Wednesday, March 6, 2013

real life stories: fostering and adoption {the medinas}

today we are pleased to bring you an adoption story all the way from tanzania, africa!  

Tell us about your family (how long you have been married, where you live, ages of your children, etc)

Gil and I have been married for 12 years.  We are from California, but for 10 of those years, we have served in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as missionary teachers.  We have adopted three Tanzanian children:  Grace, who is 7, Josiah, who is 5, and Lily who is 4.  Grace and Josiah were babies when we brought them home, and Lily was 2 ½.

What got you interested in adoption? Why did you decide to do it?

We were interested in adoption since before we were married.  Both of us have always loved the idea of giving a child a home who needs one.  We love how adoption is a picture of God’s love for us.  We did plan on having biological children as well, but that has never happened, and we are both totally okay with that. 

Has anything surprised you about the process?

I read all the books and had braced myself for the worst, but really, it has just been wonderful.  The process to bring our children home was always long and hard and heart-wrenching, but after that, it’s been great.  We haven’t seen many “adoption issues” in our kids.  We’ve heard very, very few stupid remarks from others.  Everyone has embraced our family and our children (perhaps sometimes they get a little TOO much attention for who they are!).  I know our kids are still young and there is a lot in front of us, but so far, it’s been wonderful.  The hardest part is dealing with my girls’ hair!

How have you/your family/your spouse grown in this process?

It’s hard to answer this question because it’s all we’ve ever known.  We haven’t had biological children so I don’t have anything to compare it too.  Raising kids is hard—no matter where they come from—and that is always growing and stretching.  But I don’t think it’s really that much different than what a biological family goes through. 

What difficulties or frustrations have you faced in the process? What motivates you to keep going on in spite of this?

Bringing our kids home was definitely hard and frustrating and long.  I shed many tears.  It required a great deal of perseverance and a great number of hours.  But it’s always, always worth it in the end.  And seeing our children thrive, and thinking about what their lives could have been like—that’s the greatest blessing of all. 

Do you have a relationship with the birth parents? What does that look like?

No.  All of our children have no known relatives. 

What advice would you give to other couples considering adoption? (What questions should they ask? How should they seek out support? etc)

Don’t be afraid.  You will bond with those kids.  Transracial issues aren’t nearly as huge as they need to be.  Adoption is straight from God’s heart, and so if He is calling you to do it, then He will give you what you need to make it happen. 

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