“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” –Confucius
Even before we got married, it was always in the back of our minds. We’d try to become parents the usual way. If God didn’t send us children by birth, we could adopt. It sounded simple enough.
As years passed and we were still waiting for a child, we found ourselves seriously considering adoption—an option we had discussed only peripherally. It was an unfamiliar path, and we had numerous questions. Even more daunting, each question we asked seemed to lead to a new one. Should we adopt domestically or internationally? If we chose international adoption, which country? Were we prepared to be a transracial family? What medical conditions did we feel prepared to handle? How long did we want to wait?
After four years of marriage and praying for a child, that was the only question I could answer immediately: Not long.
John and I went together to a thorough but nonetheless daunting adoption information session at Catholic Charities. As we sat there, listening to the description of adoption programs in different countries, I felt drawn to China and the Philippines. I was absolutely certain, however, that John would want to adopt from Korea. He had always refused to fly and the Korean program offered the only option in which the children could be escorted to their new parents.
As we walked to our car, I said, “So, what do you think?”
“Well,” said John, “I’m thinking either China or the Philippines.”
I was astonished. Had we heard the same presentation? “But we would have to fly there,” I reminded him.
He shrugged it off. If that was what we had to do to start our family, he told me, then that’s what we would do. That was one of many moments along the way when I felt sure God was guiding us on this path. As we spoke to other adoptive parents and did more research, it became clear to us that our child was in China. And the first time John and I boarded a plane together, we flew to Beijing.
I hear other couples talking about how the wife is leading the charge with the adoption, while the husband hesitates or digs in his heels. One of the greatest gifts God has given us in our marriage is that John and I have always been on the same page with regard to adoption.
God has given us two other magnificent gifts—our sons, who fill our lives in ways we could never have imagined. The priest who married us once told us—before our wedding—that God can look at our lives and fit the puzzle pieces together in any order He wants. He doesn’t need to start with the edge, or insert pieces next to one another.
Every night after the boys are sleeping and the house is quiet, we marvel at how God fit together the puzzle pieces in our lives, connecting a couple in Baltimore to their sons who were born thousands of miles away.