Fifteen years ago I was an empty nester and a newlywed….an old newlywed. Okay, not that old. I was old enough to know that when my new husband mentioned having more children it would turn my world around and sacrifices would have to be made.
I was old enough that chances of getting pregnant were slim and chances of being chosen as an adoptive couple for an infant were even slimmer. Previous experience with the United States foster care system made me think twice about that route, so I started looking at other options. I searched the internet and found beautiful children needing homes in other countries! Research led me to Ukraine.
In Ukraine, we found our sons. A quiet ten-year-old with a strong will and determined strength and a stubborn five-year-old who wanted a Mom and Pop more than anything came home with us. I was right. They turned my world around.
Where I had been focused on career and professional growth, I now focused on teaching two little boys what family was all about. Where I was worried about how my home was decorated, I now had slips of paper labeling everything. “Chair,” “lamp,” “door,” “bed” were all English words and letters they had never seen. Where I was a go-with-the-flow drop-by-any-time home, we were now sticklers for a schedule so the boys would know stability.
I was proud of the fact that I had broken a family pattern. My two biological children were well adjusted and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I loved them come hell or high water. I now was determined that these two little boys would also know that kind of love. That was a high wall to climb. We spent a lot of energy working on building strong bonds.
Those two little boys turned my world around to a wonderful place where, “You know I love you, right Mom?” means the world to me.
It’s difficult to say how international adoption changed my life. I can’t imagine my life without it. I have four children, equally important and part of my heart. Two of them were just detoured to Ukraine before they got home.