Friday, January 29, 2010

The sun is always shining......

Since many of you who read our blog are either thinking about adopting or are already in the process, I thought I would share some of my general thoughts while they are still fresh on my mind. First let me point out that our adoption was not the smoothest or quickest process. We began the process in Feb-09 and had along year of ups and downs. As we announced our exciting news to friends and family, the responses were less than supportive. People questioned our motives, our logic and even our sanity (well I even question that sometimes). We thought everyone would be jumping up and down to support us, but they didn't seem to understand. Then, one month after committing to Elisa and Vanessa, Leah called me crying after her medical evaluation. Her doctor would not sign the paperwork because he was worried about her health (bad back, arthritis, 7 kids, etc). We were devastated, but did not give up.

During this same time period, we decided to put our house on the market as we knew we would need more room when the adoption was complete. This was a huge step of faith for us as we knew there was no guarantee that the adoption would go through (especially after the problem with Leah's doctor). Additionally, I was in line for a promotion that would force me to leave San Antonio. Who in their right mind wants to buy a new house right before being relocated? We knew the real estate market was weak and expected the sale to take at least 6 months. So we listed the house and the first people through the door made a full price offer. Our first thought was "praise God", but the very next thought was "oh no!". We would have to move in the middle of the adoption process causing us to redo our home study along with many other documents (including the USCIS paperwork). Oh and none of this could be done until we found and closed on a new house which we were hesitant to do until I found out about my possible promotion.

Oh.... And in the midst of selling our house, we were throwing our one and only fundraiser dinner. We had invited hundreds of people to a benefit to help raise money for our adoption. We were so stressed and overwhelmed at this point in the process. Everything was up in the air...... the adoption, my job, our house, etc. But we did not give up. God was with us and we had His peace and His presence throughout the process. The fundraiser was a huge success raising a little over $7000. We committed to buying a new house and had our home study and other documents modified to reflect our new address. Leah and I (and our 7 kids, 2 cats, and 3 dogs) actually lived with our good friends for about 2 weeks while we were between houses.

Then, the day before we were to close on our new house, we got a devastating call..... my dad had passed away suddenly. There was no warning, no signs, nothing. This event eclipsed everything else going on in our lives including the adoption. So we moved into our new house
while preparing for my father's funeral. As we prepared to grow our family, we lost someone so dear to us. It was so hard to move forward after this event, but we didn't give up. Despite the circumstances and the delays and the frustration, we knew God had called us on this mission and we knew that only He could close the door on this adoption.

So we finally got Leah's medical paperwork signed and in late September we began preparing our dossier. There were also many delays in this process, but those delays turned out to be a blessing. See when we first committed to Elisa and Vanessa, Leah and I really wanted to adopt Arthur (Elijah), but we never considered 3 children. All of the delays in our adoption process gave us more time to think and pray about Arthur and when we realized he was still available, we knew we needed to add a third child. So at the 11th hour, we changed one simple form and added Arthur. While all of this was happening, deadlines were quickly approaching. We needed everything submitted and approved by the end of November or we were going to have to wait until March and redo most of our paperwork. On the very last Monday possible, our paperwork was submitted and we received our approval and travel date.

Our first trip was in early December and most of you were reading our blog at that time, so I won't repeat the details other than mentioning that everything went well. On the second trip, everything went well until the passport office shut down. For a few days we were told that we would not get the babies passports for approximately 2 months which would mean leaving the country without our children. We prayed and prayed until we found out that we were going to be able to get our passports. We were one of the only families in the country to get passports at this time so we knew this was an answer to prayer. Everything went smooth from that point on which leads us to where we are today...... one BIG happy family.

In closing I want to encourage all of you who are adopting or thinking about adopting. Hopefully your process will not be as long and difficult as ours, but you will have your share of problems. You will run into people who just don't understand..... you will have paperwork that has to be re-done over and over again....... you will have concerns about finances...... and you will have doubts about what you are doing. With all of this trouble, always remember why you chose to adopt..... always remember the beautiful children who are counting on you....... and always remember that God is in control!

It all came together for me as we were leaving the Ukraine to travel back home with our children. Our entire adoption process wasn't this bright exciting event..... it was riddled with troubles and uncertainty...... with clouds that often overshadowed the bigger picture. For our entire 5 weeks in the Ukraine, I don't believe that the sun came out once. Every day was overcast with clouds covering the sky, making for dreary days. As we ascended in the airplane, we lifted above the clouds and we took the following pictures while the sun was rising:

It was beautiful to see the blue skies and bright shining sun. I forgot all about the cold dreary weather we were leaving. It was truly a metaphor for our entire adoption process. No matter how cloudy it may seem..... or how difficult the process may seem..... the sun is always shining when you rise above the clouds.

Good Luck and God Bless!!!!


  1. Thank you for taking the time to write out these thoughts. I am looking forward to hearing more about how the kids are settling in. This post caused me to tear up several times. We are considering taking the plunge, but it is scary.

  2. The more I read my Bible, both alone and to my kids, the more I see the pattern you just described...God makes a promise, or gives a command to do something BIG, and then come the difficulties and battles (Joseph is a favorite of mine...holding on to his faith in God's promise while being sold and languishing in jail). It is so easy to look in from the outside and think, "Oh, of course, God said so didn't He?" It is quite another thing to keep walking forward in obedience when everything seems against you, and the popular voice seems to be, "Surely God wouldn't want you to do something so unreasonable!" That's why I love Proverbs 3:5 and 6. We are supposed to trust in Him, NOT lean on our own understanding! For the sake of others who are walking this adoption path, I'm so glad you shared the realities of your journey, so they will not be surprised when the battles come. We too often share only our victories, leaving others to wonder why only they seem to struggle. Thank you (though we are not adopting that I know of!) and may you reap every blessing of your obedience!!

  3. Thank you for sharing these thoughts from your experience.

    I want to ask ~ how did Leah convince her doctor to sign her medical forms? I am curious because we are in the beginning stages of adopting Vivienne & Laura and I am nervous about my doctor giving the 'green light' for me, too, since she worries about my having 7 children (several who have special needs) already.

  4. Awesome!!!! Thank you so much for posting this! I am going to recommend it to several people who will be truly blessed by this as I have been.
    You are an amazing family with much faith & are such an encouragement!
    I sincerely thank you for having this blog so I could journey along with you & now watch the sweeties blossom in their family.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I hope you continue to post as I have enjoyed following your story. We are in the beginning stages of adopting a little guy (Aaron) from the Ukraine - we found him on Reece's Rainbow. Your blog and so many others inspired us to take the leap of faith. This week has been ROUGH... we have a small business and panicked that our financial papers would not pass. After a few terrifying days we have been reassured that all will be well. The terror of losing a child whom we have fallen in love with yet never laid eyes on is a shock to us. We need all the reassurance we can get that all will be well in the end. I look forward to the day when I can step off the plane with my son in my arms.. safe...

  6. That must have been diffucult--but God provided! Thanks for sharing your experiances!

    We will be praying for you guys now at home with your babies!

    love, the Adamsons

  7. Tony, thank you for sharing all that. I'm exhausted reading everything you guys went through. God is God and we know that He had you in His hands throughout a very long, frustrating process. We love you guys very much and are grateful to have you in our lives! You truly have been Jesus' hands and feet to these three angels.

  8. Thanks for the recap. Glad it all worked out in the end! Your kiddos are so precious!

  9. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing this. Your family has been an inspiration to us. We have strength because of people like you. May God bless and keep you and your family in His hands.

  10. What an inspiring post. It is as much a devotional to the Lord as it is anything else. It is good to be reminded we have to rise above to reach for the son (sun) always.