Once Upon A Time…
These are timeless words that conjure up visions of a child’s bedtime story. It is where tales of bravery, kingdoms, dragons, evil queens, poison apples, and chivalry blend with magic, imagination, and life lessons presented through beloved characters. Filled with amazing twists and turns, they fill us with joy, suspense, and excitement while embedding themselves into our thoughts, never seeming to let go.
As we continued through our adoption assessment, we had progressed far enough through the process where it was time for us to begin putting together our Adoption Profile. This profile, along with dozens of others, would be the one and only impression each prospective adoptive presenter could make to expectant moms and dads that were looking to make an adoption plan. A life-changing decision would be made based on the personal, intimate stories that they would read. What would make the connection for them? What would draw them to one profile more than another? As these questions bounced around in my own head, I knew that no matter what the answers to those questions were, we were about to create our own story, our own “Once Upon A Time…”
Generally speaking, the challenges that the main characters experience are supposed to be within the story and yet we found ourselves with a big obstacle even before the story could begin to be written. As we reviewed the guidelines for our agency’s profile, we saw that each profile had a standard length.
12 pages to introduce ourselves, our personalities, and our values. 12 pages to paint a picture of the environment that would provide a strong, stable, and supportive place for a child to be raised. 12 pages to leave a positive, lasting memory on the minds of people we have never met. We had our work cut out for us, and I was getting a major case of writer’s block as all of the conflicting ideas were colliding with one another inside of my head.
Like all things in life, we approached the project one step at a time, taking steps slowly at first, but soon the pieces began to come together. It took dozens of drafts, hundreds of adjustments and corrections, selections from more than 10,000 pictures (yes – I like photography), multiple sets of reviews, and hours in front of the printer to ensure it was representative of our lives and our desire to adopt. Our story was ready to be told.
The profile was complete. (And we’re happy to share it with anyone that sends us a request!)
Here’s our story… It’s no fairy tale, and it will never be a New York Times Best Seller, but in truth, we’re just looking for one reader to connect to the words, pictures, and share in a mutual love for a child.
Once upon a time in a land known as California, a baby boy and a baby girl were born in the same month, but nearly a year apart. Raised by caring and loving parents, they were taught the importance of respect for themselves, their families, and all the people they would meet in the course of their lives. The two children were separated by many miles, and likely would have never met one another, but fate would put them on a collision course to meet just before their 20th year.
With much hard work and sacrifice, the two were afforded the opportunity to attend a university where they would learn about the great subjects of math, science, computers, political science, and religion. Though they were quite busy accomplishing the things that they had come there for, a mutual friend had arranged for a chance encounter that brought the studious young man to the door of the kind and compassionate young woman to introduce himself and say hello.
Was it love at first sight? No… This is not that kind of story, but each had left a strong and powerful positive impression on one another. As their studies took them in different directions (the intelligent and talented maiden travelled to the capital of the Kingdom, putting a distance of many, many miles between them) they continued to remain friends.
A few years passed and as luck would have it, the man and woman each were engaged in their chosen professions just a short distance from one another. They decided to see each other again, to catch up on each other’s lives and share all the great adventures they had experienced since the last time they saw one another. One meeting turned into many and the spark of a great love began to flourish.
They married to the cheers of family and friends with a celebration that would be remembered for many years to come. Together, they would share in epic adventures to faraway lands (travel), settle down in a nearby village, and decided that the great fortune they had shared thus far in their lives could only be made greater with the addition of a family.
After many setbacks and challenges, the day they had hoped for had arrived – a baby would soon enter their lives and there was great anticipation. Alas, in all great stories, there must be a moment of peril, and this one rocked all of our characters to their very core. The baby that they had so hoped and prayed for was selected instead to become an angel and was to spend her eternity in heaven watching over the couple. It was a bittersweet moment, and one that questioned whether their story could have a “Happy Ever After…”
It was a dark time, but one that presented a reminder that there is light to be found in the most unexpected and amazing places. Friends, family members, and a “fairy godmother” reminded the couple that their love of each other and their daughter could be shared again.
All the people of the world are connected. It doesn’t matter how they are connected, but each of us can trace a path from any one person to another and the impact is immediate. The man and woman who had experienced so much in their lives were placed into contact with a set of parents that had grown their family through adoption and graciously were willing to share their story. It was that story that made the positive impression, left a gentle reminder in their hearts, and helped them on their way. It was that chance encounter that helped them to start the next journey to share their home and their hearts with a baby who would bring them some of the greatest joy of their lives.
We’re not Prince Charming and the Princess, we don’t live in a huge castle, or possess magical powers to change the course of the world in which we live. We are happy, we are fortunate for all of the opportunities we have been presented in life, and we look forward to all that the journey may bring us.
The best part? Our story is still being written… And no one quite knows what the ending will be.
The adventure continues…