…In October of 2014 we received a call from our social worker (this blessed lady had been on the whole journey with us from Russia to now and deserves a million crowns in heaven for it). She had been working with an agency in the Caribbean on a certain matter and because of the good rapport they developed; they began to ask her to send families over who they could consider for a little 3 year old boy. She wanted to know if she could send our file to be considered. I need to be honest here. I was snarky about it. “Sure, send our file. It’s not like anyone has ever wanted to give us a child. Whatever.”From what was explained to me, there is an adoption board on these islands that know the orphans personally. The board likes to meet and look at files of families and they hand pick them for children. I was so skeptical of this process. I had only seen Eastern European orphanages and processes and thus far, I had not experienced one that was not using these children as political pawns. I had not experienced a world where they cared enough to match these children to families they knew would be good for them. I was skeptical, but I wanted to see it too. I wanted to vet this.
Our social worker decided to submit our file; I then expected to hear nothing.
A few weeks later I was working a show (I am a Tour Manager for a few music artists) in Florida. I had done a presentation on Holt International (kiddos who need sponsors) and then proceeded to the merchandise table. This older lady came up to me and said she would be praying for us with our adoption. She grabbed my hand and said, “I just know that you are going to be a Mama… real soon.” In the split second that she said it, I was thinking that it was a nice sentiment and that many people have said this to me. However, when she said “Mama real soon,” my phone began to ring below the merchandise table. I could see that it was my social workers name lit up on the screen. Weird. Since I was talking to this older lady, I could not answer. Then I saw a text message pop up on the screen that said, “Call me ASAP.”
I called her back (mind you… this is like 9PM; an odd time for phone calls like this). She said, “I am just wondering how you feel about soccer balls, baseballs, and boy toys because… you are a Mama. They chose you.”
Jared and I walked around in a daze of shock for a week. I don’t even think we talked about it because… WHAT JUST HAPPENED TO US???
We had been on this adoption journey, not necessarily for a certain type of child, but all the ones we had been brought to, thus far, were little girls about 7 or 8 years in age. But here is this little Caribbean boy who is 3…WHAT??? We had been told that when the adoption board picks you, that is it; they consider you his parents and will move you along to be able to come get him. Amazing.
We spoke with the agency soon after this. I told her point blank about my skepticism. I told her they would need to prove themselves to me. She thought I was joking at first; I was not.
They invited us to visit this little one for a week in November. We literally only had one week available the whole rest of the year so we booked our tickets and we flew to the island of Grenada, where little Aiden (that’s his cute name!) lives. I had no clue what we were stepping into, but I was willing to take another risk (heaven only knows why).
The first part of the week we went to his orphanage every day to spend an hour or so with him so he could warm up to us. He was a ball of cuteness. He has a laugh that will send you into happiness no matter your mood before and his smile completely lights up a room. I was stunned. These women who are caring for him are raising him to the best of their abilities and it is SO MUCH more than I have ever seen in any other orphanage. He needs parents, but he has received the next best thing at this children’s home and I cannot even tell you the amount of gratitude this fills me with.
Little Aiden in his Homework Room at the orphanage
After three days with small visits, we were allowed to take him to stay with us at our hotel for the remainder of the week. He did very well with us although he did take a little bit to warm up to the idea of it just being the three of us. We played on the beach and went to restaurants and walked into town. He grew to love just being close to us. He really values time with just us three. You can tell he craves this type of family.Leaving was very difficult. We knew we had to come back for him. There was no doubt in our minds. We left Grenada knowing he was our little boy; and thus we began the process to change our paperwork to Grenada and try to get back to him as soon as possible.
If you have read this story all the way to this point, God bless you. I apologize for the roller coaster, but I appreciate the company as I rode the waves once again to tell our story.Aiden turned 4 in November and our hope is to give him his 5th birthday in our home this year. Maybe after 2 years and 9 months of this adoption journey, we will finally have the child in our home that was always meant to be. One less orphan. One more family.
Wishing You Adventure & Gumption,