The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Now and Then, Part 2 of 3

A few days ago (oh! I guess that was a whole week ago! Yikes!), I posted photos of Pea "now" and "then" and indicated that I pulled them up as part of a pro-adoption campaign in Liberia. Well, I've been working on the text to go with the photos today. I'm half done. I would probably be all done, except that I decided I needed to write one letter from the perspective of an adoptive parent, and a separate letter from the perspective of an adoption professional. The parents' letter (below) is a more personal, emotional appeal. The professional's letter will be intellectual and chock-full of studies and statistics and logical appeal. I like being multi-faceted!

Well, without further ado (except a warning that it's a bit long-ish)...

To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing today to advocate for international adoptions from Liberia. We began our journey to adoption in the spring of 2006, when we began to see God’s perspective on adoption. He calls each of us who choose to believe in and follow him his adopted children. He even set it up so that Joseph would adopt his very special son, Jesus. Our hearts expanded as we contemplated adding another child to our family through adoption. We had to go through many qualifying rounds of assessments and paperwork. But, when we first saw the photo of the little girl who was to become our daughter, we began to fall in love with her. Our hearts swelled with anticipation as we traveled to Liberia 10 months later to meet our daughter and hold her for the first time. We were a bit surprised to discover how well we fit together. From those first moments, she was as much our daughter as if we had given birth to her.

As adoptive parents, we are blessed by the addition of our Liberian daughter to our family. Without her, our family would not be complete. We would not know the intimacy derived from plaiting a little girl’s hair. We wouldn’t know the joy of watching her play with dolls. We wouldn’t be dreaming of her academic achievements or her wedding day or the delight of seeing her raising her own children someday. Without our daughter, our lives today and forever, would be very different.

Without us, our daughter’s life would have been very different too. By the time she was 18 months old, she was suffering from malnourishment, dehydration, and worms. She did not walk or even crawl. She didn’t laugh or smile. She didn’t play with other children or engage with adults. She was wasting away.

In fact, we fear that our daughter would have died in Liberia before she reached school age, had her first mother not courageously made a plan for her to be adopted. According to the CIA and UNICEF, Liberia’s infant and under-5 mortality rates are among the highest in the world. Our daughter was one of 167,000 children born in Liberia in 2005. Over 26,000 of her peers never saw their first birthdays. Thirteen thousand more of these precious ones have also died or will die before they reach age five in two more years. Our daughter was certainly on the path to becoming one of these children.

Had she continued to live in Liberia past her fifth birthday, however, she almost certainly would have had little education, if any. According to UNICEF, “Half a million children do not attend school. Two thirds of students are being taught by unqualified teachers. And, girls’ enrolment rates lag far behind those for boys.” With these kinds of obstacles in her way, how could any child rise above her circumstances to have a bright, happy life? What would the future hold for her?

On the other side of the coin, however, is the reality that our daughter is now part of a family who loves her dearly—a family that has access to medical care and education, a family that is raising her to believe in herself and her dreams, a family that is encouraging her to be all that she can be. The reality now for our daughter is that she will grow in the confidence that she is beautiful and intelligent, that she can do anything she wants to do. We will share with her our love and respect for Liberia, as well as our values of faith, generosity, hope, and love. We will talk with her about the ways that she can help the people of her homeland, and she will learn from our example as we apply our hearts and minds, our prayers and efforts, to the rebuilding of the beautiful land of Liberia.

Adoption is a beautiful option. It gives hope to first family that their children might grow up and thrive. It gives hope and a new life to a child. It gives fulfillment and joy to the adoptive family. If you know someone who has chosen adoption for their children, please support their decision. If you are in need and want your children to have hope for the future, please consider adoption.

With faith and hope,
A and R W

4 comments:

DeniseinSC said...

VERY nice! Can I cc it and just add our names?? Honestly, I'm a BAD writer of serious letters!

AND!! You've got me hooked on Toaster Strudles now!! I had forgotten about them until I read your blog the other day! I even bought the Valu pak of 12!!! Yummo! Love ,Denise

Tami said...

AWESOME! Excellent, heart-felt and intelligent. Bravo!

Tarah said...

:) Love it!

Stefanie said...

Fantastic letter!

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001

Punk

Punk
ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004

Pea

Pea
ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007

Pup

Pup
ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

Talk To Me

I blog for myself and my kids and I would do it even if no one else cared, but I do like to hear from you (and think it's a wee bit creepy of you to voyeurize us without my knowing it). So, please leave a comment from time to time, or email me anytime at xawilsons@hotmail.com. Much obliged, I'm sure.

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued