make way: our adoption story


It's hard to know when adoption first snuck into our hearts.  In a way it feels like it's always been there slumbering, waiting to hatch at just the right time in our family's story.

But there are a few key moments (we call them kairos moments - when time stands still and you realize that things will never be quite the same) we can point to as stepping stones on our journey to adoption.

  • A foundation is laid: As teenagers, both Eric and I were blessed by the opportunities to visit other countries and expand our worldview beyond our protected suburban life.  To see firsthand that there are families in the world who struggle to feed their kids each day does something in a person's insides that you cannot reverse.
  • A holy sorrow emerges: In college, I studied abroad in Guatemala.  I visited orphanages full of children who would never live anywhere else because they could never be adopted for various reasons.  I have a vivid memory of the room full of children - all under three years old, nearly a hundred of them - lining benches at meal time.  One near me was crying, but with not enough adult hands to attend to so many, she was left alone to self-soothe.  I couldn't resist the chance to comfort her and I lifted her up and sat her on my lap.  I then realized why she was probably crying - her pants were soaked with urine.  And now mine were, too.  I held her close and whispered comfort to her as she clung to me.  I can still smell the mix of urine and dirt that had soaked into my jeans.  My friend and I were silent with shock and grief the whole way home and I stared out the window of the bus, weeping.
  • A conversation begins: Eric and I married and had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia with our church and a child sponsorship agency.  On the way home, there were nearly a dozen newly adopted children traveling home with their new families.  Something happened in my heart as I observed a baby girl clinging to her new mommy.  This sparked our first serious discussion about adopting.  
  • A tragedy reawakens a dream: Our friends fought and lost a torturous 2.5 year court battle for the right to remain the parents of their adopted daughter.  My heart fell apart when their daughter's birthfather won the final appeal and they had to drop their baby girl off at a near-stranger's house and drive away.  For having witnessed a real life adoption horror story, we surprisingly came away with an even sweeter taste in our mouth for adoption.  We began to feel that slumbering dream of adding to our family through adoption stirring in us again.
  • A call is heard and answered: We attended a retreat of sorts with our church during which we were asked to really examine a recent kairos moment and ask ourselves what God might be saying to us and what we should do about it.  My answers to those questions were: God is saying: "Just ask some questions about adoption.  See what happens!" and  I should: Just ask some questions and see what happens!

Eric and I began asking those questions:  What are our options? How much does it cost? Is this a practical time for our family? Do the people in our life think this seems like a good fit for us?  

And what happened was more and more of those answers came back as "yes!" So we just kept asking the next question we could think of.  Eventually we found ourselves seriously considering international adoption and we had only three final questions:
What agency?
What country?
Now or later?

We find ourselves today with all of those questions answered: 
Children's Hope International
Ethiopia**
NOW!  

And we now have many new questions:  Is our next child a boy or a girl?  How old is he or she?  Is she born yet?  When will we know his name?  How long until we get to bring her home?  

We are counting down the days until we have all of those questions answered!  Thank you for joining us on our journey.  If you are the sort who appreciates details, you can click here for the (much) longer version of our story.  For a detailed timeline of our adoption(s) click here.

P.S. If you want to know the reason behind the name "Make Way," click here.

**In October 2012, we began a concurrent adoption of a child with special needs in China.  Click here to read about that decision!**

***On December 12, 2012 our plans changed when we were asked to consider a baby girl with Down's Syndrome.  Read all about that here.***