Our adoption story is a little unusual in that I wasn't one these Moms that ever thought about adopting a child until....in the summer of 2004 we recieved a "baby" announcement from some friends we had no idea were even pregnant. Marc knew the couple from college and I guess you could say we were distant friends but always caught up with each others families with the Christmas card every year. Our friends already had 2 boys but she had always wanted a third wanting to try for a girl. They had a hard time conceiving the third time and turned to adoption to grow their family. When I opened our friends announcement my whole world changed and in an instant the direction of how I wanted to grow our family changed to how God wanted to grow our family which I knew was through adoption. We also had two beautiful boys and God placed on my heart the desire for a girl. The little 12 month girl staring back at me in the announcement was name Kaylee and her piercing blue eyes captured my heart as I read how she was adopted from an orphanage in Russis. Now I knew I wanted a third child but getting my husband on board was a different matter not to mention adopting a child in a country that was a 15 hour plane ride away in a country that's not exactly known for their warm hospitality. My husband had never been out of the United States so this took some serious prayer on my part. However, four years later almost to the date I had received little Kaylee's adoption announcement Marc and I were staring at the most beautiful 15 month old brown eye little girl from an orphanage in Muron, Russia that we were soon going to call our daughter.
Now there are a few, what I would call, miracles that happened within those 4 years leading up to Ellie's adoption. There was our move from California to Texas in 2006 that allowed us to have the financial ability to pay for an adoption as well as the family support that allowed us to take four trips back and forth to Russia. In the summer of 2008 I did unexpectedly get pregnant only to lose our baby to an ectopic pregnancy a couple of months later. Now this is the moment that Marc did want another child because the two months I was pregnant he got very excited about adding to our family and we had already been visualing what that would look like. So after our heartbreak of losing our 3rd child he was very much on board with adopting. God knew all along. Well that's the short story of our adoption journey but fast forward to November 2008 when we took our first of four trips to Russia. Wow, what an amazing journey those next 2 months were. Ellie had been in her orphanage for over nine months which is the time Russia requires before children our allowed to be adopted outside of their country. Our first trip was meeting and agreeing to adopt Ellie as our own. No one had to twist our arms for that one because we were completely smitten with her. Our second trip was to go to a Russian court and stand before a judge explaining why we should be Ellie's parents. The judge agreed we would be fit parents for Ellie and with the sound of her gavel we were the proud parents of Elisabeth (Ellie) Kate Fowler. What a beautiful sound that was. The third trip I went alone to get Ellie's passport and the fourth trip at the end of Jan. 2009 Marc and I took the long journey again to pick our beautiful daughter up and bring her home to her forever family.
It's been exactly two years since we brought our daughter home. Now I wold love to say that once we brought Ellie home we all lived happily ever after.... Well anyone who has ever adopted a toddler in which you are taking them away from everything they have ever known will tell you it's not an easy road the first few months. Ellie had a hard time attaching to us at first not to mention adjusting to the time change. I don't think I slept for the first 3 months. I'm sure we looked and smelled weird. I mean after all Russia looked and smelled weird to me. We most definitely sounded weird and she wasn't too fond of my second son Luke nor was he of her. So that was a real joy trying to get my son who had been the baby of the family and quite the Mama's boy for 5 years to try and accept his new instant little sister who was taking his toys away not to mention his Mama. Let's just say there was a lot of crying going on with me doing most of it those first few months. Well I can honestly say we are all one big happy family with the "normal" sibling rivalry these days.
Everyone's adoption journey is their own special story and we are on this amazing journey forever with our daughter. There will definitely be struggles as she grows which is why I am so thankful for our adoption group because they so "get me". I can't imagine a better way for all of us as Christians to understand God's unconditional love for us than through adoption. As God's children we have been adopted into His family and as Ellie gets older and starts to understand where she came from and how she became part of our family I hope and pray that will bring her comfort and peace. Thanks so much for letting me share our adoption story. It was and will always be an amazing journey!
There are 700,000 orphans in Russia today. Up to 80% of children in Russia who live in the more than 2,176 orphanges are so called "social orphans" who have been taken by the authorities away from their problematic families due to alcoholism and the general destructive tendencies in Russia society. Please pray for the orphans in Russia.
The Fowler Family
Marc, Lisa, Jake, Luke and Ellie