We continue the Klein's adoption story today, if you have not read Part 1, be sure too!
So there we were, richly blessed with four children—two through birth, and two through adoption. On the one hand we were content with our family and on the other hand we were open to any other blessings the Lord would send our way.
With our adoption of Kiana, who is of mixed heritage, we had also entered the category of a transracial family. As we continued to learn more about adoption, we realized it would be good to have another child in our family who could mirror Kiana's darker skin and curly, ethnic hair. We had been so blessed by growing our family through adoption, and we felt we still had room in our hearts and home for another child, so we started praying about adopting again in 2009.
I had been reading a blog written by a woman who lived in Alabama (we lived in Missouri) for over a year and had prayed through their process of bringing home their infant son, Kai. One day she had a guest blogger who wrote about the preference many potential adoptive families have for a healthy child who “looks like them” (mostly Caucasian) and the need for families who are willing to adopt children of color, children who have been exposed to drugs, or have other special needs. The author worked with a network of adoption agencies to find families for all children. When I shared this post with my husband, he told me to email the author to learn more.
Imagine our surprise when the author lived in Kansas City and knew the social worker and agency who had facilitated our previous two adoptions! We decided to complete our home study, update our profile for potential birthmothers to get to know our family, and sign up with this worker. In January of 2010 we were matched with a woman who was due with a baby girl on March 17. We were very excited and had fun getting ready (we had never had time to really prepare after being matched in the other adoptions). We decorated a room for her, some friends had a shower for her, and I froze several meals in preparation for my mom to watch the other children while we traveled to Florida where she would be born.
Unfortunately, this story ended with what is called a “failed adoption” when she decided to have her mom parent the baby instead of us. This was a hard time for us as there were some unhealthy family cycles that had been repeated through the generations and we were concerned that this little girl would end up in foster care as her mother had before her since her grandmother had not changed her lifestyle, but we had to just trust in God and entrust her to Him.
As we healed from this experience, we were presented in other situations, but nothing came of them until July when we received a call from a woman on the 21st who was due the 29th. She had a series of challenging questions as she interviewed us to see if we would be the best family for her son. “How will your family accept a brown baby? How will you handle racist comments? How do you discipline your children? Why do you homeschool? Do you have a pond or pool? Are you CPR certified? What is your religion? Why do you want another child?” Her son was born on the 25th and she still was undecided about making an adoption plan. Finally, on the 29th, she called with one more question: “Do you promise to send pictures? I have to know how he's doing,” and then she asked us to be in Florida the next day at noon to pick him up.
We chose the first name Tyrell for this beautiful little boy and kept the name Damian from his birthmother as his middle name.
While we rejoiced to add him to our family and believe “every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17), this adoption cemented for us that adoption invariably involves loss. Whether parents die or are in a situation that they can't physically or emotionally give their child all they want for them, adoption involves loss. Birthparents lose the years of day-to-day interaction with their child, and children lose their first parents. It is a time of rejoicing, yes, that a mother has chosen life for her child in this age where life is not valued. It is a time of rejoicing to have a child to love. But there is loss and mourning as a price to pay.
Nearly four years later, life had continued racing along. My husband changed jobs and we moved to Iowa (where we had both been raised) as the children grew older. I celebrated my 40th birthday and figured our days of adopting were probably over, as I doubted anyone would choose us to parent a baby at this age. However, we received an email from a friend of a friend who wondered if we would be willing to adopt again. She knew of an agency who had 16 pregnant women wanting to make adoption plans, but the agency didn't have enough adoptive parents to present to them.
So just this year, we said yes again and were soon chosen to parent our beautiful daughter Aryana Joy (her mother's name is Abigail, which means Joy)
We really didn't have the money and since we had moved so recently, we didn't have the relationship we had enjoyed with our former banker who we could call at the drop of a hat when an adoption situation arose. Nevertheless, we moved forward in prayer and faith, trusting that the Lord loved this baby girl and He would provide. This adoption journey was particularly faith-building (although all of them have been faith-building, this one has been especially so) as our extended church family joyfully rallied around us at the opportunity to bring this little girl into our family.
We count ourselves richly blessed to have grown our family both biologically and through adoption. Each member fits perfectly into our family and each has taught us something more about trusting God and loving one another.
I find this family an inspiration and such a wonderful example of God's love. They were providing a home for others and God provided for them. They are more than willing to answer any questions you might have or comment below to show them support please!
Tomorrow we get to hear, in our final Klein family piece, what it is like to have open adoptions. Be sure to find your way back here!
Thanks for stopping by!
The Klein's Blog - Learning How Much I Didn't Know