An Adoption Story: Taking the Plunge
LWB has many programs in Anhui province. Through the years, we have come to know a number of lovely older children from Anhui who have been waiting so long for their chance to find a family. We have featured several of them in the past few months, such as Brianna, Michelle and Wendy — all students in our Believe in Me Huainan school in Anhui.
Ten-year- old Maryn was once a student at the same Believe in Me school in Anhui and was good friends with all of these girls. She had the good fortune to be adopted and has been home with her family for two and a half years. When her family learned that Maryn’s friends had the same chance as she did to have families of their own, they decided to share a bit of their story to encourage folks to consider these lovely Anhui girls and older children in general. They have likened their exhilarating experience to “taking the plunge.”
It was a normal day in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Peoples Republic of China, in August of 2009, and, by normal, I mean hot and humid. It was anything but a normal day for my husband and me because we were in China! We were there having come together as a new family of three with our daughter who had heard, just days before, the name by which she would come to be known over the coming days, weeks, months and now years, Maryn. She had reached the advanced age of eight years the day before we met on August 3, 2009, and now we were family.
On that hot day, the hotel pool not only looked inviting, but we were ready to take the advice of other adoptive parents who recommended getting into the pool with our child because it would foster attachment as she would be forced to rely on us and cling to us for survival. The only problem was our daughter hadn’t talked to the same people we’d talked to about attachment, and she didn’t have the same appreciation for the cooling relief of a large swimming pool two strangers were beckoning her to enjoy. She wanted nothing to do with the pool and maintained her distance on the lounge chair, sweaty but safe.
Three short weeks later we were at home doing well in our new life as a family. Labor Day was upon us and pools would be closing after that weekend. We knew swimming lessons were in Maryn’s future, but how would we make that happen? In the days leading up to the weekend, I used my language skills to inform Maryn that we were going to Cousin Jenny’s house to swim. Soon after we arrived, we walked to the neighborhood pool. I stopped to put our bags on the chairs and turned to see Maryn heading down the steps into the shallow end without hesitation.
Fear not. This isn’t a story about water safety or how quickly a child can get into a pool when your back is turned. The pool is merely a metaphor for older child adoption. Maryn was never in danger as she stepped into that pool and the truth is neither were we. We knew all along that we wanted to adopt an older child and had time to prepare, but there were many times we felt overwhelmed by the possibilities. Just as when you are standing with your toes on the edge looking into the pool below, when considering older child adoption you may find yourself filled with apprehension and questions before deciding to jump in. Will we be in over our heads? Will the lifesaver be there if we need help? What will it feel like if we take the plunge?
When our dream came true and we walked into Maryn’s life, we found that what we were least prepared for was the joy. I can tell you this: the deep end is very deep in our pool of love. Maryn is a delight. She is sunshine and happiness, a love bug, a smiley, happy girl. She is a shining star. She is our daughter.
Having a child by any means requires a leap of faith. Building our family through older child adoption is the greatest thing we have ever done. We are a blessed family. Perhaps an “older” child all of about 8, 10, 12 or 13 years will be just the right blessing for your family, too. Take the plunge. We know you will find it so much more than just refreshing.
~ Rebecca and Tom, Maryn’s proud parents
Michelle, Wendy, and many other incredible older children are waiting. Have you considered taking the plunge? If so, please contact our Adoption Assistance Team at [email protected] if you have any questions about any children we have featured on our blog.
Love Without Boundaries proudly advocates for adoption but is not an adoption agency. We invite you to contact [email protected] with questions about a child we have featured and encourage you to contact your local adoption agency for more information about China’s Waiting Child Program.