An Adoption Story: Ali and Her Dad
Ruby was a much loved student in our Believe in Me Huainan School, and we were excited to see her on the shared list available for adoption. We featured her in the blog “Our Precious Ruby Seeks a Family” and again in “Ruby: A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes.” We knew she was dreaming of a family of her own and even wondered if she was dreaming of her “Prince Charming.” Well, it looks like she has found him! Ruby is now known as Ali, and it brings us great pleasure to bring you the story of her adoption as told by her father.
As I stood in the back of a cold, dark operating room waiting for a surgeon to use my product, I received an email from my wife. We had just returned from China after adopting a very happy little five-year-old boy and I was feeling pretty blessed that the process of incorporating an “older” child into our already large family was going much more smoothly than I had expected, especially since he didn’t speak a bit of English.
The email I received from my wife said little, but the picture included spoke a thousand words. There, staring up at me from my phone, was a beautiful eleven-year-old girl in China who needed a family. In that instant I knew this girl was to be a part of our family. However, in the next few minutes, hours, and days I wrestled with so many things. We had just returned from China and I really did not expect that we would be returning, especially not within the next year. We had just had such a successful adoption with an older child. Were we pressing our luck to adopt an even older child? And it’s one thing to bring a five-year-old to the US who doesn’t speak any English, but an eleven-year-old? As I logically thought through all the reasons we shouldn’t adopt her, I continued to come back to the picture of a smiling girl looking up at me from the picture I had saved to my phone’s home screen. Whatever the issues we would have to deal with, I knew that Ali was destined to join our family, and she was more than worth whatever the challenges were that we would have to endure.
We have now been home for several weeks, and all the concerns that I had about adopting an older child are distant memories. I can’t imagine our family without Ali’s infectious smile and the joy that she has brought to all our lives. Our large family has had a great time learning Chinese as she patiently teaches us words and then laughs at us when we are so far off the mark. And I continue to be surprised how she picks up a little bit more English every day. Of all the things to learn early, she quickly learned how to call the dog!
Our short time together hasn’t been without some challenges, and I am realistic that the future may hold even more. But in many ways we feel like she has always been here, a permanent part of our family, and a child that we are proud to call our own. As I write this today, I am thinking of all the fathers out there who might be struggling with some of the same issues that I struggled with. I am so thankful that I didn’t let logic stop me from experiencing one of the biggest blessings in my life – the adoption of my wonderful new daughter. And I continue to think of all of the older orphaned children who are waiting for a family of their own – and hope that many more fathers will find it in their hearts to say “yes” to a child in need.
~Cameron Bernadsky, Ali’s dad
We love knowing that Ali is going to get her chance at “happily ever after”! If you are a father with similar questions about adoption who would benefit from talking them through with another dad, please feel free to send an email to [email protected] and we will forward it to Cameron.