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A Beautiful Story of Surrender - Adopting a Boy from India

A Beautiful Story of Surrender

By Kylee Leonard, America World Adoptive Mom

My husband, Andrew, and I both wanted to adopt before we got married. I watched my youth pastor and his wife adopt their daughter from the Congo and knew that I wanted to do that someday. Plus, we both love the picture of the Gospel that adoption is: God bringing us into His family through faith in Christ and calling us his sons and daughters.

Adopting Micah

Boy Adoption IndiaWe had researched several countries, not knowing that each had its own specifications for adoptive parents. We quickly realized that we didn’t qualify for some countries. India had been on our minds because we knew there were a lot of orphans there. However, though we had both traveled to different parts of the world, India seemed overwhelming and overstimulating, so initially, we avoided it.

One day, still unsure of what direction to take, I Googled “Adoptions from India.” From my end, it was a bit of a whim; on God’s end, it was providence! One of the first links that popped up was America World. I clicked on it and watched the Needhams’ adoption video. I showed it to Andrew, and we both felt a draw to the India program.

We loved that America World had the same values behind adoption as we did. We decided to move forward, and the Lord “directed our paths” from there. Now, having gone through the Indian adoption process, we have received from the Lord a deep love for India and its people that we didn’t have before.

Our first adoption was finalized on September 21, 2021. Micah, our son, was two years old at the time of pick-up. We couldn’t believe we were seeing this precious face in person after waiting and staring at his pictures for so long. Now, Micah is a happy, silly, and endearing four-year-old little boy. We have watched him go from stress and fear to a place of peace and functioning in our family.

His name means, “Who is like the Lord?” It has been evident in his life and in our adoption of Him that the answer to that question is an emphatic, “No one!” This is the God who cares for the lonely and sets them in families. Who is sovereign, kind, good, and cares for the littlest of babies. There is no one else like Him!

The Adjustment Home

Adopting a Boy from IndiaThe adjustment home was both hard and beautiful. Micah had trauma from life as an orphan, stress from an overstimulating and new world outside the orphanage, and challenges from the transition home with a new family. While attachment was going well, Micah struggled with being hyperactive during the day. He didn’t know how to be gentle with others, so often, he would resort to hurting others when he was upset. When it was time for bed, he couldn’t turn off the world and didn’t want to lose any more control, so he would throw fits and get aggressive. He would scratch himself, and he had some manipulative behaviors.

The first six months were a beautiful, exhausting, and hard season for our family. There was so much healing that was beginning for Micah and so many growing pains as we all learned how to be a family together.

My husband and I often prayed for wisdom on how to help Micah, and the Lord provided that every step of the way. Sometimes, it came through a creative idea on how to address a certain behavior; sometimes, it came through the encouragement of another adoptive mom; sometimes, it came through time in scripture; and sometimes, it came through the advice of an adoption doctor.

Adopt a Boy from IndiaThrough adopting Micah, we learned from the Lord how to love more like He loves. His love is self-sacrificing, enduring, and steadfast. Many days, I woke up wondering how I would love that day, and the Lord always provided and sustained me, even though my love was imperfect. Everyone in our family has become more patient and more merciful because of Micah, something I would never trade.

Micah still has some underlying challenges. He loves predictability and knowing what to expect. Sometimes, when a day takes a turn or his schedule changes, he has a hard time adjusting and being flexible. His reactions to getting a scratch or feeling a little hot or cold are sometimes exaggerated, and he struggles to calm down. In so many ways, Micah has grown exponentially. At the core, we still see some behaviors that indicate there is still more healing that needs to happen. Sometimes I worry about this, especially in regard to the future. But then I remember that I can trust the Lord to heal Micah in new ways. I can trust God with Micah’s heart and mind.

Called to Adopt Again

At the beginning of 2023, we began praying about adopting again. My husband was confident that it was the Lord’s plan for us. But me? I had to wrestle in prayer with the Lord. I had to surrender my fear of discomfort to him.

After three months of prayer, it was evident to me that the Lord wanted me to follow Him again into the unknown, uncomfortable, beautiful surrender that adoption is. It was a powerful moment pushing the “submit application” button, this time going in knowing more of what cost I would pay. I can say that we are overjoyed to join Jesus in his sacrificial love, bearing the pain of another, getting the joy of meeting and knowing a new child, and experiencing his provision every step of the way.

When Andrew and I were in India for the first time, we both said, “I hope that we come back.” We chose India again because it has become such a special part of our family. We are excited for Micah to share Indian heritage with a little brother and to share adoption with a sibling. Our prayer is that these brothers will become the best of friends with a strong bond.

Also, we just matched in February with our new eleven-month-old son, whom we are naming Shepard! We are excited to be on this journey again and watching for what the Lord has to teach us along the way.

Adopting Boys from India

We are so grateful to Kylee for sharing her family’s beautiful, vulnerable adoption story! In our India program, we have a huge need for families like the Leonards who are open to adopting boys. A majority of people who want to adopt seek girls, so many available boys — some of them very young — wait longer for their families.

Want some inspiration? Check out the Needham family adoption videos, which were a part of the Leonards’ adoption journey:

Also, visit our Learn About Adoption page for resources about adoption in general. We’d be honored to walk with you on your journey.




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