MADELEINE for the Sayer family — PA
Jeri and I met in college, got married six months after graduating in 1981 (yes, we’re old). After graduate school, we settled down to have a child, Nate, who was born in 1986. We were both busy with work, and kind of figured one was enough. Some friends of Jer’s were adopting though, and showed her a video of a spunky 3 ½ year-old with arthrogryposis whose name was Christina. We couldn’t get her off our minds for some reason, and were wondering if we ought to think about adopting her. Jer asked God for a sign (she’s always doing stuff like that). While wandering through the doll aisle of Toy ‘R’ Us a few days later, Jer saw a Cabbage Patch doll that reminded her of Christina. Those Cabbage Patch dolls each have names on the backs of the boxes. When Jer reached up and turned this box around, she saw this doll was named – you guessed it – Christina. Well, that was the sign. So Christina joined our family.
When the director of her former orphanage tragically passed away a few years later, leaving a 13-year old son, Misha joined our family. After that, Christina’s 10 year-old friend, who lived in foster care down the street, but who was about to go into a new placement – Kristine – signed on to our family as well. This mélange of stories and characters (we include ourselves in that description!) managed reasonably well, with a lot of ups and a few big downs over the last couple of decades. Our youngest was in her second year of college, and we were enjoying our empty nest. And, all of a sudden, we started to feel that tug of the Holy Spirit that maybe it was time to do more than just slide through middle age and live for ourselves after all those years of raising a family. So, we sort of started over by adopting two ten-year-olds, Yulia and Vika. After being in our family for about three months, we feel like they’re adjusting pretty well. They’re starting to get a little English down. We’ve begun the normal round of appointments: glasses, a few dental extractions, some speech therapy, and beginning the process at Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia of getting Vika up and walking (she’s got arthrogryposis too). All is going well.
A funny thing happened over in Eastern Europe though. When were there and spending a couple hours a day in the orphanage for two-and-a-half weeks, we kept running into this teenaged girl who just was… charming. She helped get the other kids where they needed to be. She has a kind face. We saw her in a dance program, and she is a graceful dancer. We said over and over that she would make a lovely daughter for someone… but we were done adopting kids.
Then, a couple days ago, she – Madeleine — appeared on the Reece’s Rainbow site. It took us about 12 minutes to decide that we could do it one more time – ONE. We know adopting teenagers can be hard. They’ve often been pretty wounded by the time they make it home. We trust that love, patience and persistence will win the day. It did with our son, who was the same age when we adopted him. We are excited to continue our adoption journey!
10/10/13—APPOINTMENT IS NOVEMBER 18