I’m thrilled to be a guest on Kara and Jamie’s blog and share our story about something that we are passionate about and also defines our family to a large extent. Stan and I were married for six years before we decided to start a family and adoption was our first choice. Many assume that we struggled with infertility but we never tried to get pregnant and I often felt a bit of guilt when someone would give me that “oh I’m so sorry” look when we would talk about adoption as the way our first child would come to us. We felt strongly that we didn’t want our child to ever think that they were our plan B or second option.
We began our paperwork in 2005 and we quickly chose China as the country we would pursue. Our reason for that choice, as so perfectly stated by my husband when asked early on, was “because that’s where our daughter is.” We just knew. In September 2006 after waiting about 14 months, we traveled to China and came home 17 days later with our oldest daughter Xan. We completed the paperwork process again in 2008 and began what had become a very long wait for our second daughter.
Our trip to China in 2006 planted a seed in Stan’s heart to pursue job opportunities that would allow our family to move to our daughter’s birth country. In 2010, the Lord would see fit to bring that dream to reality. We left all we knew and embarked on an amazing adventure. Our second daughter, Maggie Mei, came to us in 2011 and although the process and her story is very different from Xan’s because of our home being in China during her adoption, the perfectness of it and her for our family are unquestionable. In a cool little tidbit that I like to call God-gravy….our girls share a birthday. January 26 is a big celebration at our house and you can imagine how the tears flowed when we got that piece of information. We were in awe!
So….now that you know a little bit of our story I’d like to use the rest of my time with you to share a couple of thoughts about adoption.
1. --Adoption is hard, adoption takes a long time, and adoption is expensive. But, IT IS WORTH IT. There will be days when you are literally at your wits end having to complete one more document or answer one more questionnaire. The bank account is looking pretty bleak and you don’t know where that payment due is going to come from but I encourage you to press on during those days and remember the excitement you felt when you first sat in on that seminar or your heart was pricked as a child to one day adopt. I promise…it’s SO worth it.
2. --Not everyone is going to “get it” and that’s ok. I am very passionate about adoption and love to talk about it and assist others through the process or just help educate others about it. I get very excited and often very emotional. It took me a few times of blank stares and nonchalant participation in the conversation before I realized that not everyone shares my excitement (gasp!) I thought I just needed to tell them one more story or share one more piece of our emotional journey and they would be excited about the idea…..but, not to be. I wasn’t even trying to convince them to adopt, just to be excited about the idea and families that it creates. Yeah….well…..some people just don’t get it and I’m ok with that now.
3. --Own your decisions. There are many decisions that you will make along the adoption journey that others will question and some even judge you for. For example, domestic or international, biological first then adopt, adopt then biological, special needs or healthy, which special needs, girl or boy, older child or a baby…..and the list goes on and on. I learned very early on to make a decision and own it. We felt very clearly called to China and to request that our first child be a healthy baby girl. Others wondered why China, why a girl, why don’t you ask for special needs…..etc. My own grandmother even asked me why we didn’t just have one “of our own” first. You have to decide what is right for you and your family and know that whatever you decide others will have questions and form opinions based on their own experiences and expectations. Be confident in your decision and move on. And in the same respect, allow others to do the same.
4. --Birth moms get a bad wrap. I get teary eyed almost every single time I talk about birth/biological mothers because what I feel is overwhelming sadness for them and immeasurable gratitude towards them all at the same time. Of course, I can’t speak for all women everywhere but I can speak for the two women that birthed my children. Their options were plentiful, culturally acceptable and much “easier” than choosing to carry my child full term and deliver her and then at great personal risk (which we in our country will never understand) thoughtfully placed, not carelessly left, her in a location where she could be found quickly and taken into a safe environment which ultimately facilitated her coming into our family. They chose the girls well being over their own. I love these women with a love that is unlike any other I have. Oh what it would mean to one day be able to look at these women and thank them and show them their daughters and what amazing, beautiful, smart, funny, talented, sensitive, sweet people they are and try in some small way to express feelings for these precious women. I don’t know their stories and I’m sure there are parts of it that are ugly and not what I want to think about…..but I know this: They chose life and because of it we have two amazing daughters. So next time you hear a negative remark about a birth mother…..take a minute and, if nothing else, be reminded that Stan and Megan Everitt are eternally grateful for two women, two birthmothers, that shared a piece of themselves with us and gave us our children. Thank you for allowing me to share a little of our story and my passion for helping others understand and celebrate the miracle of adoption. “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” Yes, the LORD has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:2-3
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