Second Chances

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Earlier this week, I wrote about our failed adoption.   13 months into our hosting and adoption journey, in a single phone call, everything had fallen apart and our journey came to a halt in a very reticent manner.  Nadia was quiet, we didn’t know what our next steps would be - or should be.  We had such clear conviction about our adoption journey and the path we were on that the collapse literally took our breath away.  

We spent the following six months doing more of what we’d done the previous 9 months.  We sent messages on Facebook Messenger, I sent monthly mail packages and periodic greeting cards in ways to continue affirming our relationship and love.  

In our private group on April 22nd, 2016, I posted:

4/22/16


This is the face of a 15 year old orphan from Eastern Europe. She has lived 2/3 of her life in orphanages due to parents being unable to care for her. She has an older sister she loves dearly and friends who mean the world to her. She likes geography, doesn't like math. She knows every scary movie ever made in America. She knows the words to every pop song. She is incredibly shy when she doesn't know someone, but very witty and funny when she does. She keeps us on our toes, gives the best hugs, and loves her American family - never failing to thank us for even the smallest of things.  She's our daughter no matter what last name she may have or what passport she has. We will fiercely protect her and advocate for her for all of our days.

And then, on April 25, 2016, we got the miracle we’d begged for the year before.  

4/25/16


And just like that, everything changes.  Mid-morning today, I received a typical message from Nadja .... "Hi."  We did our normal chit-chat and then things took a turn for the extraordinary.  I was asking about her school for next year (she graduates in June).  She responded, "Good question."  I asked her why not the school where her best friend goes.  "Becous I want to be adopted."

Stopped me in my tracks.

It took several hours to stop shaking after the ensuing conversation.  She says she is 100% sure she wants to come here "Becous I love you."  I asked her if she is scared?  "No 🙂

This is a different Nadja and I guess we are just cautiously optimistic with it.  Things take a bit to sort out in the courts over there to make this happen, but we have started the necessary steps. 

She will be meeting with her orphanage director tomorrow to say that she's changed her mind.  How I hope she has peace and resolve in doing that. 

Once that is done, our attorney over there will call and set things in motion.  We won't know any details for a while as this sorts out, but for TODAY, we know that she knew we loved her enough she could say that she still wanted adopted and she knew we hadn't gone anywhere over the last 9 months since we've seen her. 

Many many miracles in this process --- I'm just glad we get to be part of it!

On May 25th, the Orphans Court met (again) to determine if it was in Nadja’s best interest to be adopted:

5/26/16


Just got a call from our agency ....

It's a YES!!!!!

In January, she told me she wanted to be hosted by us in the summer and we had gone through all of the necessary steps for that (prior to the April turn).  And in June, she got to come visit as we waited for more steps in the adoption.  

6/12/16


After a long 10 months and 10 days, our girl is back. She showered, we got to visit and laugh a bit, and now she's tucked into her bed and sleeping. Can't wait to get her HOME tomorrow, but for tonight - I'm just grateful. All of the worries and tears - and yet everything was "perfect" tonight. 💖

June 13, 2016:

Last update until we have adoption info to share.

6/13/16


WE ARE HOME!!! 

I didn't know it was possible to love this child more than I did - but I do.  She has grown in ways I could never even have HOPED.  The discussions we've been able to have and the confidence I see in herself is truly a miracle and an answered prayer. 

We are going to spend some long-awaited, and much needed, family time.  ❤

Thank you AGAIN everyone for all of the love, kind words, prayers, and for believing in our family every step of the way.

July 26th, we got our official adoption referral and were able to travel in August for our first (of three) adoption trips.  (Here is the Latvian adoption process)

We came home as a family of 4 on September 10th, 2016.  Court was 3 months later in December, finalizing our adoption.  And in March 2017, we made our third and final trip to finish Nadia’s immigration process.  

In the 4+ years since she has been home, Nadia has flourished in our family.  We have made one additional trip to Latvia to join the centennial celebration and visit with her loved ones.  She maintains a strong relationship with her older sister and the sister’s family as well.  

She graduated high school (homeschool) in 2019 and is finishing her second year of the local two-year college.  She has been on the Dean’s List or Honors List all 3 semesters and was recently accepted into the university of her choice and will transfer in the fall of 2021 to study psychology.  

She works two part-time jobs and is a key player in the operations of Project 143 as she tracks and manages the family paperwork needed to host a child.

It has truly been a privilege of a lifetime to complete our adoption process (even if in round 2).  It hasn't always been easy - for any of us - but we've made it.  And we've made it together.  The growth we've all made has been astonishing to even me and I'm eternally grateful for this opportunity to be this family!

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Traci Mai


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