By Vicki Starting
Our adoption story began about two and a half years ago. At the time we had six children and my husband felt we were done having children. I still felt a yearning for more children though and knew that if God had more children for us, that he would stir my husbands heart.
Up to this point my husband had said my that if a child was “dropped in our laps” that he would never say no.
In June two years ago, we received a text late one night asking if we would adopt a little boy with Down syndrome that was in foster care. We were overwhelmed and it wasn’t at all a story I had imagined, but our hearts were stirred and we took that little boys in as foster parents (something we had been certain we would not do with all our young children) and eventually little Joby became our son.
He is almost four now and though he is lots of work, he is also a blessing and joy in our lives. He changed our family. By this last summer we were both feeling like we would not pursue another child, that indeed God would have to once again “drop a child in our laps”.
We got a message from an acquaintance telling us there was an 11 year old girl, named Octavia from Poland that they were advocating for and searching hard for a family that would host her. We could find no reason to say no.
Three weeks later she was in our home. It was a very different kind of experience from taking in a baby- she had emotions and a will and drama and fears that we didn’t really experience with Joby. In other ways, the experience was very similar. When she sobbed in our arms, begging to not go home after her visit, we knew quickly that she had brought her to our family for us to fight for her and to offer her all that we have.
We had been certain that we would never do an international adoption. We live frugally on one income and could see no way that we could come up with the money for such an adoption, let alone the time away from work for my husband. I couldn’t see how I could home school 6 kids and care for Joby’s needs AND fundraise at the same time. But we had committed to this child and were going to find a way. We are amazed at the support that people have given in the first three months but we still have a long way to go. We are leaning hard into Him to guide us, prepare us and provide for us.
We think the best “voice” for adoption is people living it out. People have watched us adopt Joby. They’ve seen him transform inside a loving stable family with all these children loving on him, challenging him and stimulating him- he has blossomed! His kidney’s have healed dramatically, we taught him to eat and his g-tube was removed after one year, he learned to walk and sign and is just doing amazing. Not only that, but people have seen my reticent 15 year old who didn’t really want Joby fall in love and be transformed by Joby in his life. God has shown the beauty of adoption in our home and family and we want to continue to be a living picture of this beautiful thing called adoption.