Thanks to Adoption, a Family is Complete
“Adopting an older child is something that a lot of people are nervous about or even fear, but it was the best decision we could have made because it was a gift,” explains Jennifer about adopting her son, Ian, who is 8.
That gift is the joy Ian brings to his family every day, whether he’s playing baseball, talking about his school day, or pretending he’s a superhero. But just one year ago, Ian was a waiting older child in an orphanage in China. Because of his upper limb difference, his chances of being adopted were slim.
Half a world away, Jennifer and Seth had been dreaming of adding to their family, which includes their two biological children, Nolan, 13 and Caitlin, 10.
“Our dream included finding a meaningful way to share our life, our children, our home, and our love. So, because we had two beautiful children, a home filled with love, careers and so much more, we decided to open our hearts to adopting an older child,” explains Jennifer.
Jennifer and Seth knew they wanted to adopt but never thought it would be an older child with special needs. They started the process thinking they would adopt a young girl from Korea. But one day, Jennifer opened an email from Wide Horizons For Children. There was Ian, “the cutest little boy I’ve ever seen with a really big smile,” Jennifer says. She also noticed his birthday was the same month and day as her son Nolan’s.
“I thought wow, twins. Five years apart, two continents apart. Then I read a description and he sounded so much like my oldest son and so much like my daughter. He was a perfect combination of our family,” she recalls.
Jennifer took a walk with Seth and shared Ian’s photo and story.
“She said, ‘I think I found him,’” Seth recalls. It just felt right.
The family flew to China to spend two weeks with Ian before bringing him home to Massachusetts. Since then, Ian has begun learning English, has enrolled in school, and is growing taller and stronger every day. He’s been an excellent student and so social that his nickname at school is The Mayor.
Jennifer and Seth say there are more “firsts” when adopting an older child that many families might not consider, such as Ian’s first trip to the grocery store or the simple joy of picking out his first toothbrush.
“When people think adoption, they think young children or babies,” Jennifer explains. “But when we adopted an older child, we also shared many really special moments like his first day at school, and we were able to talk about it, even though it was through Google translate at first. He’s able to share his world and even his memories of China. That is something that was an unexpected part of the process, and are all the gifts that we get from Ian.”
Both Jennifer and Seth say that the adoption process started with the courage to open their hearts. It felt overwhelming at times, but now their lives are full of even more love, and their family is complete.
“Ian was a little boy with a limb difference across the world in need of a family,” Jennifer explains.
And now, he has one.