Adoption Anniversary Story
By Mom Sabrina
1 year ago today, in a stale, government building in Guangzhou, China, and with a very awkward commissioner (government official), Ty and I signed official papers committing to be Ali’s parents forever. A day later we met our Ali for the first time. It was a no frills, chaotic setting but those moments will be locked in our minds forever.
It has been an unforgettable year for our family, a year we described as amazing, challenging, fun, and frustrating – all at the same time. In fact, a few nights ago, our social worker validated our first year as adoptive parents with her congratulations telling us we have made it through the toughest part.
Although this year hasn’t been a walk in the park, the rewards have far outweighed the difficulty as we have watched a little girl with little muscle tone – one who could not walk through our adventures in China and had to be carried – to one who runs through her new, big backyard, trying to climb apple trees. Ali has transformed from a little girl of whom we had to plead for hugs and kisses to one who jumps into our laps and squeezes our necks off.
Our little girl used to reluctantly eat whatever we gave her (while shedding quiet tears) and compliantly do what we asked of her. Then she became the little girl who pushed back telling me, “YOU are being sassy, mommy.” I shouldn’t laugh but I do. She used to be the little girl who put herself to bed at night. Now she can’t wait to cuddle in mommy and daddy’s bed with a hand-picked good night story, asking to say “the pray.” She tells us, “when I go to sleep don’t move me out of your bed.”
In China Ali lived in a place were she had to compete with hundreds of other children for basic things. Now our little girl has a brother who loves her and a sister who helps dress her. Now she has family who teaches her how to play ball and who hold her tight when she is upset. A year ago she pushed her new mommy away. Now there are times when I think, if she calls mommy one more time I am going to scream. My little girl used to say “no one loves Ali,” but now she proudly tells me she has 25 friends.
I know it sounds cliche’, but she has blessed us more than we have her. She has shown us that God is ALWAYS faithful and answers prayer. She shows us the importance of a truly joyful and grateful heart and provides an example of emotional strength, determination, the value of a fantastic smile, the blessing of family and that EVERY child should have one! Ali has brought us joy, a terrific sense of humor, appreciation for the little things, and a deeper understanding of how we are all different – different thoughts, perceptions, feelings, emotions, hurts, and needs.
Throughout this year we have often thought about her biological parents wishing somehow they knew she was safe and loved and what a wonderful little blessing they brought into the world. They may not have planned it, but they gifted our family. I pray somehow they feel a peace in their hearts. I wonder what they would think if they knew their beautiful Chinese girl was picking up a Southern drawl.
Final Adoption Thoughts
Three final thoughts come to mind; First, I am thankful to all who have loved, supported and welcomed Ali – so many friends have gone out of their way to be good to her, and we are very grateful. Second, some have said, “I hope one day she will know what you have done for her.” These are such kind words. But truly, I hope Ali never has a clue. Although her path to us was less conventional, our hope for Ali is that she will grow up and never think how we became her family, but simply think of us as her folks and love us in that natural way.
Lastly, please, if you have ever considered adopting a child or helping someone accomplish their adoption dreams either emotionally or financially, please for the love of Jesus do it! It isn’t easy but, EVERY child needs and deserves a family!
(Note from IFS: Ty and Sabrina and their kids Hope, Cade and now Ali, live in Tennessee. Printed with permission, last name has been withheld.)