Finding Family in a Far Away Land
This post is written by Amanda Wall, author of “Finding Family in a Far-Away Land.”
As hopeful parents it’s natural to carry expectations of what our lives may look like with the addition of children. We read books, attend adoption training, babysit and yet we still often find ourselves emotionally ill-prepared for life’s journey. As a parent with biological children, I was quick to notice that a nurse hands you a birth plan at the hospital, but no one gives you an adoption plan. Adoption specialists must have known it would get tossed right out the window! God has humbled me multiple times in my journey to becoming a mother and the one thing He is consistently teaching me is to get comfortable with the unforeseen, bumpy, and surprising moments in adoption and parenthood.
A little over 3 years ago, my husband and I, and our two biological children set out to India to adopt our youngest daughters. We began our day with a 3-hour drive to a small city in India where we passed countryside, rice fields, sugar cane and straw huts. With little time to spare, we headed straight to the court building. The court consisted of one room with fold out tables in a very dilapidated concrete structure. Our family’s future was left on the shoulders of a discerning judge that had only granted one other international adoption case. Our soon to be daughters were brought into the building by a caring Auntie. Due to unfortunate circumstances, we could not meet them in their children’s home the day prior. Meeting your matched child in a room full of strangers, anticipating their own court cases, was certainly not ideal. Yet, like a stream of sunshine that makes its way across the room, these two, beautiful, little beings walked in, clothed in ornate dresses and bangles. We were speechless and in love, but those feeling were not initially reciprocated. Our sweet girls were frightened as their eyes displayed terror and confusion. They hid behind chairs but could not stop looking at us. We prayed for curiosity as we reached into our pockets to pull out massive, sugary gumdrops. In hindsight, spicy samosas would have been a better icebreaker!
My family and I relish these memories despite the less than picture perfect events that occurred that day. More often, I am learning to see the beauty in those raw moments because they encompass our family story. We each have our cherished family stories and I encourage you to write them down.
After months of being home, my daughters, Priya and Ari, had many questions about their adoption, as children often do. I started writing down my daughters’ memories as those quickly fade. I began the search for adoption books, but I landed upon generic stories that did not speak of the international transition. Wanting to empower my children and help them process the bumpy and unexpected events they endured, I wrote our family’s story, “Finding Family in a Far-Away Land, An Adoption Story.”
The story is told from Priya’s perspective as she is the oldest and remembers the journey vividly. She shares her and Ari’s every step as they move to new country full of unexpected sights, sounds and smells. Priya and Ari try brussels sprouts, sleep on a bed with legs, visit the Doctor and overcome their fear of dogs. Even while adapting to their new family culture, they remain proudly connected to their Indian heritage. Towards the end of the story, Priya proudly declares, “Even though I left India it will forever be a part of me. No matter where I go, I will be a spicy-loving, bangle-wearing, Diwali-dancing Priya!”
My family’s hope in sharing our story is empower children, educate on an international adoption experience, and provide insight to all children wanting to learn about multicultural families and adoption. We encourage you to use our experience as an avenue to discuss your upcoming adoption or own life story.
I am honored to provide this book as a gift to America World families. If you would like to receive one of the 75 books available of “Finding Family in a Far-Away Land” please request your copy here. If you’d like to purchase a copy for a friend, family member or your child’s school library, you can do so here.
Blessings and happy reading! Amanda Wall
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