Michele and her family know what international adoption means. They had already experienced the joy of adoption back in 2002 when they adopted their oldest daughter from China. With a desire to continue to grow their family through adoption, Michele looked to the Shepherd Care team for adoption from Colombia.
“As soon as we all saw Anita’s picture we all said, ‘She’s the one’ before even knowing anything about her! She was a special needs adoption because of some health issues,” said Michele.
Michele and her family soon traveled to Colombia to meet Anita in person. “She had been in foster care and then a few weeks before we came to pick her up, they moved her to the orphanage. We first met through Skype when she was at the orphanage. In our first Skype session, there was a lot of laughter because we couldn’t understand each other. However, the more Skype conversations we had, the better the conversation was able to go,” Michele shared.
The process from there moved forward and with the help of the Shepherd Care team, Anita was successfully adopted and brought home to her forever family. Once she was home, came the expected challenges of adjusting to her new country and her new home. “The first few months were challenging with the language difference and we were all just trying to get to know each other,” said Michele.
The school was also a challenge with language learning and academics. Anita quickly acclimated to her school and she has been working hard to get caught up. “Today school isn’t always easy but we see huge improvements. She plays the flute now and she is really excelling in the area of music,” Michele shared.
Michele encouraged those considering international adoption and the hesitation they may have by sharing, “It does seem scary, not speaking the language, and people do look at you like you’re crazy. But if the Lord’s hand is in it, He will make it work and if you rely on that strength He will fill in those gaps!”
Today, Anita is loving her new home and family; she is sweet, helpful and very loving. She is always eager to please and fit into her family right away. She transitioned so well because she had always wanted a family. Anita frequently shares with her family, “I am so glad that you are my Mom and Dad! I’m so glad that you’re my family!”
Taking the plunge and taking on an international adoption perfectly completed Michele’s family and gave Anita the hope and love of a family forever.