Living in a large city has been an eye-opening experience for my family. We had previously been surrounded by primarily white, middle-class communities. Not anymore. We now live among people of various ethnicities and cultures, many of whom are living in poverty and do not have traditional family units. I see this almost every day that I leave my house. Single moms wait at bus stops with several children in tow. I see high school girls walking home after school, several with bellies protruding, evidence of the life they carry within. At first it was hard to see these girls day after day and not feel a great deal of injustice. It appeared that lack of self-control and poor decision-making were being rewarded by God when my husband of 14 years and I continued to wait for a child. It felt unfair.
We are on the Caucasian waiting list with our adoption agency. The decision to have our names on the Caucasian list as opposed to the list that includes all races was not made flippantly, nor have we resolved to only have white children in our family. Because we have a choice as to what list we go on we picked the Caucasian list, but we’ve always agreed that if an opportunity to parent a child of a different race was dropped in our lap we would certainly be open to this. And then, one warm and bright October morning, the opportunity arrived–not in our laps, exactly, but on our doorstep.
“Keisha” rang our doorbell with the intent to ask some questions about the “for sale” sign in our front lawn. She and the large family she was living with were looking to move out of their small apartment and they wanted to remain in the same neighborhood. She loved our house and had been admiring it for several weeks. Although I would not normally have invited in a perfect stranger to take a tour, for some reason I felt very comfortable with her and asked if she’d like to take a look around. I was thrilled that someone was showing some interest in the place. We hadn’t had many lookers.
Keisha was sweet, with a wide smile that brightened the room and starkly contrasted her dark skin. She had a calm, confident presence about her, perhaps accentuated by her tall, brood figure. In our conversation during the tour it somehow came out that our son had been adopted and we were hoping to adopt more children. Keisha was intrigued by this fact and commented on how well Caleb seemed to fit into the family and how content and cheerful he was. She soon left with the realtor’s number and mine in her hand and I prayed that the experience might move us a little closer to getting this house sold.
Not twenty minutes later I received a phone call from her. We exchanged the initial greetings and then, after a quiet moment of hesitation, she blurted out, “I’m pregnant. And I’ve been thinking about adoption. You were so kind to me when I was in your home and your son seems like he is so loved and so happy. I really feel like you’re the family I’ve been looking for.” I almost dropped the phone.
To be continued…