2004 - 2010 - We attend a new church where many families have adopted, both through foster adopt programs and private domestic adoption as well as international adoptions. These families inspire me further.
2008 - We are blessed with Esther, born with Down Syndrome, and we enter the world of parenting a child with special needs. We come to love the community of families blessed with an extra chromosome.
2011 - Discover Reece's Rainbow. Amazed to learn that so many children with Down Syndrome and other special needs are languishing in orphanages around the world. But it seems there's nothing I can do about it, so I let it alone.
Spring of 2012 - Carese is born, healthy and thriving. I re-discover Reece's Rainbow while I am down with an injured knee and begin to advocate for orphans and an adoptive family. I discover the community behind Reece's Rainbow. Daryl and I begin talking about adoption, but he is not interested and I know we are not in a position to adopt (me on crutches, a newborn etc).
Fall of 2012 - We decide to take steps to pursue adoption and see where it leads...but the child we try to adopt is in a country who defines "large family" as fewer than 7 children. We back off from pursuing to re-evaluate/reconsider. We find a country that is favorable to large families like ours and keep an eye out for newly listed children who might be the right fit for our family. We do some ground work, finding an adoption agency and home study agency that will work if we pursue adopting from this country.
January 15, 2013 - Esther has her surgery and recovers quickly. We decide to take another looks at the newly listed children and there is a new little one that peaks our interest.
January 16, 2013 - After a few more heart to heart talks, Daryl says we should pursue adopting this child - he even sends me written permission via an email that I saved! By the afternoon I have submitted out home study application ($550) and set up fees. I also contact the adoption agency to let them know we are moving forward. I find out that we need to submit our commitment documents and fee ($3500) in order to be officially committed to this child - we don't have that...yet. I call and move up our tax appointment to the 18th