This is a story of motherhood. Not an easy one coming. Struggle, rejection, tears and fighting. Of all the women I know, my Aunt Vicki deserved to be mother more than them all. The kindest, most loving woman one will ever meet.
She began to doubt she would ever have a child. She almost gave up entirely.
Somehow, she found the strength to keep fighting. Today, she is mom to two of the most precious souls you will ever meet. This is her story. . .
Jinnae was first discovered at a bus stop in China, a little piece of paper pinned to her with her birthdate. Her birth mother probably unable to support her, placed her in the most public place she could think of to be found.
My Aunt’s heart is so big, and yet like every heart, it is fragile. Jinnae did not come easy. Vicki fought long–so very long–and hard. She was originally told it would take 8 months. . .
“I started to wonder if our adoption would ever happen. It was a year and a half now. I started talking less about it to others.”
Then two years: “I would sit in the baby room and pray and cry. I began thinking maybe I wouldn’t have a child.”
Finally, after three long years, imagining it may never really happen, she received the most wonderful call of her life. She was on a plane to China soon after, where she found herself face to face with her baby girl (eight months old).
The one she had waited for, prayed, for, cried for, was now here with her. The love so intense; the bond so fierce. Every day of waiting worth it–forever worth it.
Kyra was born in the Marshall Islands. Vicki figured the second time around would be fine. She would be mentally prepared for the challenges ahead.
They were going to adopt two baby girls from Ghana. This time they were told things would happen much faster.
“Ghana closed its doors to adoption leaving us emotionally and financially drained. I thought I would be stronger this time, I wasn’t. I would cry on the way to work and on the way home. I was a teacher and touched children’s lives all day. I loved my career. I didn’t understand why when I was doing everything right – believing and trusting in God, married, positive, kind, helpful, serving others that it was so difficult for me to have a child. It seemed unfair. While I waited and longed for a second child, others seemed to have smooth adoption processes and pregnancies. Life began to feel so unfair, which it is sometimes.”
They decided to try again. This time the Congo. After four months, and more payments, this country closed its doors to adoption as well.
“I decided at that point I wasn’t sure if I could go through another process. The pain was overwhelming. Why was it so difficult for me to adopt a child?”
Two months later she was told of a new adoption program in the Marshall Islands, claiming the entire process would take six months.
“I wasn’t so sure. I was scared in the pit of my stomach. What if we started another process and something didn’t work out again, could I tell all my family and friends again that something went wrong?. . . Could I handle feeling like a failure again?”
She took the risk. She opened her already broken heart one last time.
This past June, just five months after starting the last process, Vicki found herself in the Marshall Islands. Kyra was taught Vicki’s “name” ahead of time. Upon seeing her, she adressed her as momma.
Yes, she was her momma. And Kyra, you have the most beautiful momma in all the world. She waited for you, fought for you. And when all of life told her she just wasn’t right for this motherhood thing, she fought for you still.
To all those trying to be “Mom,” whether through childbirth or adoption: keep fighting. Vicki will tell you–she will be the very first to tell you–it is worth the fight. Worth the wait.
“I truly understand how they feel. I have learned through the past seven years to always trust God, to be patient, and to continue to rise above even when life is difficult.”
Photo credit: Jaqueline Glueck Photography