THE BEST GIFT
Did you ever want something so much you could taste it? Sometimes our yearning, or maybe our fear of not getting it pushes that which we desire in the opposite direction. The desire begins to tear us apart so we give up. That’s what my friends, Debi and Emmett did. After 16 years of trying for a baby, they gave up. Strangely enough, the moment they let go there was room for Love’s Magic to sneak, allowing their daughter-to-be to slip in on a ray of sunshine.
Their story follows. Won’t you help them hold the light?
Here is the GoFundMe link if you are so inclined.
A very heartfelt hank you and happiest of holidays to you and yours.
Debi and Emmett Sloan’s Adoption Journey
Imagine that for over 16 years you tried everything in your power to have a baby and it never happened. Imagine being poked and prodded on a regular basis, year after year, with no results to show for it. Having the mettle to slap down an $18,000 bet each time you tried in vitro fertilization (IVF) – and still never winning. Now image that during all this your marriage flat-lined and came back, your finances stretched beyond your means, more than once, and all the while you had to keep your wits about you in case you actually did get pregnant.
Month after month, year after year, a few false hopes, fostering, and we kept going. We had talked about adoption before we were ever married, we just thought it would be in addition to our biological children. I often thought about adopting a little girl from China, but ten years ago when we first looked into it, Chinese adoptions were taking seven years. I was positive there was no way I could wait that long! Since Emmett is Irish, we looked into an Irish adoption but that was not an option either. We also found out that an adoption would cost us over $40,000, something we weren’t ready to finance at the time.
During all those years we watched our friends having kids and our nieces and nephews grow up and some head off to college. And every Christmas, we would look at each other while other people celebrated with their children and say, “Next Christmas, it will be our turn.”
Then, a few years ago we found out that through a special needs adoption we could be matched within a year, so we discussed it and decided to adopt a little girl with minor medical or correctable special needs. But things didn’t quite work out because we lost our first match and then China changed its adoption guidelines. Two years later, we knew we had to put an end date on our journey — December 31, 2018. Then, at the end of this summer, we received a call saying that our chances of being matched did not increase the longer we waited. That was it. We gave up. Forget the $20,000 we had already invested, we were done, we were exhausted.
But we needed something good to happen, so we decided to take the money we had been saving for something that we thought was never going happen and made something good happen. In October, we took a 20th anniversary vacation. You can probably guess the rest of the story. We got home at midnight on a Sunday. Less than 36 hours later, Tuesday morning, we got a call – The Call. I didn’t even answer the phone. I let the answering pick it up while the agency left us the most glorious and terrifying message I’ve ever received.
When I called Emmett, he was as shocked as I was. What were we going to do? Why now? Why didn’t this happen before we’d taken our vacation?
“Don’t worry,” I said. We still have the $10,000 in grant money to help us, and after all these years, we can’t let a thing like money stop us. The universe isn’t going to mess with us again. Not now. Not after all this.”
Except it was. The day before Thanksgiving we were told that we no longer qualified for the grant. They changed the criteria, something we didn’t even know could happen. And that night I got into my first car accident. Okay, more of a fender bender, but seriously? COME ON!!!
Sixteen years is a long time to wait for a child, but she’s here, and in our hearts, we know this little girl is already ours. We were prepared and between our savings and the grant, we had the final expenses covered: the last half of adoption costs + potential initial medical expenses + some bonding time leave (which is unpaid for adoptions). But now, here we are, standing on the brink of fulfilling our most heartfelt desire without all the financial means to make it happen.
So, we are humbly asking for help from our friends and family to bring home our daughter. We’ve included her picture, so you can see she is as real as she is in our hearts. After sixteen years, she’s finally here. Can you please help us cross the finish line? If so, you will be part of the catalyst that brings together our family.
Thank you for your love and support,
Emmett, Debi and MX Sloan