In 2008 my wife and I made a decision that has completely changed our lives, and now, we think it will change the world of higher education forever. Take a look at the video to learn how the story begins:
Video transcript below (read the bold headlines for a quick overview).
In 2004 my daughter was born with a rare genetic, immune-deficiency disorder. Doctors recommended we stop having children…
I’ve been asked so many times about the adoptions that I figured I would record a quick video to tell the story, since I’ve told it so many times; and to save those of you who don’t like to read as much, the task of reading a whole write-up on it. Basically it started in 2004, my youngest daughter was born with a very rare genetic disorder, an immune deficiency. And it was a tremendous challenge.
She suffered so much as a little baby. She had pneumonia within weeks of being born, she had heart surgery at the age of 4 months; we didn’t even have a treatment program. We didn’t even know what we were up against for the first while. The doctors kept telling us that there was a 25% chance that any other kid, any other baby that we had would have this same thing.
We ran into an old friend who had recently adopted two Liberian children and my wife was very intrigued…
As we listened to the doctors, we were pretty afraid of having to deal with this again and the pain that it would cause any other children we had. We thought about, talked about it a little bit, how we could grow our family but not run into that issue. Thankfully, since then we have gotten a handle on her condition. She is now on a treatment program and does just as well, if not better than our other kids. In fall of 2008 we were at a high school reunion and ran into a friend who had adopted 2 kids from Liberia, Africa. It was interesting because my wife hit it off immediately with this gal. She was like, “Hey, let’s hang out with these guys! I’m doing a girls’ weekend together.” It seemed like every other day she had something lined up with this friend. Come to find out she was really interested in the adoption process and how this gal had decided to adopt from Liberia, Africa; how much it cost, how long it took.
Searching for a son…
One day after weeks of this she came home and said, “Honey, I’d really like to consider adopting. I’d really like to look into this.” And being the wonderful husband that I am, I said, “Well, whatever keeps you occupied.” It wasn’t long before I realized she was serious. And I needed to get serious about it. She contacted the agency. They sent over a website with a bunch of photos of the kids from the orphanage. We agreed to look at the pictures and see if anything really struck us. We had talked about.. (we had three girls at the time)..we talked about maybe adopting an infant boy, a young boy that we could raise, and I could do all the outdoorsy stuff with.
That’s my son!…and his brother?
We agreed to look at the album separately so we wouldn’t give each other any biases. So I went to work and she did her thing. At work I ended up pulling it up in the afternoon and it was a surreal experience because I was essentially shopping for my child, which, who does that?! It’s something that I never thought I would be doing! But I started going through the pictures. Obviously, these kids are well taken care of in the orphanage by African standards, but they are raised in poverty, they have gone through so much in their lives that your heart begins to open up to them. As I was went through it, I saw one picture that rocked me. It was a picture of Surprise. And I think he was 9 years old at the time. And I thought, “Oh, man, that’s my kid! That’s my son!” The moment I looked at him, I just knew that that was my son! And then I thought, “How am I going to tell my wife about this?” The other thing, right next to his picture, it said, “sibling” and it had another picture, and it was a picture of Thomas who was about 6 years old at the time. Then I thought, “ An older boy and his brother. I don’t know how I can to sell my wife on this.” So I went home, we had dinner and put the kids to bed; and I mentioned the photo album to Beth. I said, “Did you look at the pictures?” And she said, “Yyyeesss.” And I said, “What was that all about? What did you find?” She goes, “well, how would you feel about adopting an older boy and his brother?” And I said, “Oookkkay.” There were multiple older boy-sibling sets in the orphanage, but I looked at her and said, “Do you mean Surprise and Thomas?” “Yeah, yeah, exactly.” So, at that point we knew and we both had individual confirmation that those were our boys. So we started the process. I’ll tell you more about the process in another video in another write up.
Three long years later they are home with us!
It ended up taking about 4 years, a lot of prayers and a lot of miracles, but it ended up working out. We were able to bring the boys home here in 2012 and that’s where the story begins.