The Story (Part 5)1
by Amy Coleman
This is a continuation of Lee and Amy Coleman's adoption story. Click the following to read the earlier posts: Parts 1 & 2, Part 3, Part 4.
THE STORY, pt. 5: A Picture That Moved Mountains
Adoption is an interesting thing. One part that I found myself very conflicted over was the waiting children pages on the internet. I wasn’t aware of how the “waiting child” process went before we began our process of adopting. The words waiting child may not mean much to you as they didn’t to us prior to 2013, but now we know. A waiting child is someone who has been up for adoption for a while, someone who would be considered more difficult to be adopted, someone who has been categorized as having “special needs”. In other words, these are children who are not the healthy newborn babies. People are lined up by the droves to adopt those children; no special list is needed for them.
Waiting children with special needs fall into several categories. Physical special needs is one such category. These children can have very mild to very severe special needs and you can narrow your search based on the type of special needs you can handle. Emotional special needs is another category. These children can have mental issues ranging from mild ADD to severe emotional disorders. An older child is also considered special needs. Every year that a child is not adopted makes them more and more likely never to be taken from the orphanage they are currently in. And the final category we discovered was sibling groups. So many people, when they plan to adopt, consider 1 baby. Just like us. Imagine then what happens to all the sibling groups that the government is working so hard to keep together. Adopting 1 seems difficult. Two, three, or four? Downright scary!
Lee and I had signed up to view the Waiting Children on 5 or 6 different websites. We had been secretly looking at these precious children at night after our Bigs went to bed. This seemed so weird to me. It almost felt as though we were shopping for kids. Like walking up and down the racks of purses at the department store just waiting for the right one to catch your eye. I understand that this is an important tool to use, that many people look at these children and are drawn to a particular child that they then pursue, but this still seemed hard to me. All of these orphans were precious in God’s sight. Every single one of them needed a mommy and a daddy to tell them that they would love them forever and always. They all needed someone to hug them tight, kiss them goodnight, and do it all over again, day after wonderful day. My heart was breaking for these orphans all over the world. How on earth were we supposed to pick one?
And then came the picture. The one my agency technically shouldn’t have sent me. The one that I almost said “No thanks” to! The one that hit me so hard in the gut when I opened it up that I stopped breathing and then started crying. The one I had to stop and tell myself, “This isn’t what you want!”
After receiving the picture from my agency I forwarded it to Lee. All I told him about the picture was that it was sent to me as a reference to see what Polish kids look like. These kids had just come up on our agencies’ list that very same morning that I called, and while it wasn’t what we had in mind for our adoption, it would help us see if we might want to enter the Poland program and wait for a little Polish baby. That’s all I said, and the rest of the day I didn’t even bring it up to him.
I told myself I wasn’t going to look at their faces but once or twice during the day. I told myself I wasn’t going to cry over those baby blue eyes looking back at me from my computer screen. I told myself I was not going to get attached to the laughing smile on his face, or the sweet, shy smile on big girl’s face, or the way little girl was hugging her teddy bear, or … I was a total failure that day.
That night, when Lee arrived home I couldn’t wait to get him alone just to ask if he had looked at their pictures. What did he think? Did he “feel” anything when he saw them? But, as is the way in most households, when daddy gets home at suppertime the house was abuzz. “Tell me about your day.” “How was school?” “How was work?” “How much homework?” “What’s for supper?” I wanted to SCREAM!!!!
Finally the alone moment came. Everyone up in their rooms doing homework, all quiet, time to ask, “So, did you look at the pictures?” The answer that followed was so amazing.
I don’t know why we are so surprised when God answers prayers. I felt at that moment a little like in Acts 12 when Peter miraculously escapes from prison. The people were all praying about it and the servant girl hears his voice at the door is so shocked and surprised that she doesn’t even let him in. She runs back and tells everyone he’s at the door and no one believes her. I mean, why were they so surprised? Weren’t they asking God to do miraculous things? I realized this was how I was acting. I had just asked the night before that God show us his path, so why was I so surprised when he actually did?
In response Lee very calmly said to me, “Yep, I looked at the pictures.” And??? I’m waiting!!! “Well, I think those are our kids.”
After practically having to pick myself up off the floor from the unbelievable answer to my question I replied with a very simple, faith filled answer. “I know!”
How is it that we both knew? How is it that separate and apart from one another our amazing Father had yet again brought us to the exact same conclusion? Only by the Holy Spirit. We had not talked about 3 kids, and we most definitely HAD talked about NOT wanting older children. So how is it that we saw these children after looking at hundreds of pictures of precious children on the internet and we simply knew that these 3 were ours? We knew that we wanted to bring them home. We knew, from the moment that we laid eyes on them that we wanted to love, hold, protect, kiss, hug, cherish, nurture, teach, grow, and pursue an amazing relationship with these 3. We knew from the moment we saw their eyes, their smiles, their precious faces that we wanted to adopt them into our family. Three more Colemans. Party of 8.