Saturday, March 27, 2010

Josh´s Adoption Story

meeting Josh

Joe, Denise and Joshua Han Holman

Denise, Joe, Joshua's Fostermom, his Social Worker

Joshua with his REAL mom!!!

A traditional outfit his fostermom sent home with him.

I started this post on Josh´s birthday a month ago, but due to our move, etc. am just now getting back to it, but it is definitely a story worth getting back to.
In honor of Josh´s 12th birthday I wanted to share the story of his adoption. In 1997 I was pregnant with my 5th child and due at the beginning of July. In January God really began to lay it on our hearts that we should consider adopting. I thought this was strange since I was pregnant at the time, but we had heard stories of how long adoptions took and so we wanted to go ahead and get started on the process and figured I would have the baby in the mean time. I think it had always been in the back of our minds and hearts that one day we would adopt, but it was becoming more and more apparent to us that this was the time. One night in February we made the final decision that we would go for it and would start checking out adoption agencies in our area the next day. That day I went in for my regular prenatal checkup and our sweet baby had died, there was no heartbeat. Jamie our little boy was stillborn at home at 20 weeks. We took the rest of that year and part of the next to grieve our great loss. We were devastated, but we knew that God had been preparing us for something else….for another wonderful gift who was soon to join our family.

During that year God made it more and more clear to us that it was His desire for us to adopt. As we talked to our friends and family about our desire they surprised us by saying that they would like to contribute to our adoption fund. We had not even thought of asking people to help us financially with the adoption, but people came to us volunteering to help and said that they thought that we should give others the opportunity to be a part as well. One family told us that they had heard a program on the radio about adoption and how Christian families should seriously consider adoption and those who for some reason couldn´t adopt should consider financially helping those who could.

In February and March of 1998 we started seriously checking into the option of adoption. In April we found a wonderful adoption agency (AAC in Loveland, Colorado) and submitted an application to adopt from South Korea. We were asked if we wanted a boy or a girl. Everyone assumed that we were adopting because we wanted a girl since we already had 4 boys. We said wanted whichever was fastest. At that time the list for boys was shorter so that´s the list we got on. About this time we also sent out a letter (actually I think it was an email) to just a few friends and family asking them to consider giving to help us adopt. Unbeknownst to us people forwarded the letter to others. We received money from people that we did not even know. Almost every penny that we needed (around $15,000) came in. We were shocked and blessed by people´s generosity and God´s provision.

In July (about 6 months before we expected to hear anything) we got our referral/assignment of a baby. A cutie potootie of a boy who had a rough start. He weighed only 3 pound and 9 ounces at birth. He had a skull fracture, had been hospitalized for three months with pneumonia and encephalitis and was currently diagnosed with failure to thrive. We said yes before we even saw his picture. We had prayed that God would work out the timing of our assignment and that He would prepare just the right child to fit in our family. We had decided to not say ´no´ to any child. We put it all in His hands and boy did He ever work it out. He chose just the right child for us. Josh is a wonderful son, a blessing and a joy to us all.

At the end of August we flew over 17 hours to get our new son who we had decided to name Joshua. Seoul, Korea was a place unlike any we had ever visited. It was modern in so many ways and even more technologically advanced than the US, but with such a rich cultural heritage. The people were friendly and although they were shy they were eager to practice their English with us. It was a great trip as we got to have breakfast in the apartment of the foster mom who cared for Joshua between his long visits in the hospital. He was 6 months old and had spent almost 4 of those months in the hospital. We also toured many of the sights of Seoul and took lots of pictures so that one day we could share with Josh the place where he was born. We stayed in the guesthouse of the orphanage that was attached to a hospital full of beautiful newborn babies. It was nice to meet other families at the guesthouse who were also adopting and getting to meet their child for the first time. It was a place of much excitement. Every day we walked by the rooms full of cribs with only two nurses to care for them and prayed that each would arrive soon in a family who loved them.

I remember the first time we saw our Joshua. We were sitting in the office of the agency with all kinds of hustle and bustle going on. There were people coming in and going out all around us. There were foster moms, doctors, nurses, social workers, other adoptive parents, office workers. There were babies in for check-ups and immunizations, visits with social workers, and all manner of business going on around us when in walks three Korean foster moms together with babies tied on their backs with long wraps much like they are in Bolivia. Right away Joe spotted Josh, he knew him from the pictures we had been sent. Joe piped up “There he is!” and it was all I could do to keep from running over and grabbing him and smothering him with kisses. Due to the reserved culture we were in I restrained myself. Soon we were brought to a room and handed our baby boy for the first time. It was love at first sight. Actually, it was love BEFORE first sight, just like it was for all of our children.

At the end of weeklong stay we were finally able to take Josh with us until now we had only been able to visit with him. We strapped him in a Baby Bjorn on my chest and took off. We were quite the sight I´m sure….two white blonds with a little of a sprout of dark headed Korean baby boy peeking out the top of the carrier with us oohhing and awwwing over him and kissing him over and over all the while with permanent grins plastered on our faces. We went to eat one last meal and were off to the airport. He was finally ours although the adoption wouldn´t be finalized until we were back in the USA.

Amazingly Josh slept the whole way home. Singapore Airlines is the nicest airlines I have ever flown. They had a little bassinet attached to the bulkhead where Josh could sleep. With all the excitement, the time difference, the long journey home, and jet lag we finally made it home to a houseful of little boys so excited to meet and hold their newest brother…a six month old 11 pound bouncing baby boy.

I am so blessed to be Joshua's mom.  I can not begin to express my love for him or my joy to be his mommy.

Joshua Han Holman, March 26, 2010.


Discipula said...

Thanks for sharing this sweet story, Denise. Happy, happy birthday, Josh!

@ngie said...

Wonderful! I love it! Joshua is a great kid. Thank you for sharing his story.

The pictures are priceless.

Deb said...

I ate up every word. So very thankful for the gift He gave your family with Josh - and vice versa!

A belated Happy Birthday being sent his way!!!

Anonymous said...

Praise God for making each of you a part of the other's family!

Leah =)

Stumbler said...

Written with obvious love Denise. I was looking forward to reading this and you didn't disappoint.

Josh is such a lucky guy!


Christy said...

I loved reading this, Denise, and hope to have an adoption story of our own one day soon!

laura said...

Seriously a great kid! Love being around him and his sweet spirit :) and love the jagged edged hair :)