A family story: Doing the Hard things
We are so excited to journey with the Thompson family as they prepare to bring their daughter home from India. We are honored to walk this road with them.
It's been almost four years since my husband and I had our first real conversation about adoption. Until then, it had been this abstract thing — this thing that was a noble thing to do, a good thing to do, maybe for us, someday, but probably reserved for other people — people richer than us, more established than us, more ready than us.
And then suddenly it was us.
We were fairly new parents, with a big stack of bills and an insecure job future. If a list existed of people equipped to adopt a child, especially one from halfway around the world, our names weren't near the top. We maybe weren't even on the list.
But we forged ahead, sometimes not looking at the millions of steps we needed to take, but just looking at the next one. We filled out paperwork, we filled out more paperwork, and we wrote a couple small checks and a couple bigger ones.
We picked a name for a girl who we didn't know hadn't even been born yet. We weighed every penny spent against whether it was more important than giving her a home, and in the process learned how much we can do without.
We prayed. We held fund-raisers. We became humbled by the generosity of our family, our friends, and people we barely know.
And then, after almost two years of paperwork, and thanks to some efforts by our adoption agency, AWAA, we were matched with a little girl. A little girl, six months old at the time, a little girl with the most piercing dark eyes and the bravest little smile, who didn't yet know that she needed someone to take care of her.
We didn't know that we needed her, too.
This little girl, whose picture melted me then and melts me now, ignited in us a fire, a passion, to stand up for her, and the estimated more than 150 million orphans in the world, who have no one to tell them they matter.
Because she matters.
When we filled out the initial application, four years ago, sitting in a condo in Destin, FL, we could barely wrap our minds around the final result — that we would actually bring a child home. We just did the next thing, and then the next thing, and then the next thing.
And it was hard. Oh my goodness, it was hard. Some days it was really, really, really hard. The paperwork. The endless questions. The paperwork. The sometimes painful checks we wrote. The paperwork.
But then we saw her picture, and the work didn't matter anymore. She didn't have a say in how she was brought into the world, or the circumstances surrounding her situation. She was born innocent, just like my son and every other child, into a world where people make bad choices.
How could I not do the hard things for her? How could I not?
And now here we are. In a couple days, we will get on a plane, and we will go get her. And we will bring her home and she will be ours. She will be raised by an ever-patient father and a mother who tries really, really, really hard and stumbles a lot along the way. She will know the love of so many people, who have fought for her, advocated for her, prayed for her, and believed in her.
In the last few days, I've been getting caught up in the details. Travel arrangements. So. much. paperwork. Tying up loose ends. Packing. Finishing work so I don't have to work in India. Making sure my son gets enough attention.
And then, I remember. I remember that soon there will be one less orphan. One less. We cannot do it all, but for our daughter, for one… we can.
One less orphan. Soon. One less.
And maybe the hard work is really just beginning.
You can also fill out a free pre-application here.
Gayle Thompson is blogging through their adoption at gaylelthompson.blogspot Continue to check in with us as their adoption story unfolds.