World Adoption DayIn celebration of the upcoming 1st ever World Adoption Day on November 9th, Doog News, as an Ambassador for this exciting event, has invited friends who are connected to adoption in a variety of different ways to submit writings about adoption. Between now and November 9th we're excited to post these stories to give some insight into what life is like when it involves adoption. We encourage you to follow along and read the various postings whether it's about a family who has adopted a child, to someone who was adopted, to the perspective of an adoption counsellor, and even a family who has decided to adopt and now waits and wonders if and when they'll be parents. In all of these stories there is one common factor: love. Please join us on this celebratory journey as we lead up to World Adoption Day.
Families come in all shapes and sizes and can be made is so many ways. Today’s adoptive family found their path to adoption in an unexpected way, but with it, found not only their daughter but a large extended family too. Meet the Leung family.
A Blessed Family
Four weeks ago, we celebrated our daughter’s first birthday. There was cake and music, and a room of dear friends. And there was a video-call, too — a screen crowded full of family, craning to see the smiling birthday girl. Josephine clapped after each person said “Hi!”, right on cue. We all laughed. In the centre of the screen was her birth mother. The last time we spoke face-to-face was moments before she boarded a bus to catch her flight home. We stood in the parking lot with our two day old daughter. As I waved, my heart swelled. I prayed that I would be as good a mother as she was.
Our introduction to our child’s birth mother came just a few months after our file became active in the domestic adoption program, though the meeting was, in fact, by chance. She lived in a community in Nunavut and worked in the clinic where an old friend was assigned a nursing contract. They became friends. When she became pregnant, she shared her and her partner’s desire to make an adoption plan. I received a message shortly after.
Our first conversation was surreal. I was nervous and tentative; at once, feeling giddy at the prospect, yet hesitant about being too hopeful. She put me at ease with her decisiveness and calmness. I felt an instant connection that only deepened in the months that followed.
Over the next five months of the pregnancy, we emailed and spoke many times. She taught us about their life in the north, and a few Inuktitut words: “mom” and “dad” (“anaana” and “ataata”), and a few words for daughter (panik): panikuluk for a sweet, lovely daughter, and panikalaa if she is chubby and strong. She told us about her common law husband, their two other children, and their extended family. It was clear that they all loved this baby so much, and believed that adoption was the best option. Their love was so pure and so full.
We flew to Iqaluit in late September. All familiar points of reference were behind us. We found ourselves mesmerized by the landscape, and living in disbelief of what brought us there. We met our child’s birth mother the next day. At 5’1″ and 39 weeks pregnant, she was a pillar of strength.
Six days later, Josephine was born. We were by her birth mother’s side during her labour and delivery, and we witnessed Josie’s first breath. Her birth mother turned to us and said, “She is all yours.”
We prayed many years for a child. God answered our prayers one hundredfold. He made us anaana and ataata in a blessed, bubbly, messy, joy-filled, “all-in” life with our sweet panikalaa Josephine. What’s more, is that He joined us to her northern family too, and all of the love and joy that they have shared with us.
World Adoption Day is November 9th, 2014. To find out how you can join in the celebration visit WorldAdoptionDay.org and have a Doog News Day!
Doog News is proud to be an official Ambassador of World Adoption Day. Learn more about our adoption story here and we’ll be sharing more about our story this Sunday, World Adoption Day!