child with skin color different from us, and apply what we learn every day for the rest of our lives.

Oh, and we’ll basically have the gestation period of an elephant. From start to finish, we’ll be waiting for our child for just about 2 years. You know, upon further reflection, Mrs. Jumbo had it easy when baby Dumbo was delivered by a stork.

Hey Orlando moms! Have you adopted? Is adoption something you’ve considered? Share your story with us! We’d love to hear from you.

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