In 2019, Cam and I were coming to the end of our 3-years of living in gorgeous Edinburgh, Scotland. It was an adventure for sure. Cam was finishing up his studies and I was finishing up exploring the beautiful architecture with our little adventure buddy Calvin Jack, who was then 4 years old and had been in our home since he was nearly 3 weeks old. We were in the Lesotho adoption program and at that point had been in the program for nearly 6 years. We were used to waiting – years had come and gone and still no word from Lesotho.
And one short email changed everything.
“Hi Guys, just wanted to see if you would ever consider adopting an 8-year-old?”
Sincerely – Amanda
Our heads went spinning; numerous ‘what if’ conversations started; phone calls to dear friends and a long phone call with our case worker – and then we slept on it. Cam and I always do our best talking with coffee in hand, so off we went to our local café and rehashed what had been placed in front of us. After going round and round and up and down in our conversations we came to the ultimate question “why say no?”, and the only answer we could come up with is because of the unknown. We felt that was not a legitimate reason for us to say no, so we agreed to start the process of adopting an 8-year-old girl from Lesotho. At the same time we started packing up our lives in Scotland. The plan had always been to leave end the end of the school year. However, instead of heading straight home to the States, we took a detour to Lesotho. In June we finally got to meet our precious (by then 9-year-old) daughter and then returned to the States – as a newly minted family of 4.
Our precious Mpho Grace has now been with us for nearly 2 years. Amazing! When I think back to the little 9-year-old that jumped straight into Cam’s arms when she met him, I am stunned. She has grown so much. When I think about what this precious girl has lost and how such losses affect little hearts and minds, I am so incredibly proud of her. There is a strength inside her that is unwavering, and she continues to move forward.
What we didn’t expect when Grace joined our family was another international move. As for so many people around the world, Covid brought in some unexpected changes. This was no different for us. When we moved back to the States, we thought that was the final move for our family. It turns out it wasn’t. In September we moved again. Now we find ourselves living in Australia. More changes for Grace. More changes for our family. More learning.
Grace turned 11 a couple of months ago. She loves to practice her ‘Aussie’ accent; she loves learning how to swim (a must in Australia); she is loving learning karate (I think she likes the ‘yelling’ part); she loves to read; she loves to bake (anything with bucket-loads of sugar). She has started in a whole new school system and culture and with such determination. With so many changes and ‘firsts’, I often think that all of this would be hard for many adults and yet – she keeps going.
She keeps going… and we keep going. Adopting an older child may have its challenges. Cam and I both keep learning so much – especially about who God is and who we are. We are thankful that we have a community around us (both locally and internationally) that we can lean on. Keeping connected is critical, for both Grace and the rest of us. We know we can’t do this by ourselves and so we make ourselves vulnerable, and in doing that we find ourselves connecting and re-connecting with the goal of a safe and secure relationship with both our kiddos. It has been (and continues to be) a crazy ride. However, it is a ride that we are so happy to be on with our Small World family.