My husband of 14 years and I have wanted to adopt since before we got married. Mike was adopted as a baby. I have loved working with children in the foster care system as a licensed clinical social worker and therapist.
The time was right for us to adopt 2½ years ago. While attending the state required MAPP classes, we would spend time looking at the pictures in the Heart Gallery. One day a beautiful girl with big brown eyes and a bright smile was new to the gallery. I read about her and showed her picture to my husband. I knew right away that God was telling me that Lamaya was our little girl.
We inquired about her through our agency. The biggest question that was posed to us was whether we were OK with the fact that Lamaya has a serious heart defect. Our answer was absolutely. We trusted that God has an amazing plan for our daughter and us. Don’t misunderstand. We did think seriously about what the medical diagnosis meant. We did research on it and spoke with a cardiologist at length, but throughout that process we were very at peace with our decision.
The hardest thing about adoption is the effect of loss and trauma on the child. Yes, children want to be loved and need forever families. Yes, you should seriously consider adoption for your family. But also you should understand that it’s not balloons and flowers every day. Parenting any child is difficult. Parenting a child who has experienced profound loss is hard in different ways.
To all the future adoptive moms and dads out there who are considering this privilege – please do. Consider changing your life – not theirs. It is the best decision I’ve ever made. We met our daughter when she was 4, and I’ve never laughed so much, been so proud or loved this deeply. I’ve never truly appreciated what it takes to love with your whole heart despite past hurts until I watched my baby girl do it. She’s my hero – I tell her that she is the bravest girl I know. I have the most wonderful daughter on the planet. She is sweet, smart, playful, vivacious and, above all, she loves people with her whole heart. I hope someday I’ll be able to love as fully as she does. I’ll keep working toward that. In the meantime, I get the sweetest title of all – what my baby’s friends call me — Lamaya’s mom.