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Adoption From India: The Duncan Family’s Story

Guest post from adoptive mom Lynette Duncan.

Our adoption was easy.

There I said it. Have your laughs, your snorts, whatever. It was
easy from start to finish and overall, a fairly uneventful story.


But before you cast me off as delusional or a liar or braggart,
please reread what I wrote. Our adoption was easy. As in, the process
was easy. Getting to the point at which we brought son, Anshu, home was easy. We
didn't have the sob story in which our son was locked behind an iron curtain of
bureaucracy or red tape. Our paperwork was never lost or denied. His orphanage
was great with communication (and photos!) and took great care of him. We were
allowed to send him presents several times. Everything happened in a fairly
predictable time frame. Every single thing we prayed for, the Lord answered in
some way. I try to give glory to Him for this whenever I can. Sure the wait was
hard and I turned into an emotional mess, but that's all part of it. Even after
coming home, we have never, not ever once ever, been asked all those
annoying questions from the public. Never a “hey, is that your real
son?” or a “how much did he cost?” 

We felt the Lord calling us to adopt in June of 2011. Here's that story. There was no “my
husband is dragging his feet, but I'm just certain” scenario. We were on
the same page the whole time, and if anything, I dragged my feet a lot longer
than he did. We didn't really question which country to choose from. God placed
India in our hearts about thirteen years ago while listening to a speaker from
Gospel for Asia present to our college Christian group. After that, we loved
India in a way that didn't make sense for two young white American kids with a
fairly narrow world view. We semi-freaked-out over fundraising, but God
provided us with some really great ideas and a great team of helpers, so there
was never a time in which we didn't have the money we needed. 

The process took 19 months from start to finish. That is
amazingly short in Indian standards. India has changed the rules many times in
the past few years and we somehow slipped into a gap of stability and
predictability during our registration and court processes. Our referral was a
miracle from God. You can read about it here. (Really,
go read it, it's amazing. God is so so good.) We waited two months to be
matched with a RIPA after we were registered in country, another two months to
mail our dossier to the RIPA, and another two months for a referral. It took
another 8 months to bring our son home. 


Our travel was ah-maze-ing. We were told every horror story
imaginable about what to expect- that we would get sick, that our son would cry
constantly and grieve deeply, that we wouldn't be able to leave our hotel room,
that our son would run away from us, that the orphanage would rudely demand the
clothes off his back before we could take him, that the flight home would rival
the seventh level of hell. The details of the day we met our son are HERE. He happily sat on my lap and blew kisses
to the orphanage director when we left. They dressed him and his little best
friend in brand new matching outfits and encouraged us to take the clothes home
as a gift. Our time in the hotel was great. We played and sang songs. He ate
really well. Occasionally, he would cry, but mostly he napped a LOT. Things
went so well, that we were actually able to visit the Taj Mahal! We visited
markets, we toured ancient forts, we ate at authentic restaurants, we had a
great time with our new son. And the flight home? He slept for almost the
entire trip. Not a fuss, not a whimper. The crowd waiting for us at the airport
was big and enthusiastic. Big sisters accepted him from day one and have never
stopped loving him. (As I write this, one big sister hopped off the couch to
kiss her brother's cheek for no reason. No bonding problems there!)




Like I said, easy.


Despite everything being “easy”, and everything going
smoothly, and our adoption being “best case scenario”, adoption
is still one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life.

The process of meshing hearts and building family where there naturally isn't
any connection at all is hard work. It is work that only God can do. It is hard
watching a little boy fight against gestures of love or acceptance because
those feelings are so foreign to him. It's hard to watch your own heart react
in ways that are unloving or impatient when you assumed it would be naturally
easy. It's hard that despite the hours of training you completed and the piles
of books you had to read, you still have no idea what you're doing.

The last 8 months home have been filled with highs and lows. Every
day is filled with highs and lows. We've gone on some great family


Yet, we battle twice a day when the toothbrush comes out of the
cabinet. If there is one thing I've learned for sure, is that I need Jesus more
now than ever before. If I had a do-over, I would have obsessed more about
Jesus during our wait than about what size clothing Anshu might wear or how to
pack our luggage.  I would have devoured
the Scriptures while I still had free time. I would have done everything in my
power to latch my heart onto Him, because you don't realize just how flaky your
heart can be until you're in the middle of a control battle over a tiny bite of
pork chop that someone has been refusing to swallow for over 2 hours.

Hindsight is
20/20, right? Sometimes adoption is really, really easy! And your time
at home together can be really, really easy too, if you let God make the
preparations. Thanks for letting me share our story with you. I'm disappointed
that it's not a perfect story like I assumed it would be, but God's still
writing it. If you would like to read more about us, please check out my blog
And I'd love to hear your story, too!



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