Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How we became a family.....a shortened version :)

 So this is Jason and I back in 2000 our very first of 3 homestudies that have been updated each several times :)  A visiting camp friend took it for us, and at the time we were in Iowa serving at a Christian Camp.  We had been married 4 years which at the time was the allotted time frame you had to be married to adopt domestically.  Of course God opened our hearts to foster care, and a camping friend that had another friend was fostering this precious little girl from the time she was 5 months until she was 14 months.   They were grand parent age though and wanted to find a great family to adopt her.....
 We just got our foster care license in February 2001 and we just got back from a National Camp Gathering when we got a phone call about a beautiful toddler who would eventually become our Abigail.  Of course there was a possible biological father that stepped in the day of the termination hearing....BUMP....and then we had to pass an which they told us they were interviewing people who had darker skin.....BUMP!  Praise God we were chosen and she came to live with us permanently. 
 This is a day trip to France we took when we flew to England to show off the new grand daughter to Jason's family. 
 In January 2002 after initial BIG BUMP of Andrew not being placed with us until he was 7 1/2 weeks old (he was not with his biological mom it was a political type thing). 
 He then came home to us and we celebrated in a big way later that year Abigail Marie Wright officially joined our family June 19th!!!  Yeah!!!  Of course there were a few more BUMPS in the system as we waited to hear if Andrew would join our family forever or not. 
 But we kept believing, loving, caring, and praying......
 And staring at these 2 precious faces.......and then we found out that year that another little baby would be joining us later..........
 Matthew came to join us at the end of year November 27th he was born :)  He came home with us 2 days later a day after Thanksgiving!!  YEAH!  And we found out that for a gift in 2003 in January 6th we would officially adopt Andrew James Wright!  YEAH!!!!  Another huge blessing.
 Oooops these next two photos are out of order sorry......but these were in 2003 & 2004...of course you can kind of tell because Matthew can't walk in the photo below, but up above he is walking around Silver Dollar City with my parents :)
 So here we were and then at the end of 2003 and after a few more BUMPS.....and bruises we were able to adopt Matthew December 22nd, 2003.  YEAH!!!  Now most people would look at our family as girl two boys......all very squeezable!
 I mean really look at these three charmers! 
 Then in 2004 after moving to Louisiana we took the foster care classes again....I mean there are sooo many children that still need homes and we could help out if only temporarily.  So we signed up leaving our children with volunteers from the camp so we could take the weekly classes. 
 And 2 weeks before our summer staff arrived in May of 2005- Joshua weeks shy of 3 years old and Sarah who had just turned 1 came to us.  Can you see the mischief in their eyes?  Yeah me too.  Our hands were full, we were a lot of times overwhelmed, but we were loving every minute of it!
 Oh yeah, just to make it more fun we had Hurricane Rita blow through our neck of the woods and had to evacuate 4 months after they came here!  You know just to make things more interesting!  he he he he :)   Just to make it more interesting after we returned to find our home with little damage Praising God and getting electricity back.....we had to leave for England.  This was a trip we had been planning well before we knew of our placement of Joshua and Sarah.  In case you are wondering, yes this caused a few setbacks, but in the end we overcame that.  But it broke our hearts to leave them for 2 weeks nonetheless. 
 Then in May 2006 Elizabeth 5 1/5 months came to us.  Now after TOO MANY BUMPS TO COUNT in Joshua, Sarah, and now Elizabeth's case and 2 years later we were still hitting BRICK WALLS EVERYWHERE!!!  Praise God their smiles and love kept our hearts on them and not the world who by then thought we must be out of our right mind. 
 But I mean look at this cuteness!!!  Elizabeth was a doll and by now we really had thought we were getting closer to the end of the journey. 
 Well......that didn't happen.  And instead MORE AND MORE BUMPS  came along.  Did I mention any and everything that could happen in a foster care case did.....on and on......
 And yet again......we couldn't get enough of our crazy life!  And by then you must be thinking they are done- right?  I mean 6 children! 
 Here we are at my younger brother Scott & Amy's wedding day.  We traveled back up to Iowa to share in their special day. 
 FINALLY!!!!!  In March 19th 2008 we were able to adopt Joshua David Wright, Sarah Joy Wright, Elizabeth Anne Wright!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This was a long time coming and believe me it was a time of GREAT rejoicing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  As God would have it this special day came the week of Easter- how perfect! 
 Here we are at the Smokies...enjoying our hiking!  :)  Then the day after the adoption (ok truth be told it may have been a few day before the official day) we sent in our application to All God's Children to do an Ethiopian adoption!  Oh yeah, by this time we were already nuts and just heading down the slope :)
 We were matched with our Hannah Grace (upset because I couldn't find her picture right now in the archives) within a couple of months of signing up and we weren't finished with our home study yet.  God matched us anyway and we worked like crazy people in the middle of summer our busiest time to get our dossier and homestudy completed!  She had spina bifida and scoliosis....but we didn't see that we saw a perfect baby girl that was meant to be in our arms forever. Whew....we did it....we got a court date for August 4th.....and then Hannah Grace went to be with Jesus July 18th.....  BUMP!!!!
 After getting away from it all on vacation we were matched with this handsome man.  Of course if you know about Ethiopian adoptions you know that the courts in Ethiopia close August September timeish.  We had 3 court dates before we finally passed.  Ethiopia started a new government agency called the Central Agency.  BUMP!!!  So rather than flying in October, November.....
 We flew December 26th, 2009 and met our Jonathan on December 28th....flying home January 2nd. 
 How can you fly to Ethiopia and not be changed forever?  After seeing the beautiful, kind hearted, loving people that are our brothers and sisters. 
 At the Ethiopian dinner night out with our travel group.  By the way for those adopting now you have to make two trips, but back then it was one. 
 Our hotel.....
 Jonathan's family- aren't they beautiful people?  YES!!!!!!  A meeting and day we will never forget!
 The now "old" Hannah's Hope building (our agency's transitional home) for over 60 children needing a home. 
 Just got home....and yes at this time Jonathan still didn't want anything to do with me really.  That has since changed :)
 Later in 2009 at my cousin's home :)
 Our pics for our updated homestudy for our next Ethiopian adoption........or so we thought.  The minute Jonathan had been home 9 months (ok ok a little sooner than that by a couple of weeks) we sent in our second application to All God's Children International
 But this next adoption that should have officially happened at the end of 2009 or at the latest the beginning of 2010 for our Naomi....would never happen.  Thanks to technicalities of the uscis (even though they approved us a year prior?? not that I am bitter or anything).  BIG BUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 Then in March we heard about the fact that it is indeed possible to adopt domestically even if you have several children from a bloggy friend We signed up with Christian Adoption Consultants on March 22nd.....we were given a possible situation right away of a little boy who needed a home and we thought this was it.....but BUMP the agency started asking all kinds of accusing questions of our large family and on March 23rd Joanna Faith Wright was being born.  We got a call from Tracie Loux again saying I know you may not be interested, but.....and when we called Mother Goose Adoptions we did it out of - well maybe. (*****UPDATE: we now work with CAC :).
 By the morning of March 24th it was Deb O'Kane calling us from Mother Goose Adoptions saying she is yours if you want her.....want to fly out today.  Well let's just say after the other agency's hesitancy and our hearts saying "is there a reason not to?"  And well within 24 hours I was on a plane to go meet our Joanna Faith Wright!
 Everyone meeting us at the airport when she was just a little over a week old at Houston's airport.
 Here we are as a family of 10!!!!  Easter morning :)
 And of course here she is.....our little doll! (not the one on the left :) he he he)  Just blame it on my husband's sense of humor :)
And here we are in October 2010!  With GG (my grandma).....and all our precious gifts.  Now if you notice that is 8 children in February 2001- March 2010!  You will also notice my bold print BUMPS in the road.  Lots of them.  BUT the BLESSINGS of our family are sooooo much more than all of those!  I wouldn't trade any tears, any stress, any craziness, any deep dark canyon times, for a single minute with my babes.  They are our world.  They are our ministry!  God has placed each and every one of them in our home.  Not easy, but worth it!

For the first time since 2001.....we are not in the process for our next adoption- I KNOW SHOCK!!!  I am still in shock.  I keep feeling like I should be getting some paperwork done of some kind or going to the court or something????  Will we adopt again.......always!  But for now....we are taking a break.  Of course there is a reason why.....but that will unfold over the 2011 year.  So keep tuned to the crazy happenings of The Wright Family and Have a Blessed New Year!!!


  1. Okay can I just say how much I LOVE this post. It is incredible to see how your family grew so quickly and that it was OKAY! Here we are, home almost 5 months with Malachi, expecting another baby in 2 months and yet we both already feel like there is another little one that will be out there for us in the relatively soon future. We really feel called to do an AA domestic adoption next and I am doing my research!

    I just know that everyone is going to think we are nuts, but seeing your success story, I just don't care what others think :)

  2. lovely post!
    can i ask why u didnt have any bio kids, what lead u to adoption and mixed race adoption?
    in my country white people are NOT allowed to adopt indigenous australians and huge roadblocks are in the way for any other type of mixed race adoption-including a 3 yr wait for OS adoption.

  3. Love seeing the story of your precious family! Can't wait to see what God has in store for ya'll in 2011!

  4. I LOVE this post, Dawn! Beautiful, I love you & your amazing family! Thank you for inspiring me & letting me read along on your journey!

  5. Amazing family! Amazing God!!!

    I loved reading about the growth of your family. I sure respect you all. That was/is alot to take on especially as first time parents. What a beautiful God story.

    I'm thinking part of my God story intertwines with your God story where you mention the baby boy, could that be my sweet Samuel?! :)
    Much love!

  6. What a beautiful family - you are blessed! :)

  7. Thank you so much for this post! Now I don't feel so crazy. Our three youngest were finalized in January of this year. When I told our social worker we were ready for more, she looked shocked. Glad to know I'm in good company with your family - which, by the way, is absolutely beautiful! :)

  8. What a beautiful journey the Lord has you on.

    Isn't it exciting!

    Thanks for sharing.

    I should share our journey, too!?

    Blessings and love,

  9. Beautiful post. Beautiful family. Beautiful testimony. Awesome God. :-)

  10. Love seeing the progression of your family. God has blessed you with an amazing and beautiful family. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Love this Dawn! Thank you so much for sharing. Your family is BEAUTIFUL and I would LOVE to have a large family like yours. :) I can't wait to hear about your plans for 2011...:)

  12. LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with everyone. Your children are beautiful...but you know that already. ;)

  13. Wow! I lipids this. This is encouraging. I pray God make me crazy kinda like you! Lol

  14. Amazing journey... can't wait to see your next 10 years!!!!!

    Love this post!

  15. God definitely puts together beautiful families and yours is a picture perfect example!!!

  16. You and your family continue to be such an encouragement to me! As we are going through this adoption reading your story and all the "bumps" makes me feel better because I can see that you had so many bumps and obviously God used those to work out His perfect plan for your precious family! What a beautiful family!

  17. You have such a beautiful family! You make it sound easy, I love it. I hope this encourages families to step up.. It does for me! Thanks for posting this!
    Love and prayers

  18. Loved seeing the beginning ....up to the present! :). Your kids all have the sweetest smiles! I can't help but smile back! :D

  19. Thank you for sharing your bumpy story. As we drive our own bumpy road, it's nice to hear about those who've reached their destinations, through all the bumps!!

  20. By the 2nd or 3rd bump, I was pretty sure you are pregnant. I'll be waiting to see if I'm right! :)

  21. Bumpity, bump, bump, bump. It's hard to birth kids of the heart, isn't it? Thanks for putting your story all in one place. It is a beautiful reflection of your love for your children.

  22. beautiful story! I loved reading it :)

  23. Loved reading it all spelled out like that!! Such a beautiful family!!

  24. What a beautiful testimony of God's grace! My best friend adopted from ET. My niece and three nephews were foster-to-adopt adoptions and my bro-in-law and sis-in-law had four other foster children as well who went home. When I saw those "BUMPS" along the way in this post I know that each and every one of them came with heart ace, stress beyond belief, and buckets of tears. But I also see a very happy family and that with each BUMP along the way God molded you to become more like Him and now you have such a sweet beautiful family to make every single one of those bumps worth it! Happy New year!

  25. Your children are simply adorable.

  26. Good, golly, gracious you have such a beautiful family! Just stumbled across your blog. I look forward to reading more!