Updated: Sep 21, 2018
I was 11 years old, in the back seat of the car, holding my new Korean sister-to-be, "Meg", when my mother quietly said over her shoulder, "We can't keep her." I'll always remember how sweet "Meg" looked, sleeping peacefully in my arms while my tears slowly dripped down my cheeks. The story ended well for her, but that moment was seared onto my little girl heart and it filled me with a desire to keep her for my own.
Two years prior, our family had adopted my second adopted brother through the foster care system. My first adopted brother arrived from Korea as an infant when I was just 2 years old. An infant adoption was the only adoption my parents had experienced before. So when they decided to bring a 7 year old into the family, they really didn't know how much life a 7 year old could live before arriving to us. The process to bring Margaret home took 2 years, and in that time, the invisible baggage that came along with my brother was slowly being unpacked. My mother grievingly knew she could not bring another child into our family. She needed to give her full heart and attention to my brother and the rest of the family.
I believe that God is sovereign and that He uses all things for His purposes and for His glory! At the same time my parents were calling the local agency of their decision, across town another couple were grieving an equally difficult decision to not proceed with the adoption of another Korean infant that had recently been diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. Sherry, the mother, had childhood diabetes and was not able to safely carry a child of her own. She would have bad days where she was unable to get out of bed. So to have painstakingly gone down the long road to adopt a healthy child, only to discover that child would be in a wheelchair all of her life, was devastating news. After caring for this infant for 4 months, she had grown attached, and her heart ached to have to call the agency with their decision. Not only did God provide an infant to immediately fill her empty arms, but that child was only 1 day apart in age to the first child.
We had Meg for just 9 days before we went to meet Charlie and Sherry at the agency office. During those 9 days, I was the one who got her out of her crib, fed her, and played with her every moment I could. When that day came to hand her over, I asked my mom if I could go along. I remember the tender hearted Sherry who saw my 11 year old heart for this sweet baby girl. She asked my mom if it was ok to change her name, which my mom replied with "of course, she's now your child".
It was then that Sherry said, "We decided to name her Kara."
They named her after me! And not only that, they stayed in contact with us and had me come babysit from time to time. Having that special treatment definitely was healing to my young heart. As I grew up, I moved on from that period of my life not realizing just how impacted I had truly been.
Three decades later, that desire to adopt a little girl of my own is finally being realized! Why did it take 3 decades, you may ask? That is another story that begins in my early married years. To read that story, read "The Joining and Growing".