Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

I could have spared you months and months of blathering by just posting this picture. This picture describes our adoption journey so far.

It describes it completely.

About two years ago I dragged Steven to an adoption seminar. It was sponsored by these people. It was depressing. There were at least a dozen women weeping quietly during the opening remarks. The couples in the audience were full of despair. They had suffered losses and disappointments. They were at their wits end. They were a grim looking bunch. We fit right in. Steven said,"Losers, a room full of losers." We felt like losers. We were all unsuccessful. We could not have a family. We were dejected, depleted, and depressed. We were not alone. This was the first formal adoption seminar that Steven had come to. It was like pulling teeth to get him there. I had already decided that adoption was our next step. Steven was reluctant to say the least.

Over a year later, (actually a year ago last Wednesday) Steven and I attended another adoption event. (Yes, it was a whole year later for those of you out there with a reluctant spouse). This next event was at the home of the woman in the picture. That's her on the left. No, it is not Thandie Newton. This woman had an open house for prospective adoptive families.

In California, (back then) you needed to find an out of state placement agency for your adoption. This open house was sponsored by Children's Home Society and Family Services. I am not sure if I can adequately describe what happened that evening. This woman, let's just call her Thandie because she is a dead ringer for her, was anything but a loser. We arrived at her house and were greeted by several small children. Thandie had adopted three children from Kazakhstan, one from Korea, and one from Ethiopia. The wee Ethiopian had been home just one week. Thandie helped present a slide show about the adoption process. She was so honest, open, and funny about her experiences. Her husband was as beautiful and open as she was. The kids were obviously thriving in their care. I am not describing them well enough.

Give me a minute....

Optimistic. Joyful. Full of Life. Unafraid. Full of Wonder. Elated.

They were the complete opposite of us in that sad auditorium a year prior. They were radiant. They were down to earth, smart, funny and willing to share every single detail of their experience.

Like I mentioned, I had already decided that I wanted to adopt. It was Steven who still needed a little help.

Help arrived. Help arrived in the form of the tiniest Cindy-Lou-Who. Cindy-Lou-Who bounded down the stairs in her fuzzy footie pajamas, with her pigtails swinging. She plunked herself down in her mom's lap, threw her arms around her neck, and laid her head down. She was smiling. She was secure. She was breathtakingly adorable.

On the way home, or maybe it was the next day, Steven said,"Okay, Let's do it." We filled out the application the next evening.

Today we went to a picnic sponsored by our agency.

The little girl that Steven is smiling at in the picture from today is Cindy-Lou-Who.

There she is, just as beautiful as she was a year ago. She is looking into the face of Kristina.

Kristina is our social worker. We hadn't met her until today. She lives in Minnesota. She is the woman who is going to tell us who are children are.

Glancing over from across the park, I had one of those full circle (or at least half circle) moments. There was Cindy-Lou, holding hands with her Ethiopian sister, Thandie, Kristina, and my once reluctant husband. Cindy's new sister, who just came home from Vietnam two days ago, was there too.

This is the second time this week that I felt a huge surge of hope run through my veins. My worries and anxieties about our adoption were temporarily erased.

I looked at how far we had come, and I saw a small, adorable glimpse of our imminent future.

Not bad for a Saturday afternoon in the park.


  1. What a warm-hearted post. I love Steven's is beautiful.

  2. Woman! You always make me get all vaklempt(however the heck you spell it) And yes, my ziplock skills are available.

  3. That smile on your husband's face was the most beautiful part of that post!

    (and we've totally been losers in one of those loser-filled adoption seminars)

    It's a great feeling to be on the other side now. And I so look forward to when you guys are on the other side!!!

  4. Those glimpses into the imminent future are what keep me going!

    Beautiful post!

  5. AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing that. Such a beautiful post and such heart warming pics. It brought tears to my eyes.

  6. Hope, it's a wonderful thing. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of where our journey is taking us in order to help us get there. We were just talking last night about that fact it has been 8 years of us waiting to be a family... whew! And now we are just 2 weeks away from meeting our daughter. I truly feel that we needed to be right here, right now in order for Mimi to come into our lives. I would have waited forever for her! Stay strong, your children are out there.

  7. I had no idea adoption seminars were like that! Wow. Totally the opposite of what I'd imagined.

    It should always be like your second experience! I'm so glad it's working out for you now. That social worker looks SO cool! :)

  8. wonderful wonderful.

    and how cute is Cindy-Lou???!?!?! adorable.

    I am getting so excited for you guys!

  9. Radiant. That's how your beloved looks - I can't wait to see you two radiant as parents to wee ones.

  10. Just beautiful Julie! Thanks for sharing!

  11. The look in his eyes does indeed say it all!

    PS: I am so jelous you got to meet Kristina....she was our social worker too! We just LOVE her!

  12. The look in his eyes does indeed say it all!

  13. Hope.

    Wow, Julie...I am so happy you guys had a lovely day. I am filled with joy for you guys. Love the pic of Steven, his smile is beautiful. :)


  14. I'm with Jana. Dang, you should have warned me I'd need a tissue! Absolutely beautiful... That just makes my day!

  15. I got goosebumps reading your post!
    What a wonderful, hopeful weekend.

  16. what a great post. soooo great. i loved every word. parents need kids... kids need parents. the beauty is when our eyes are opened to it and we let go and go down that path... as a social worker this warms my heart...

  17. Once again, great post Julie!! I love the pictures and the story...hoping for that proposal VERY SOON!!

  18. Julie,

    Oh, adoption seminars, so many fragile hearts in one room. I have been there. I think adoptive parents are extremely resilient. You have to be. I walked out of my first one in tears. Your post really resonated with me, thanks.


  19. A beautiful post. Thanks for sharing the story...

  20. Beautiful. Just beautiful. The people, the past, the future, the entire story. I eagerly await the day that lovely woman tells you of your children.

  21. Loved your post - especially hearing hope crawl back into your life! It's coming, it's coming :)

  22. Your children are making their way to you. It's going to be so great to see your family double in size! You are going to be wonderful parents! - Julie O.

  23. Awesome heartfelt post -- I have been where you were and where you are at. I too had a reluctant hubby who turned out to have a heart for adoption bigger than I have ever seen.

    I am glad you found my blog, and that I have found yours in turn! :)

  24. have me tearing up.

    Just imagine how big that smile is when he is looking at his little kiddos.