Adoption Ordained by God                  

                   Julie-Ann's Site
Adoption Our Story- Yes you need a cuppa for this one it is long!  :o))

    Our journey through adoption.

 

Before I start my story lets first clarify one thing about adoption.

Does God believe in adoption?

There no DOUBT about it! Adoption is created by God and it is the very means by which we can all enter into his family. We as believers are adopted into the family of God through Jesus Christ.

The bible presents adoption as a "good thing" a "gracious act". Moses was adopted, Queen Esther was an adoptee. And that is how Jerry and I chose to add to our family.


Hi my name is Julie, I am wife to Jerry and mother to Amanda 23, Christopher 21, Jackson 6 & Jesse 5.6. It is now December 2007 


I first became a Christan in 1990 when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour and what a wonderful exciting journey it has been, not always easy though! However it was the best decison I have ever made. That empty "spot" inside me was no longer empty, finally I had found what I had been looking for.

Jerry and I met through a Christian pen pal club on the internet in 1998 and after communicating for a period of time Jerry flew across to Australia to meet personally with my children, Amanda & Christopher and I.

 

     Jerrys' first visit to Australia 1998 

After much prayer and consideration Jerry and I were married in a ceremony performed by Pastor Jim Bates at Victory Christian fellowship, Columbus, Nebraska on October 1st 2000. During this "Honeymoon period" Amanda, Chris and I spent 4 weeks with Jerry meeting his family and friends and seeing a little of the United States, then Jerry and I started our married life separately whilst we waited for immigration to approve his application to become a resident of Australia. Part of the application requirement was that I had a job so Jerry and I would be able to support ourselves when he finally arrived, I had no choice but to fly back to Australia and resume work... I thought That was going to be a long wait for me.

 

Julie & Jerry 1998 



The Lord was very gracious, the morning I flew home Jerry and I prayed asking the Lords guidance on our paperwork (We had heard some horrible stories of how long and hard immigration can be).When I arrived at LA international airport that evening I had a lady approach me and ask if I knew how to use the phones to make an international call, we soon struck up a conversation and it turned out she was from Australia and a Christian, after she heard about my marriage to Jerry she said out of the blue "I think we need to pray about your immigration application" So right there in the middle of the airport we prayed out loud, I am sure some people thought us a bit nuts! We waited only 12 weeks and our application for temporary residency was approved, we could hardly believe how blessed we were, our prayers were answered.

However the Lord also had other plans for us at this time, whilst waiting for all this to happen I had met via the internet (how I love this computer) a young lady from Georgia whom was looking for adoptive parents for her unborn son. We communicated for a good while and the day came when I received a request from her asking if Jerry and I would adopt her son. My goodness was this really happening?

I was so excited and scared all at the same time, I had no idea what this meant or what I had to do? All I could think of was to phone Jerry and say.. "Don't quit your job, I am coming over there"! Now I had to find out how to proceed from here, what a marvellous thing the internet search engine is! :o)) I was able to find an attorney whom would act for the birthmother, after she had met with the attorney I knew this was serious, this was going to happen. *Deep breath" ..Ok next step.. We would need an attorney of our own, Jerry had his home in Nebraska, The birthmum was in Georgia. I didn't know about interstate compacts etc etc etc at this stage, all I did know it was good ethical practice to have two different attorneys.

Once again I found an attorney willing to represent us, all via the internet search engine. It wasn't until our precious son, Jackson, was born that we met with the Attorney in Georgia. What a great lady she turned out to be, and a Christian!

Since the birthmother had 10 days within which to change her mind it appeared our precious baby would have to go to some type of care, we were taken back none of us wanted this. That is the one thing the Birthmother requested as well..

I became bold enough to ask if the Attorney would check with the foster care couple and ask if they would allow us to stay with them! I couldn't believe I had asked that, but we had one great desire and that was to be the ones whom picked up our newborn son and bonded with him! Sometimes we become bold! And that is not a bad thing. This was our God given child, we had the ultrasounds, we even knew he had a head full of hair, we had picked his name after his Grandpa Jack, Jerry's dad, he had grown in our hearts we certainly did not want him with someone else.

You guessed it! This caring couple Donna & Jim said yes, and took Jerry and I, whom were complete strangers, into their home. We were so blessed during this time in Georgia we were able to bring our son home from the hospital we were able to go to church with the Attorney, her husband and the foster care couple, how good is our God! Today we still have contact with Donna and Jim and send family photos.

 

                      Julie & Jackson December 2001

                            

After the 10 day waiting period was over and the interstate compact was in place we travelled back to Nebraska to start our new life with our precious baby boy, made even more special to me because he was African/American. I marvelled at him, I felt I had never seen such a beautiful baby in my whole life. We were a transracial family. We had lots of reading to do  and articles to research about our responsibilities as adoptive parents. Adoption Links Worldwide had been wonderful and we were provided with a lot of information on trans-racial families prior to us starting our home study assessments. We were fully informed prior to starting.

Now I must say, Amanda and Chris were pretty cute too! But that was a few years back and they know I love them to bits also. I am so blessed with the wonderful realtionship I have with our eldest two and the way they have grown into mature caring people through some tough times. They know I am so proud of them both.

We settled into life in Nebraska, I had adjusted status with immigration all was well. The day came when I hesitantly ventured out in Jerry's manual car (on the wrong side of the road, well I felt it was anyway!) with my new son, we were going shopping! We did ok, I had driven prior to this but not with my baby son with me, I was getting more confident each time and only a few times did I try to change the gear shift on the left hand side!.

I loved Jerry's country and the people, life seemed perfect and marred only by one thing how I missed my older children. We spent time catching up via the phone and internet, however my heart ached for them both, they were ok, I had raised them to be very independant, now I had to let go a little and trust the Lord. Besides they were both working now and supporting themselves. Amanda was working as an apprentice cook in her hometown whilst, Chris had started an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner, also in his hometown of Holbrook. They were both given the choice of returning to the States with me and both decided to continue with what they were doing. As a mother this was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, even though they were so supportive of this journey we were on.  I almost didn't go...

 

                    A very proud mum and her children

                                Amanda & Julie 1998

 

Julie & Chris 2002

                            

You see back then in the N.S.W State of Australia, I had been told by the Human Sevices Department "Sorry you are to old at 39 to adopt through our program" That didn't impress me much, I am happy to say that things have become a lot better in Australia since then as far as age goes, anyway.

So with the knowledge that Amanda and Chris had their fgrandparents nearby as well as aunts, uncles cousins.. So many people rallied around to support us all. I am so thankful. The benefits of living in a small country town.

6 months after Jackson came to us we finally went to court to finalise his adoption, we met out attorney face to face for the very first time! She was a fair skinned, pretty blonde lady, she was very good with Jack and we were amazed when she pulled out of her wallet a photo of her 3 children, 3 beautiful African children, her husband was African/American!

 

                             A very proud dad in 2001

                                    Jerry & Jackson
                  

                               

Today we still have an open relationship with Jack's birthmum, she and his birthfather send cards and presents to Jack. She is a wonderful young lady and I will be eternally grateful to her for giving Jack life and us more joy then words can ever describe!!! I know without a doubt that the joy Jack and this adoption brought to us, has caused her so much heart felt pain, but she had the courage to do what was right for her and her son at that time of her life, for that I respect her. I believe the day will come when Jack will meet his birthmother and 6 beautiful siblings, I have no concerns about this at all, we are simply two women whom both love one beautiful boy.

                     Our second adoption...What a miracle!

                               Jerry &  Jesse Owen 2002

                                     

Well we had thought at this point our adoption journey was finished, it was now June 2002 and Jerry and I had decided it was time we should go back to Australia and be near to Amanda and Christopher, We had our tickets booked for the 28th September 2002. It was my hearts desire to be able to give Jackson a baby brother or sister of African heritage, someone to grow with and play with back in Australia. Research shows positive results with trans-racial adoptions including children being away from their culture and many adoptees have stated that there should always be more than one adopted child within the family, someone they can relate to and talk to...In the natural scheme of things it was not going to happen.

Me being me, I made a call about an adoption add I had seen for a baby boy in Mississippi. Jack was 6 months old now and such a happy baby! It was Friday mid morning, we had to wait for someone to call us back. I think Jerry thought he had married someone whom truly was nuts about now. By now it was 3pm on the Friday afternoon, Jackson had to have his immunisation shots so off we went to the Dr's, upon arriving home I met Jerry in the doorway, all he said to me was "Julie we have to go to Mississippi" I responded "Jerry don't do this to me, you know how I feel about this" he repeated himself,"Julie we have to go to Mississippi!". All of a sudden I realised he was not teasing me, he was serious. Oh my.... all the phone calls and questions about what we needed to do legally etc etc...

Oh my goodness the world really seemed to stop still for a moment, now what?? Thank goodness for my very sensible husband, he was quietly cleaning the car and getting ready to go. At 5pm that evening with Jackson, we left Nebraska to head off to Mississippi. You see the attorney had called Jerry back whilst I was at the Dr's with Jackson, She had actual custody of this baby boy and she told us "when can you get here"? This baby needs parents to love him".(The attorney later told us she had never in her career seen things happen like they did with this adoption, so quickly, but we knew God had his hand in this! I never questioned our ability to parent two children cloes in age, it is all about love and time! I am a super organised person. Besides Jack was such a super happy baby, no wind problems, he slept all night and smiled all day!  :o))

Anyway what a long drive! We drove through the night stopping only to catch about 2 hours sleep and have a shower, sharing the driving and catching what other sleep we could in the car. I had moments of doubt thinking, what if this is a scam? Jerry just calmly tells me "well, we will find out when we get there" Jackson just fed and slept and smiled all the way, he was so incredibly good! Upon arriving in Mississippi on Saturday we went straight to meet with the attorney, whom then took us to meet the carers of baby Jesse, we were to learn that day that these people were Christians and they had been praying for the Lord to bring along Christian parents for Jesse. before we left we had a wonderful time of prayer with them.

Finally ...Saturday night we went to bed in a motel room in Mississippi, very weary with our two sons, Jackson 6 months and Jesse 3 weeks, whom would ever have believed what had just transpired! On the Monday we met with the attorney again and while she went through our paperwork we took Jesse for a medical check up and then on Wednesday we were in court before the Judge for the final adoption decree.

Friday, we were back home in Nebraska, our heads still whirling from all that had happened. I find it so amazing how God works in our lives .

 

    Jackson just loved his brother and was so gentle with him



On the way we debated between ourselves what we would name this baby, Funnily enough because our names all started with J we felt we should do the same for Jesse, (whose name we found out later was DeAndre) we wanted him to feel later in life it meant something, he was part of our family as Jack was, looking back I do wonder if we did the right thing, as a name forms part of the connection to the past? That is a question that only each individual can answer for themselves.

We don't have much info about Jesse's background, it was supposed to be a closed adoption however we are fortunate enough to know his birthmothers name and that he has two siblings somewhere. Once we received his birth certificate back placing Jerry and I as his parents, I was able to pinpoint two hospitals where he may have been born. First time lucky! The first hospital I phoned was "the right hospital" Due to this I was at least able to request his hospital records. The birthmother did eventually contact us through the attorney and we have had some minimal contact and information.

 

                         Jackson & Jess Septemeber 2002 

                                            Precious..

3 months later after blood tests for the boys and passports being organised, we added the two boys to Jerry's immigration application, he had been granted temporary residency but due to the fact it hadn't been made permanent we could simply add the boys, (WOW that was such a relief) and we flew home to Australia, that is where we are today.

 

Jack has always just adored his little brother

Such Happy little boys!

 

In April 2006 we decided to head off again on another adoption journey through the Human Services Department in Victoria.. This time it may be a little different as this country is not as adoption friendly as the U.S.A! And things don't work quiet as quickly but then if it is the Lords will he will move mountains if necessary. I will keep you posted~

Sometimes just because the way doesn't seem clear and we come across a closed door, it doesn't mean we shouldn't go ahead, sometimes we need to keep pushing on because the fight will be worth it. Keep knocking, sooner or later a door will open, and it will be the right door. It will be worth it! It will be all about timing and place.. As Jenetzen Franklin says in his book .."Right People, Right Place, Right Plan..

                                     We think it was worth it!

                             (Photo taken 2005)

Christopher, Amanda, Jackson and Jesse our four precious children.

I have had a welfare worker say to me "Raising adopted children is different to raising biological children"

Let me say, from my point of view, to date and in all the ways I see that matter at this point in time it has been no different, Ok the youngest two didn't grow in my womb, but they grew in my heart and that is all that really matters, I am their "REAL PARENT" they are my "REAL CHILDREN" I had to change diapers, wipe up vomit, worry about high temperatures, kiss that sore finger, take them to kinder and leave them, smack that little backside when discipline is really needed when I would much rather cuddle them! AND I still stand there of a night watching them whilst they sleep thinking my heart will burst with so much love. I feel just the same as I did with two biological children. Ok they may not have my nose!(some would say Thank God for that!) But they have a beautiful one of their own, they are individuals, they are my sons! Yes we discuss birthmothers and the clour differences and how God puts families together in different ways. Both my boys though young can talk about their birth mothers openly. They are well loved, well adjusted children.

Our thanks go to our Lord for all he has accomplished in our lives and all he is yet to do.

Phil 4:6-7
Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts, and your minds, in Christ Jesus.


Here we are it is now in late October 2007, having started this journey in April 2006 here in Australia.. Sadly we have been given a non-approval for the next adoption within Australia. I am astonished that in this day and age Social Workers can be so negative, that they can twist ones words and at times tell a complete lie and no one holds them acountable...Some days I have to reign in my anguish at the unfair way we have been treated. ICAS have fought at the Civil Administrative Tribunal  to have us gagged (long story), we could not afford to fight it and we could not find a solicitor who knew what to do when it came to inter-country adoptions.. so we cannot tell you about our journey, all we can say is "sorry, no comment".

God is in control we don't yet see the reason for what we are going through. But there will be a reason! Somehow I don't think this is the end of our story. Maybe  have just missed the timing?

Our Story

My Trans-Racial Family

Amanda Nicole

Christopher Louis

Our First Christmas with Jackson

Along comes Jesse Owen

Siblings Together

Sporting Activities

Family Pictures

Adoption Research- Trans-Racial Families & Virtual Twinning

Compassion Australia