Our Adoption Story

It started in January of 2010.  My little sister announced that "Mom says we're gonna adopt!"  My mom had come across an adoption blog one day of a family who had adopted from Ethiopia.  The beginning of the journey was trying to encourage (and maybe convince) my dad to agree.  When he did, the real excitement began.  Prayers were said constantly to make sure we were doing the right thing.

 If you don't know anything about adoption, there is a lot of paperwork to fill out and compile.  For us, time passed slowly in the area of paperwork.  Children came along that were waiting for a family, and we looked at their faces, wondering if they were ours.  There were a few times where we were stuck, with paperwork waiting to be signed or completed.  It was a slow process for about a year.

You might not know that I had six siblings before we adopted.  To some people, the fact that we were adopting when we already had a large family was crazy.
Last July, a sibling group was placed on the list of waiting children.  A sibling group of four beautiful children.  I came downstairs and their photos were printed out, lying on the kitchen counter.  I looked.  And I sighed, because the first thought that went through my head was, seven plus four makes a lot of kids.  And that scared me.

Time went on, and we began to warm up to the idea.  More prayers were said, family meetings were held.  Until July 21, 2011.  That was the day we accepted the referral for four beautiful Ethiopian children.
In November, my parents and two sisters went to Ethiopia for court.  During our process, Ethiopia changed their laws so that the day you went to court was a different time (sometimes months) from when you could take your kids home.  Due to a mix up with our agency, we found out that our actual court date wasn't until a few days after my parents would return home.  It was emotional for us in the states, because we didn't know what was happening or what went wrong.  Then, just three days after they returned, I came downstairs to little children screaming and laughing and my mom dancing.  "We passed court!"  No way.
When you pass court, the children you are adopting become legally yours.  It's so much more than that.  They are a part of your family forever.

A week before Christmas, my dad and I left for Ethiopia again.  This time to bring the kids home.  While we were away, my mom was hurrying to finalize the remodeling we had to do to allow more room in our house for bedrooms.  We weren't there for very long - about four days.  Those four days were some of the most emotional I have ever been through.  It was so hard, because this adoption was real.  It wasn't just some kids on a piece of paper anymore.
They've been here five months now, and the progress we've made is incredible.  It's difficult.  Every single day, it's hard.  But they are a part of our family now.  They are almost fluent in English, have hair :), and are learning all the time, new things about this new country.  It's amazing how love and care can change a person.

Adoption video:

Marcia  – (May 2, 2012 at 6:28 AM)  

Olivia, this is the 7th time I've watched your video since you had first posted it on Rise & Fly! And every time at the end when ya'll meet them... I start crying. It is just so beautiful.

Hannah  – (May 2, 2012 at 8:14 AM)  

Thanks so much for sharing...this really touched my heart. As the oldest of eight kids, I can't imagine adopting four more like your family... it must have required a lot of sacrifice...but what a special ministry! God bless :).

Jennoelle  – (May 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM)  

Wow. Olivia, I've heard your whole adoption story before, and it's still so beautiful. God bless your family for taking those children in. And wow--I'd never taken the time to watch your whole video before, but I just did...and I cried. Haha. This is just so incredible.

Kiley  – (May 2, 2012 at 9:48 AM)  

ah Olivia, that video gets me every single time. I love love love it. I love this story girl, and you. <3

Talia  – (May 2, 2012 at 10:04 AM)  

Beautiful video. Wow. Just wow.

happyflower  – (May 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM)  

WOW, That was an amazing video. Made me cry, when you first saw your new addition to your family!
Great story!
xoxo
-Jemima

Hope  – (May 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM)  

That video gets me every single time I see it. The part where your parents and sister meet them for the very first time? Tears. It's so wonderful what you and your family have given these beautiful kids! :)

Sunshine  – (August 10, 2012 at 6:18 PM)  

So amazing! I love the part when you're family meet the kids. Adoption is really beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!
Soleil
http://www.thoughtsfromadaughterofgod.blogspot.com

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