AJ's Adoption Story

Posted by  | Monday, March 16, 2009  at 1:00 AM  
Hello to all of you POHers. I am sure you have seen me comment often. My name is AJ and I am a friend of Krista’s and I would like to share our adoption story. . .

I wish I could tell you it was an easy and smooth journey but it was not. My husband and I knew before we got married we wanted to adopt internationally. (At that time we didn’t know we had infertility problems). On our first anniversary we started the paperwork process. This process takes around 6 months to complete and then we submitted our dossier (this is about 2000 pages of paperwork sent to the adoption country) to Kazakhstan in June of 2005. We then began the process of waiting for a referral from Kazakhstan. We anxiously waited and prayed and waited and prayed.

Finally we received a phone call in June of 2006; we were to travel to Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2 weeks. We were ecstatic; after an almost two year process we were at the end of the journey and we would meet our baby girl. During the next 2 weeks we frantically packed and asked each other “what will she look like?” “How old will she be?” The plan was for my husband and I to spend three weeks in Kazakhstan and complete most of the paperwork and then leave the country (this is law in Kaz.) and I would return 1 month later with my dad to pick up our baby.

Planning is something I live my life around. Needless to say as our plane lifted off the ground on July 4, 2006, the plan in my mind became as messed up as any plan could ever be.

We arrived in Kaz. July 6, 2006 and were told we would go the next day to see available children in the orphanage. Tomorrow came and went and we sat nervously in our hotel waiting. Finally we were told there were no available children and we would be sent home. I cannot tell you the turmoil my mind and body was in. What was God doing? 25,000 dollars and 2 continents away from our support system and we were going home with empty arms. We immediately called our family in the states (we paid 2 dollars a minute and interrupted my sister’s wedding reception) and asked for prayer that a miracle would happen and we would get to stay and meet our baby (the next plane to leave was 4 days away) we prayed and cried and paced. The day before we were to fly home our translator arrived and said get in the car we will go meet children! We were not sure we understood but indeed we headed to the orphanage. We were introduced to numerous special needs children and then we finally were taken into a room with another couple (they have since become our best friends) and were told here is one boy, one girl, you both wanted girls so decide…the head of the baby house then walked out. We met these babies and held them and loved on them but what would we do???

Both babies were 8 months old and in good health for the circumstances. We were then told to make our decision by the following day. We went back to our hotel and sat down with the other couple and prayed and talked. The next morning God had spoken to the other couple and confirmed that they were to adopt the baby boy.

We spent the next two weeks interacting and bonding with these babies (2 weeks bonding is required by Kazak law). I could hardly dare to let my heart open to this beautiful baby girl. Her name was Tursyngul and she was born at 24 weeks gestation at just under 2 pounds. She looked like a small newborn weighing just 8 pounds and unable to roll over and sit up, crawl or walk.

Gradually we opened our hearts and the two week bonding period went smoothly. We were set to appear before the judge and he kept denying our request repeatedly. We were told our agency was making mistakes and not doing their job. Finally after 2 more weeks we went to the judge. He looked at our paperwork and said there were problems and we would come back in two more weeks. (Remember we were supposed to be there only 3 weeks). We continued to visit the baby we had named Lydia 2 times everyday not knowing if we would ever walk out of the baby house with her. 2 weeks passed again and the other couple was granted their baby boy. We walked into the judge’s chambers and he once again denied our petition for adoption stating we were missing a paper. We indeed were but were never told about it and once again another problem with our agency.

At this point I lost it. I cried and cried and was almost ready to just pack our bags and leave. By this point we had been in Kaz. almost two months and we had received an email from my husband’s job that because of his continued delay he would be loosing his job! We were spending hundreds of dollars a day in a foreign country and now had no income.

We immediately got on our knees and asked for wisdom. I felt in such turmoil and such bitterness with our agency. How could they play with our lives? How were we going to get through this? I will be honest I was angry at God for allowing this. I then was reminded of Jacob and how he wrestled with God and that is exactly what I did. I laid on the floor sobbing and I remained there until the Lord finally said, “AJ, I am here and no matter what happens trust me, my grace is sufficient, I am in control” After hours of sobbing and prayer I got up and knew whether I left with my baby or not God’s will was not my own. Was I still struggling? YOU BET! I prayed that whatever happened God would give me the grace to handle it.

Upon clarification to stay in the country we immediately tried to get the one paper we needed from the states. The judge had given us one week. We called Oklahoma and my mom found the paper at our social work agency (not our adoption agency) and she took it to the State Capitol to have the proper documentation done. She immediately paid a lot of money to Fed Ex and UPS it to Kaz. With no guarantees it would arrive. We were hours outside any city.

We prayed for the arrival of the paper, we knew it would be a miracle but God chose another way. We had begun a blog of our journey and numerous people from all over the country had kept up with our story. In fact, a couple had found our blog from Atlanta and were coming to the same city to adopt. She continued to ask us questions as they prepared to come they were very nervous about the bad experience we were having. Realizing they would arrive in Kaz the day before our court hearing my mom FEDEX overnight our papers to Atlanta and this precious couple hand carried our documents (and I mean they never let them out of their hand). They walked into our hotel and I was sitting in the lobby. I immediately knew it was our angel. I walked up to them and asked them their name and they immediately handed me the document. Tears poured down my face and we sat in the lobby sobbing. God saw fit to use people we had never met to bring his glory and to show me he was in control. Our other copies never arrived by mail.

The next morning we appeared before the judge and God had worked on his heart as well. A once hard man immediately gave us custody and it was a national holiday so he hurried us and we picked up Lydia Jane 2 hours later and walked out of that baby house one last time.

Two days later we flew to the capitol to appear before the embassy and there were many other problems that I won’t even share here. But 8 days later through a series of miracles and unfortunately paying $16,000 more dollars we lifted off the runway in Almaty, Kaz.

Arriving 48 hours later in Oklahoma City, we were greeted by laughter, tears and many balloons. It was the end of September we had been gone almost 3 months. We sat in the airport and introduced Lydia to family, friends and strangers that had all played a part of this miracle.

God continued to work miracles and through our blog my husband was hired on at a new job starting one week after we arrived home.

I share our story with you and believe me this is just a tip of the iceberg, to encourage you through the deepest valley and lowest points. God is in Control and His will is perfect. I would so tell you that adoption is wonderful, we had a very bad experience and I would highly suggest you do your research but in the end God gave us a wonderful gift and we see his miracle walking, playing, and breathing everyday.

5 comments:

Curt, Mariah, & Carli Badura said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I have tears of joy for you and your family!

Our God is in control and has His ways that we don't always understand.

Mariah

Teesa said...

Thanks for sharing. We are in the process of adopting internationally too, and started over five years ago. It's a long process and it sounds like by man's standards, terrible things can go wrong. But, if we lean on the Lord, He will give us strength to take us through. I appreciate the reminder, as we are disappointed month after month with no match.

KmClarkR said...

Thank you so much for the story. My husband and I are praying about international adoption now. I thank God for his grace and provision. Your beautiful daughter is an example of how he is in control no matter what the outside circumstances look like.

noahandlylasmommi said...

Wow. Lydia is beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing your story.

The Lytle Family said...

Thank you so much for sharing! Matt and I are in the process of adopting right now, and I've been amazed at all of the different stories. May the Lord give you grace as you parent your beautiful little girl.

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