Birth & Adoption Miracles
My name is Carole and this is the story of our family.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I was a teenager and suffered from it greatly throughout my life. I was told by my doctor that I probably wouldn’t ever have children. When I married Dean at age 27, we started trying to get pregnant immediately. After a year we went to our pastor at the time, Larry Stockstill, and asked him and his wife to pray over us. That next week I conceived Evangeline. She was born 7/17/1996. She was our first miracle.
After she was born I tried mild fertility treatments but they only made my endometriosis worse. At age 40 I had to have a hysterectomy.
When Evangeline was about 5yrs old we looked into adoption. We knew we wanted to adopt a bi-racial child, we saw ourselves with a boy but once we started looking into the cost of adoption we didn’t know how it would be possible, we just didn’t have that kind of money, so we laid down the dream of having more children, I started classes at LSU and we were content with our one child.
Then one day in February 2004, at a church sponsored health fair, I saw a booth for His Heart for Orphans adoption ministry. I went over and talked to the lady in charge. Her name was Aimee and her and her husband had just started this ministry at our church. The ministry was to help families find financial resources for adopting and provided support to families that have adopted or were trying to adopt. I told her how we wanted to adopt but felt it was too expensive, she looked me right in the eyes, gently grabbed my arm and said “if you ever have an opportunity to adopt, don’t let money stop you. God can and will provide the money”. I walked away in tears and shaking. I tried to brush it off as her not understanding OUR financial situation but God was moving.
One month later on March 21st 2004, I received a call from my sister informing me that a girl she worked with was putting her baby up for adoption. The girl had walked into my sister’s office and asked her if we wanted to adopt her baby. My sister had told many people about our fertility issues and desire to adopt a bi-racial child. The girl was pregnant with a bi-racial baby boy, he was due at the end of May.
Exactly two months later, on May 21st 2004, we were in a hospital in Florida getting our son Steele. Yes, Aimee was right, God provided.
Steele's adoption was full of wonder, joy and miracles.
So, in 2006, when we received another call, this time from a friend in California, about a girl pregnant with a mixed baby boy, and putting her son up for adoption, we prayed and immediately felt we should take this as a sign from God. We started the process, raised money, invested our hearts, but then, two weeks before the baby was born in 2006, the birth mother decided to keep the baby. It was a very sad time for us. We had named him Bradshaw and we still think about that baby boy and pray he is loved and taken care of.
My husband really took that loss hard and was not ready to head down the adoption road again as soon as I was but in the Fall of 2007 some friends called and said that God told them to give us $6000 so we could adopt from Africa. They knew that my heart was leaning toward adopting from there. Dean said I could start looking into it so I started looking again on Rainbow kids and other sites. I found a young man named Abel who the site said was 11 yrs old according to the short description and he lived in Ethiopia. I immediately felt drawn to him. I talked to Dean, but at the time he just didn't feel like we should adopt an 11 yr old boy. So I let it go.
The next morning I told Dean all that I had learned. He said yes to pursuing the adoption. He told me that he'd had a dream about it and he knew it was the right thing for us to do now.
We found out that Abel had been orphaned as a baby, his mother and father both died and he was being raised by his 50 year old grandmother. She had placed him for adoption because she was could no longer care for him.
Abel has been home with us since January 30th, 2009.
Attaching to an older child is a lot of work. Love is work, raising kids no matter if they are yours by blood or by adoption is hard work. With adoption there is the added element of loss because loss is a part of adoption. Adoption is both beautiful and sad, complex and unique for each person involved.
I cringe when people say we saved our adopted kids or they should be grateful we adopted them. Abel suffered tremendous loss, Steele suffered loss too, they should be allowed to grieve that is what they "should". We wanted more children that I couldn’t have biologically, they were in circumstances where they needed parents, So we all saved each other, Dean, Steele, Evangeline, all of us. This is just how our family came together.