IN THE SUBURBS: At last, God’s plan is in motion for our daughter
Published 12:53 pm, Wednesday, July 6, 2016
More than a year ago, I related our daughter’s and our angst over the seemingly hopeless process of adopting a baby. Then in March of this year we came close when a birth mom in the Boston area accepted our daughter’s portfolio and our daughter was told to prepare for a quick trip to meet with the mom.
It never happened. The mom, like several other moms, changed her mind even as our daughter was packing the car for the ride up. But our daughter had become very philosophical over the past five years and said that apparently this wasn’t part of God’s plan for her.
We quietly cried in the privacy of our home and wondered why our daughter was being denied the wonder of motherhood, yet again. And then we resumed our hopes and prayers that something eventually might happen.
Then one Saturday in May, my wife texted me a message at work that we were potentially going to be grandparents and to stay tuned for details. When I called our daughter that evening, she shared that on June 30, through a program called Cradle of Hope, a little 5-year-old boy from China - Lucas - would arrive and stay with her for three weeks. If she decided to adopt him, our daughter would still need to wait 6 or 8 months until the process was complete and she would have to go to China to bring him back.
In my daughter’s view, adopting an infant was probably not in the cards for her, but somehow, some way, giving a home and a family to this young man was really God’s plan for her. We couldn’t have agreed more.
Nevertheless, there were still obstacles ahead. We had heard that many of the children came with developmental and/or physical handicaps. Friends and colleagues had shared stories about other friends who had adopted from China and the matches didn’t work for one reason or another. Because the children were slightly older, many had behavioral issues along with mild or severe physical deficits. Some of the matches didn’t work because other siblings could not get along with the newcomer and a parent simply couldn’t bring himself or herself to bring that child into the family under those circumstances. That was heartbreaking to hear.
Thankfully, our daughter tuned out most of that input and concentrated on her building excitement over the arrival of Lucas. As a single mom, she knows she will have challenges to overcome, but she believes with her whole heart that she is doing the right thing.
When we spoke just before Lucas’ arrival this past Thursday, our daughter shared that her biggest stressor throughout this whole long process, that began with attempts at in vitro fertilization, at least 8 or 9 pregnancies that lasted no more than 12 weeks and adoption attempts worldwide, including from Ethiopia, was having enough money to adopt. We’ve heard that costs can reach as high as $50,000.
But all of the anxiety disappeared last Thursday night when little Lucas, 5, arrived from his long journey and she held him closely for the first time. When the pictures started coming through, I simply couldn’t contain myself and neither could my wife. He looked so precious, so delicious, we counted the hours until we saw him for the first time.
A close friend at a wedding last week told me that the moment you become a grandparent is so indescribable, you are almost babbling when you talk to people. She was absolutely right. We just kept bombarding family and friends with pictures, mushing and gushing with every text and e-mail.
And when we were with Lucas, aka Lun Lun, last Sunday, my wife and I gave selfies and snapshots new meaning. Our daughter confirmed that she was so happy with how well things were going, she was planning to move ahead with the adoption. And watching her assume her newest role as a mom was simply beautiful. She and Lun Lun were like a matched set. And he has fallen in love with her boyfriend also.
Seeing my wife’s happiness while she helped him play with his Lego blocks cemented the bond for me and when we were throwing his balloon back and forth, it was just like I’d always dreamed it would be.
For now, we’re going to enjoy our three weeks together and every minute with little Lun Lun. And while it will be painful to say goodbye in Washington in two weeks, we’ll know that soon he will be with us always. At long last, God’s plan for our daughter is in motion.
Steven Gaynes is a Fairfield writer, and his “In the Suburbs” appears each Friday. He can be reached at email@example.com.