Our family/Why are we adopting


"Yes, the rumors and excited comments from my children are true...we are planning to adopt again! This post will mark the beginning of what I hope to be a new legacy of blogging about our family and I am thrilled and excited to embark on this new chapter of our family story. It was a long process that led us to this place and it all started with a simple ad on craigslist for a fundraising yard sale.

     There was an adorable young family that was planning to adopt a child with special needs. It caught my eye immediately, partly because of the curiousity of why they would want to adopt when they clearly had their own biological children.   Additionally, I knew that my sister had been thinking of adopting, and I thought that this might be the perfect way for her to add to her family. I researched and researched some more and came across this website

and this one

     Of course, in order to get information for my sister, I just had to subscribe to email newsletters and updates. LOL!  So for months, I received information about waiting children. Some had Down Syndrome, some had cleft lip/palate, some had repairable heart conditions, and some had HIV.   My husband (Robert) and I both agreed that someday we might be interested in adopting...but not right now. Having passed the information on to my sister, and feeling overwhelmed with email messages, I had just decided to get off of the lists. I then had a dream, "the" dream that changed everything....

     The dream was something that I will never forget. I was watching myself as though I were on tv and I became aware that I had twins, a boy and a girl. I then became aware that I was leaving them in an institution and at first I was calm, but as I watched myself continuing to walk away, I became more concerned.

I started talking to the tv screen and saying in a louder and more fearful voice that I just wouldn't do that….I don't walk away from my children….I couldn't leave the twins in an institution!

As I continued to walk away from the children, my tv persona was completely oblivious that I was screaming and continuing to increase in hysteria and panic. I began shouting "I don't do that! Don't turn your back! Don't turn your back on them!" Then I woke up in a sweat with my heart racing and still feeling very upset.

I remembered that dream all day and told all of my family about it as it was very unusual for me to even remember a dream. At this point, I had decided that we were perhaps going to have biological twins.  I calmed down a bit in knowing that even if I had twins and they were born with a disability, that I certainly wouldn't institutionalize them.

     Shortly thereafter, I got an email about 3 year old waiting twins….a boy and a girl. The little girl had some medical problems. My children all sucked in air and said that it just had to be the twins from my dream. My reaction was to tell the children to stop being silly and to go on with my day but they all insisted that I should at least inquire.

 And, then the picture came. Two adorable children hugging each other....real children....that had a desperate need for a family and a place where they would stay together and both be wanted and belong. At the same time, I *really* wasn't up for this. The medical problems concerned me as did the daunting paperwork and expense of an international adoption. Then I began to learn more.   I learned that often children who aren't adopted while under the age of five in Eastern Europe potentially face transfers to further institutions that are often like a hospital setting or for the mentally ill. If that wasn't disturbing enough, I read another report that suggested if children age out of orphanages at the age of 16, 10-15% commit suicide and 60% of girls ended up involved in prostitution.

     So I fretted and thought about it some more and finally decided that I would like to adopt eventually...... but I was still worried that it just wasn't the right time. And, so I decided that we would not adopt at this time.

 All day, I had a nagging bad feeling.   Then, by the end of the day, it hit me.  The dream!  I was walking away and turning my back on them just as the dream suggested. I knew at that point that I couldn't just walk away.

I contacted the agency imagining that another family had likely come forward to adopt them by this time. Unfortunately, there had been no interest yet in keeping them together.

I decided to pray about it and I realized that in the dream there was a feeling that they were *my* children and after more prayer and discussion with my husband, my heart softened and I realized that we needed to follow Heavenly Father's plan and not our own.

 We were sent more pictures and I began to fall in love with them. I knew that there were no guarantees with a foreign adoption but over time I felt more and more content in knowing that we would do everything we could to bring them home.

     So now, the work has begun and we are close to being finished with the home study paperwork.  We are also having the unfortunate but real task of fundraising as the adoption expenses are quickly mounting.  We plan to do some really fun contests and giveaways to both raise the funds that we need as well as raise awareness of the great need for special needs adoptions.  Please help us get the word out.  I plan to create a Facebook page and will update the blog when it is finished. 

      I already have a long list of idiotic things that I have done so that everyone can learn what not to do during the adoption process.  The first of which was my need to completely refinish my wood floors in anticipation of our first social worker home study visit.  I will try to post tomorrow about two incidents of runaway sanders and legs full of bruises! LOL!  Til tomorrow....."

So that about sums up what started our process.  It has been an evolving process that got us here and not one definitive moment.  Nonetheless, we are grateful that we have this chance to bring home two wonderful children and invite you to share it with us.....may it have a happy ending!
This is Robert and I at Christmas time last year, 2010.  We met when I was only 17 and he was 18 in our first year of college in Eastern Washington.  I told him that I wanted a big family but I don't think he believed me!   We married when I was 19 and he was 20.  It is sobering to think that I have daughters that age now!

Corinna age 19
Corinna has just finished basic training and we are extremely proud of her!  We are all waiting with baited breath to see where she will be going once she finishes training.  I think she is overall enjoying the army and finding that she is learning a lot of new and interesting things...and of course she now knows how to shoot a gun!  That is something I know absolutely nothing about.  Corinna is adopted and is a huge part of what has inspired me to adopt again.  Corinna is such a cheerful and positive source of light in our family.  She is incredibly hard working and helpful.  She is the girl who would give the shirt off of her back and has truly mastered the Christ like attribute of service.

Lauren age 19
  Lauren is attending college at BYU Hawaii and loves it!  I can remember since she was tiny how much she loved the water and the beach.  So now we're just nervous that we'll never get her to come back!  She is majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Music.  I've always loved how she can capture the mood and feeling in her drawings especially in facial expressions.    She has a beautiful singing voice, and plays the violin and piano.  She also often plays the role of having the good common sense of the family.  I have often claimed that Lauren is the other half of my brain!

Maria age 17
Maria loves birthdays so I decided to include this picture from her birthday in December 2010.  She also loves sweets and was quite happy to get this huge chocolate bar!  Maria is Corinna's biological half sister.  They came to our family at the ages of 3 and 5.  She has had some struggles with symptoms similar to someone with Prader Willi syndrome but is overall doing very well.  She loves to read, draw and color abstract designs, play outside, and could swing for hours!

 Mary age 16
Mary is dramatic and high energy and never met a stranger.  She is known and loved by young and old.   I often hear voices ring out saying, "Hi Mary!" wherever we go.  She is named after my great Aunt Mary, which is some pretty amazing shoes to fill, but she is certainly working on making her proud.  Mary is a great cook and loves to make her angel biscuits any time someone needs some cheer.  She is hoping to do a cooking blog this summer.  She also just got into J camp which is a fully paid trip to Michigan state university for  Journalism camp.  She is tentatively planning to major in Broadcast Journalism in college.

Emily age 14
Emily is the peacemaker of the family and has unlimited patience.  Everyone goes to Emily including Eleanor and the cats and dogs.  Emily has an odd talent of noticing everything around her in great detail.  She can leave a store and tell you exactly what the cashier was wearing, her hair style, her name, etc.  You would never know that she does this since she will never mention it unless asked.  She is definitely not froo froo as we originally thought she would be.  She is not squeamish and is the only girl in our family to consider going hunting.  She is interested in forensic science and is thinking about doing the junior police academy this summer.

Amelia age 9
Amelia is an enigma and there is much more to her than others are often aware of.  She often appears to be shy and quiet to the outside world but at home...look out!  She has been dubbed as the having the most dramatic and varied facial expressions in the entire family.  She is fun and goofy to the extreme and once you get her laughing, it may never stop!  She LOVES babies and small children and she is extremely excited about the adoption.  She was also inspired by a meeting with a search and rescue dog and would like to become a dog trainer.

Robertson age 7
Robertson is the only boy in a sea of girls and has been very vocal about being thrilled to have a brother coming home soon!  He has been called "charming" and is extremely talkative.  He is actually far more conversational than any of the girls.  He is a natural leader and it is common for me to find children at the park that are older and younger than him playing his made up games.  He has limitless energy and is always entertaining.

Eleanor age 2
Eleanor is a very sweet and compassionate little girl.  She was born within weeks of us beginning to care for my two grandmothers.  She always seemed to be connected to them and was patient and understanding of their need to hold her and stroke her hair.   She still reaches out a hand to help Grandma Walker to walk.  She also has unlimited confidence to the point that we have been unable to think of anything she is afraid of.  The down side of this is that she will confidently strut away and not look back!  She was very talkative at a young age and may end up rivaling Robertson in her gift of the gab.  She is adored by all of us and knows it!

Grandma Walker age 90!
My Grandmother has now passed away (June 2011)but I want to continue to leave this up as a tribute to her.

Grandma is currently living with us and is in the last stages of Alzheimers/dementia.  I am so sorry that I wasn't blogging two years ago when she first came here from Arkansas.  She said so many funny things and was so very complimentary and kind.  I do remember that she would touch Eleanor's head when she was small and say "precious!" and "sweet!".  What mom doesn't appreciate someone loving and admiring their child!  I also remember one night when I was getting grandma to bed.  She was wondering where she was and mentioned that her family would be worried about her.  I explained to her that I was her family and that I was "Cindy".  She narrowed her eyes and scrutinized my face for a bit and said, "Cindy?" with some recognition of the name in her voice.  I said, "Yes, I am your granddaughter"  She looked up again and said, "You're so pretty!"  I'm sure you all know why I can still remember that! :-)
Grandma doesn't talk much anymore but she is truly content.  We will all be sad when she is gone but I think we all know that she is close to being ready and that she will be so happy to reunite with my grandfather and her daughter Faye.

The WHY and HOW we got started
I have found that I often visit blogs and get lost when I don't understand how it all started.  So, here is my very first blog from May 2011.