They're All My Own

Adopted domestically as an infant, it is no exaggeration to say that I have been affected by adoption my entire life. I blog about being a mom both by birth and adoption and being an adopted person.

Alison is a winner of Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Parents

Why did you decide to adopt?

My husband, Kurt, and I have 2 biological daughters. Having grown up in a family formed by adoption and birth, I liked the thought of raising a family formed the same way. I always thought that at some point we would add to our family through adoption. One Sunday at church, we had missionaries from Kenya visiting. They run an orphanage, most of the children are there as a result of the AIDS pandemic. As they shared, they showed a video. As I watched, my heart started to pound in my chest. I grabbed Kurt's arm and whispered to him that I was sure we were supposed to adopt a child from Africa. He, of course, thought I might be losing my mind, as our girls were teenagers at the time (we were in the home stretch!). Thankfully Kurt trusted my instinct and eventually we both believed that our third child was waiting for us in Ethiopia. After our son Mikias was home for 2 years, we returned to adopt our son, Jemberu.

What was the biggest challenge or hurdle you faced in the adoption process?

Overall, the process went very smoothly for us. It was an easy decision to adopt 'waiting children' and because of this we were matched quickly with our boys.
The hardest part for us was waiting for a court date in Ethiopia, so that we could go to meet them and bring them home. It was hard knowing that they had already been waiting and had seen lots of other children go home to their new families. Since they were 'older children' they were aware that others had come and gone before them. Once we were matched and had a picture and knew their names, it was very hard to wait. We worried about them and were desperate to be with them, to hear their voices, feel their hands in ours, to love and take care of them.

When and how did you (or will you) tell your child they were adopted?

Mikias was 4 1/2 when we brought him home and Jemberu was 3 1/2. One thing about adopting older children is that we never had to worry about telling them they were adopted!