So, I work at this place. In this place are some very wonderful people I’ve come to call my
friends family. We gab on about a myriad of things– how angry we are at our significant others, what to make for dinner, how much we wish we could be skinny super models that men just fall over themselves attempting to secure our affection with material things, how much we *ahem* love our bosses. Oh, you got the hint? Sorry. I tend to babble as you can see.
Anyway, I knew of the struggles of one of these family members to have a child, and how she longed to hear that amazing word “Mommy”. I knew how it pained her to hear of others pregnancies— no matter how honestly thrilled she was for them–because she so desired to be the one announcing that blissful news. While I did not have difficulty conceiving, I did have difficulty retaining a pregnancy, so I could completely empathize with her. It ate away at me to see her so distraught and blaming herself for things of which she had no control. I did the best thing I knew how to do— listen and offer as many hugs as needed.
And then, she let me in on a little secret she had been keeping. She and her husband had been considering, and seriously researching, adoption! What FANTASTIC news, I thought! I’d love to adopt— or foster— or just hug as many children as I can because I truly love kids. Wow, that kind of just made me sound like a creeper, but I SWEAR I’m not!! 🙂 I knew that as much as she wanted to carry and deliver her own child, she would flourish as an adoptive mother because her heart was so ready to give the kind of love only a mother can provide. Biological children or not– She possessed that motherly love.
Anyway– I could type for hours about the struggles, both emotional and financial, but what fun is that? I will never ever ever forget the day she called me into her office to show me a few pictures she had received via email from an adoption facilitator. Let me tell you– *I* wanted to adopt these kids! Four. Yes– four amazingly beautiful and handsome children. They were all siblings. And they were all living in a Polish orphanage. I would be lying through my (currently) teary eyes if I said I didn’t bawl like a baby while hearing their stories and looking at their pictures. Three gorgeous girls and one handsome little man.
My dear friend was conflicted, though, because while she wished to be a mother– going from zero to four was QUITE the challenge! Would there be enough space? Time? Money? FOOD? ?? Ok, she didn’t really worry about the food part, but still, I am sure you can all imagine the gamut of thoughts running rampant inside her mind. Her amazing husband? I recall her telling me upon seeing their faces and reading their stories– “Yep. That’s my son.” (which, of course, made me cry even more!!!) Needless to say, they took a leap of faith (and a very long plane ride (samolot— one of the very first Polish words I learned!!) )and traveled to Poland to meet these four children– the children that would soon be calling her Mommy.
If you ask them, I’m certain they’d tell you it took FOREVER, but in my experience (which is, of course, the only important one..), it seemed a very short time frame from receiving the pictures to bringing these children home. While the new parents were in Poland spending time with their children and making certain all of their t’s were crossed and i’s dotted, a few of us from that place we work put together a benefit to help offset some of the costs associated with adoption. It was a wonderful event held on November 14th, 2010. Not a single one of us present was expecting six very tired people to walk through the door. I know that I wasn’t prepared… nor do I think those poor children were prepared for me!!
There were hoots and hollers and tears and hugs and just pure elation coming from everywhere! Those poor children must have been scared to death to see all these strange people coming up to them and squeezing cheeks, hugging, talking in some crazy language–yes, I DID eventually let them blend in. haha. I was so completely thrilled for my friend and her husband– but also for those kids, as they now had a ‘family’ larger than they could ever imagine because each and every one of us at that benefit was so thrilled to be a part of their homecoming! I played games with them. I colored with them. I ate food with them. I pointed to things and they said the Polish word–which I am certain I butchered. They responded with hugs, and drawings, and so many smiles. It is truly a day I will never forget. Oh, right. They didn’t come home for me. Shoot. Uh.. moving on.. 🙂
I am so proud of how far the kids have come in the year and a half they’ve been in America. They’re all speaking English. They’re reading (well, the 4 year old not so much.. haha). They’re playing sports for their schools. They’re in Girl Scouts. They have boyfriends. They are normal children who have had a difficult past, but have an amazingly brilliant future. I couldn’t love the four of them more if I tried.
But, wait. I am even more proud of my friend and her husband. Going from 0-4 is nothing short of amazing. They’ve had their typical struggles of blending, adjusting, fighting, and transitioning the oldest from ‘mother hen’ back to big sister. But they have accomplished all of those things beautifully. I see her eyes light up and her body just soften when her littlest one runs to her for a hug. I see his face light up like only a father can when his son high five’s him after doing something cool. I’ve seen the teamwork they possess when it comes to handling a difficult school situation. And I see the pure, honest love between mother and daughter when the oldest come to her for advice.
It’s nothing short of a miracle, really. I mean, what are the chances that these very two people would have the opportunity to adopt these same four children? It’s simply one of those questions that never gets an answer.
You wanna know what I think? I think that these 6 people were brought together for one very simple reason: To create a family based upon genuine love.
While I’m not the biggest proponent of divine intervention– I absolutely believe there was some higher force that brought all of these amazingly beautiful pieces of a bigger picture together– Peter, Lisa, Anna, Nicole, Jacob and Sophia–and I am forever grateful to have been welcomed into the lives and developing stories of this amazing family.