What we started off with and what we ended up with in our adoption journey, is a story we feel deserves to be shared. Even if it inspires and encourages one family, we feel that it is worth sharing.
My wife and I were living in the US then and began thinking about adoption in the beginning of 2000 but by the time our paper work was completed with our adoption agency (Dillon International in Tulsa, OK), it was almost October of 2000. Like every other well-meaning Indian family in the US, we too wanted only a healthy child and we were building our dreams on those lines.
Sometime in the middle of 2001 (almost after six months passed), my best friend – Mr. Manoah Mohanraj, flew in from California to spend time with us for the weekend. One evening of that weekend, we had our prayer and during the devotion, he dropped a suggestion out of the blue saying that we should accept our first referral of adoption and not negotiate because that would be the gift from God.
Being completely taken by surprise, we didn’t say anything but waited for him to leave. After he left, my wife and I kept talking about what Manoah said to us. Being Christians, reluctantly we thought what he said may be correct but we were not totally convinced, so we began praying. At last, we were convinced that what he said was correct, so I called and informed Manoah of our decision not to negotiate on the child to come.
Then came our first referral of a child and it broke our hearts to read her medical records. The child who was referred to us suffered intra-uterine growth retardation, septicaemia and one-sided weakness. We had a choice to opt out and ask for another referral but we felt we made a commitment to the God that we serve and to my dear friend. We thought of negotiating and just apologizing to my friend for breaking a promise. We struggled with this decision. With a lot of prayer and trust, we came to the conclusion to leave it to the God that we serve, so we said YES to the same child.
The child crossed the oceans and reached our home on December 13th, 2001 and within the first week of her arrival, we took her to the paediatrician with the accompanied medical records. He read the document and did a thorough check up. After asking a lot of questions to us, he stated to the effect that she was a healthy child. Our joy knew no bounds and there she began growing up at home.
We wanted to adopt a second child but this time we thought to adopt a male child. We knew from our experience that there’s nothing better than trusting God so we said to ourselves that we’ll accept first referral of a boy child.
It was August/ September of 2004, I was driving to go to see a patient at her home and I got a call from the Social Worker of our adoption agency. She wanted to know if we would be open to an idea of a child who is not our preferred child. When I asked for details, she said that it is a girl child but born with bilateral club feet. I didn’t even wait for the next second but I said YES. I immediately realized that I said something without consulting my wife.
I made call to my wife and told her of what happened and expectedly she was annoyed at my urgency. We had a long chat that evening and with prayer and trust in the God that we serve, came the conclusion that we’ll go with the same referral with bilateral club feet.
For some reason, the processing of our application of this child was stalled which even our adoption agency couldn’t explain. I ran to the office of our house of representative (equivalent to the Lok Sabha MP in Indian Parliament) and sent emails to our Senior state Senator (equivalent to the Rajya Sabha MP in Indian Parliament) but no luck. At last, one night, I write to the President of the United States of America explaining my predicament. Third day, I got a call from the office of the Vice President of the US and our application was completed in three days. Next day I flew out of the US to bring our second child home. Ironically, she also arrived on the same day (December 13th) but three years apart.
Within three months, she underwent corrective surgery to both her feet simultaneously and there her journey of growing up in our home began.
Today, after 21 years of our first child’s arrival, we look back into our past with immense satisfaction to have made the decisions that we made. There are so many people who played such an important role in our children’s growth (my best friend, our adoption agency, my church in the US (Southcrest Baptist Church), my work place (Covenant Health System), our children’s day care, their school(s) in India and our church in India etc).
Our children are the best thing that has ever happened to my wife and I. We couldn’t have asked for any other children – kind hearted yet assertive, generous yet diligent, smart yet humble and the list goes on.
They both have also played an inspirational role to define the destiny of our future for our family to relocate to India in 2006 to work in the field of
child protection in general and adoption in specific. That's how the work of the Hope House began.
My wife and I are so glad that we allowed God to be God, to allow Him to do what He intended for us to have.