We knew we wanted to become parents again but we weren’t sure what avenue to pursue. After reading an article in the paper several years ago featuring a group of families in North Carolina who had adopted an entire choir full of boys from Liberia, we knew our hearts weren’t ever going to be the same. Our prayers of direction were finally answered, so off we went collecting papers, forms, and asking questions. After a while, the doors to adopting from Liberia seemed to start closing for us. As frustration set in, we decided to go to an adoption seminar where we met AAI and their “Waiting Child Special Needs Program” in China. Once again our hearts skipped a beat and our journey to Caleb began.
At first, we were very nervous due to our inexperience with cleft palates, but when we saw Caleb’s face for the first time, we knew that he was meant to be our little boy no matter what. We started the paperwork immediately and began the process of bringing him home. AAI was fantastic in helping us through the mounds of paperwork, emotional waiting time, our endless questions, and finally our travel preparations. The joy we felt every time we looked into Caleb’s eyes in the pictures we were given was both motivational and comforting to us. “Hang on little man, we are on our way,” became our motto.
Our trip to China was remarkable and the memories we have will always be etched into our hearts. With AAI’s help it was certainly a trip of a lifetime, leaving us with the desire to go back someday. Obviously, receiving Caleb was the best part. We will never forget how nervous we were meeting Caleb face to face and seeing how God works in bringing families together. After almost a year, it is still very difficult to talk about that day without crying or becoming emotional. What a blessing it was to welcome our son into our arms, introduce him to his new family, and to become a family of four! We had taken our five year old daughter with us half way around the world!
Since we have been home, Caleb has undergone a few surgeries, started preschool, and has experienced so many wonderful things. He is a happy, loving, and smart little boy with enough energy and inquisitiveness to exhaust the entire family. He definitely is a normal three year old little boy. He brings so much joy and laughter to our family. We can’t imagine life without his smile. He has also taken extended family and friends by storm with his personality. Loving him is certainly contagious. People tell us how lucky he is and we always reply with the same comment….. “No. WE are the lucky ones.”