“You have less than a 0% chance of conceiving a child.”
Those are words a couple doesn’t expect to hear when they set out on the path to start a family. As we sat in a cold exam room, that was the reality my husband and I were facing. My mind has often gone back to that moment during our adoption journey. In a way I’m thankful that the door on what we thought our family was going to look like was closed so firmly. It opened us up to a different picture. The picture of a little girl waiting in India with beautiful black hair, a smile that could melt anyone, and the most beautiful eyes!
In February of 2013, we took an enormous leap of faith and said yes to pursuing a little girl who was then just a few words on the other end of a phone call… “I have the file of a girl who I think is a good match for your family. She’s not yet two years old. Her birthday is the 4th of July. She is blind.” In April of 2013, when we finally saw her face, any doubts we had melted away.
We climbed mountains of paperwork. We opened our lives for inspection. A few months into our process, we got the news that we were stuck in limbo. The circumstances were completely out of our control. All we could do was wait. But we knew that we were fighting for our girl to finally know the love of a forever family.
We used the time to learn as much as we could about our daughter’s medical conditions and we poured ourselves into learning as much as we could about India. I did my best to replicate some of our favorite Indian recipes and befriended one of the ladies at our local Indian grocery store.
She encouraged me in my endeavors and would help when I brought her recipes. Though, still, when I bring her the recipe that Jason and I love, I get a resounding “Not yet, you not ready!” from my guide into Indian cooking. We also attended our first cultural event at the local Hindu Temple. The festival of Diwali: the celebration of the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi. This holiday is also the cultural celebration of light and the triumph of good over evil. We felt that through attending this event and others like it, we would get a very important window into our daughter’s culture and we were right! We had a ball even though we were very obviously the only people not of Indian descent in attendance which resulted in Jason being asked to be a judge for the Hindu gods and goddesses costume contest!! We left feeling a little more connected to our Cora.
We celebrated birthdays without her to blow out first 2 and then 3 candles. We prayed. And we prayed. And we prayed. On my second Mother’s Day without our daughter, my husband took all of the pictures we had received of our daughter and had a beautiful blanket made for me. I had visions of the day I would wrap her in that blanket at home.
In March of 2014, after months in limbo, we received news that our case was finally moving forward. We made sure that all of our paperwork was up to date. We gathered, notarized, and had certified more mountains of papers. By the end of 2014 our case was ready to go through India’s court system and in February of 2015, Cora Lakshmi was officially our daughter. We were only waiting on a passport. A few short weeks later, we were on our way to India.
On April 13, 2015, almost exactly 2 years from the moment we saw her tiny baby picture, we were in India, sitting in the orphanage director’s office, and hearing our daughter’s shoes slap on the tile floor. Her tiny voice echoed down the hall saying, “Mommy Daddy coming!” Our hearts leapt and the picture of our family that we thought had been shattered in a cold doctor’s office was suddenly crystal clear.
Our two weeks in India were some of the most amazing and most difficult of my life. Cora Lakshmi’s trust and love grew slowly and she showed us how remarkably brave, smart, and determined she is. We were amazed by the beauty and rich culture of India.
Now that we are home, our beautiful daughter has blossomed and grown so much. Cora Lakshmi is a brave, smart, funny little girl. Her joy radiates and brightens the world around her. She loves to sing and she dances with every step! Blindness does not slow her down at all! In fact, she doesn’t think she is any different from any other kid. She thinks everyone sees like she does! We think Cora Lakshmi is absolutely beautiful just the way she is and we can’t wait to see the enormous plans God has in store for her! We feel blessed beyond measure that God chose us to be her Mommy and Daddy!