Jennifer Wants a Family: A Summer Hosting Story
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Keeping Connected to Kin
When we began the matching process it seemed so overwhelming at first. In my heart I wanted to bring home all of the sweet children I saw. How could I choose just one? As we were beginning the process of looking through photos and files of children, my daughter came home from school to tell me that her friend´s mother would love to speak with me about adoption as they had adopted three children.
When I called her the first question on my mind was, How do you know which child to choose? I was not prepared for the amazing and profound advice she gave me. She said, ¨If you were to walk into a room and start scanning that room for your daughter, your eyes would immediately stop when you found her because her face is familiar to you.¨ She said, surprisingly, you will have a similar experience when you see the child that you will adopt.
Of course, it isn't exactly the same, because this is a child you have never seen before. However, there will be a familiarity and a knowing inside your mind and your heart that this is your child. I was grateful for this advice and prayed that I would have that feeling when I saw the child that we would adopt. I never could have imagined how true this was and how beautiful it would be to feel that sense of familiarity in a child´s face.
The next day, I began scanning through pictures of waiting children and as my eyes came across this little 5 year old girl, there was a familiarity in her face, for a moment she looked like my daughter when she was 5 years old. I clicked on the picture and read a little about her, there was a sense of knowing, of familiarity in her sweet little face. I became so excited at the thought of adding her to our family. There was a joy in my heart and something different that I felt when considering this little one than I had felt with any other child we had considered. Though I felt excitement I also felt a little hesitation, I had never thought we would adopt a child who was blind. Despite that little hesitation, I couldn't deny that familiarity I felt and I knew in my heart she was our child.
When I approached my husband to tell him how I felt about this little girl he was a little hesitant at first as well. I knew that blindness was not a special need we had ever considered before and that he would have a lot of questions. We reached out to a couple families who had adopted blind children and in a matter of a couple of days learned so much and our minds began to be at ease. My husband continued looking through waiting child profiles and wanted to continue considering other children. I prayed that we would be able to make this decision in unity and I waited patiently for him to come to know what I already knew in my heart. He knew how I felt about her and prayed to know for himself and when he woke up the next morning, he turned to me and said, she is supposed to be in our family and I know it for sure now. Our hearts were both filled with excitement, anticipation and joy in knowing that she was our daughter.
Looking back I now understand that you must have an open heart and open mind when searching for your child. When we found the little girl that was to be our daughter, her special needs were not what we had expected, but even as we wait to bring her home, our lives have been enriched as we prepare for her. Learning Mandarin to help her adjustment, studying all we can about her condition and how to help her succeed in life has been a beautiful experience. My best advice is to let that beautiful experience into your life when that little familiar face finds you.
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