When I was a little girl, orphans were fascinating to me. So many fairy tales and stories feature orphans it is impossible to not consider the notion of a child living apart from their parents when you are still quite small. I don't know the moment that adopting a child entered my mind as a possibility for my future. My guess is when I was still a child myself. But I do know when it became concrete and something I knew for certain I wanted to do.
When I was 21, I provided childcare for a family with two small children. Melissa, the mom, had a booklet from an adoption agency that was full of pictures of waiting children from the States and from other countries. Halfway through the booklet near the bottom was a picture of a brother and sister from Haiti. They were three-year old twins. And they were so beautiful and so in need of a family. I couldn't stop thinking about them for a long time. I ached that I was too young to claim them. So I tucked it away for a long time--- A child in Haiti will someday need me and someday I will be ready. When I began to first do the real research, I learned about Haiti's children. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western world. Many, many children there are in need. But I was eventually led (pulled) toward Ethiopia and it landed on my heart and just sat there, unwavering.
It is amazing how a seemingly small event, like Melissa having that booklet in her house, could affect the course of my life, and then by default Erik's, and the shape and growth of our family. And the lives of my future children.