From a family of four to a family of seven overnight, this is my family’s story of growing through adoption. When I was around 9 years old, my grandma adopted a child from China. I had never heard of adoption and was curious to know what it was. My mom would try to explain the process to me but the only thing I understood was that I had a new aunt.
I remember looking at adoption websites and seeing all these young children looking for a family. I would always ask my mom for a baby sister because I wanted those children I saw on the websites to have a home. When my parents would ask what I wanted for Christmas or my birthday, I would ask for a little sister. Continually asking my parents for a sister made my mom and dad actually start talking about the process of adoption. My parents sat down my brother and I and told us that we would be trying to adopt.
“Guys we need to have a talk.” Announced my mom
“Your father and I have been talking and we have decided that we’re going to try and adopt a baby, so you guys will have a new brother or sister.”
Me and my brother were so excited and couldn’t wait to know when our new brother or sister would be arriving.
In 2010, we got in contact with a social worker and began our long journey of adopting. We would wait months before hearing from the social worker about a possible child being available. But the adoption process is separated into categories such as special needs adoption, or international adoption and each process takes its own time. My family went through special needs adoption and we waited for God to put a precious child into our lives.
A couple more months went by and out of nowhere my mom got an email from our social worker. She had siblings, boy and girl, that needed a home. They lived in Milwaukee and their names were Tristan and Trinity. Our first response was that we needed to discuss as a family about adopting more than one child.
“If we adopt these siblings it will be more work then you guys think. You won’t get jealous if we spend more time with them then you guys, will you?” Asked my mom
“No we won’t get jealous!” shouted my brother and I, “Let’s do it!”
We took a couple of days to think about how our life would change with adopting siblings, until we got another email. The mother of the siblings had another child, Tanner, and she was asking if they could be kept all together because they are siblings. This was a big shock to our family. We were originally thinking about adopting one child and if we adopted all three our family would grow to seven people! My brother and I were very excited to add more people to my family, but I bet my parents were feeling a little more hesitant when they received that email. My mom told us “This will be a big responsibility and you guys will need to help more in this house.” And of course me and my brother agreed.
We soon find out that if we choose not to adopt the three siblings, they will be separated and adopted separately. My parents realized then that these siblings were meant to be in our family and that God sent them to us for this reason. After about a year into the adoption process we found our children. At this time, Trinity was age five, Tristan was age three, and Tanner was barley one. My parents, my brother, and I packed our bags and in the summer of 2012 we met Trinity, Tristan, and Tanner for the first time. They lived in a small house in Milwaukee with their foster mom, Jonny.
For about 3 weeks straight, my family would drive down to Milwaukee and visit the three siblings. We would go to museums, parks, and zoos; as a bonding experience with the siblings. After getting to know the little kids and the social worker inspecting our home, we were able to take the children to our house to stay for a week. The children were so isolated in their home in Milwaukee, that they weren’t used to having a back yard with a play set. That was just one of the “first” things we had together, but we also experienced other things with the children such as first time eating out, first time going to the zoo, and first time going swimming. Everything for them was new and different.
About two weeks after Trinity, Tristan, and Tanner stayed over at our house, the social worker told us that they are able to move in with us.
“We give you guys permission to become foster parents for Trinity, Tristan, and Tanner. Tanner will need his own room but your house is certainly fit to keep these children.” Said the social worker
At that moment, we became foster parents for these three wonderful children. Trinity started calling my parents mom and dad right away and it was like our family was complete.
It was now August 19, 2013. Adoption day. Trinity, Tristan, and Tanner have lived in our house for more than six months, and now they’ll live with us forever. We went to the court house in Balsam lake where the Social worker met up with us, along with Trinity’s kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Peters. I can still remember the look on Trinity and Tristan’s face when the judge asked them if they would like my mom and dad to be their parents.
“How would you feel about having Hailey and Chris as your parents?” Said the judge while holding Trinity and Tristan in her lap.
“Yeah, we want them to be our mom and dad,” The children exclaimed.
It was a very special day and we are happy to have new additions to our family.
Five years later: Trinity, Tristan, and Tanner have been living in our house for about five years. Trinity is now 10 years old, Tristan is now 8 years old, and Tanner is almost six years old. We had to make a couple of adjustments in our lives, but otherwise things are going great. Two years ago, we moved into a bigger house which gave the kids more room to play, and it’s like they were always meant to be a part of our family. I am still the older sister and they look up to me. I now have the sister I’ve always wanted and I even have 2 more brothers. The adoption has taught me so much about helping children in need and becoming a better sister. This adoption process has made me consider adopting myself in the future. Although the process is quite long, it is completely worth it to help children in need of a home.
In my family’s experience with adopting, it can be a great responsibility when dealing with court orders and home inspections, but choosing to adopt can make a children’s face light up when they realize they have a family that loves them and will take care of them. This is just one of many experiences when adopting, but in my perspective, it’s one of the best things my family could’ve done. Not only did it bring us closer together, it made us a stronger Family. The children coming into our lives makes all the hardships worth it.