As this is National Adoption Awareness Month, I thought I’d share my adoption story with everyone. I so often post stories from others on this subject and thought it about time to share my own.
You never know where you will be or what you will be doing when God sends a messenger to call you to serve Him.
I was home on a Saturday, probably cleaning, when I received a telegram (this was way before the internet) from my uncle in the Philippines asking if we would take a child he came across in the hospital. Without hesitation, my husband and I said yes; and so, our journey through the adoption process began.
A Little Background
My uncle, Father Gratian Murray, started out his ministry as a Christian Brother (he was known then as Brother Gratian of Mary) who was sent to the Philippines. One of his major accomplishments was to start a home for abandoned boys called Bacolod Boys Home where boys he rescued from prison or living on the streets could have a place to call home. Father Gratian was a major influence in my life, and I’ve saved the many letters he would send me over the years.
After 25 years of service as a Christian Brother, he became a diocesan priest. On one of his trips to visit parishioners in the hospital in Bacolod he came across this little 11-month old girl who had been abandoned at birth and was living in the charity ward of the hospital.
My uncle knew we had our names on the adoption list in our diocese, so he automatically thought of us when he saw her. At that time our Archdiocese had not handled many foreign adoptions (those who adopted before then were referred to the Archdiocese of New York), so we had to do a lot of the leg work ourselves. Finally, just after her second birthday, our daughter Maria came home to us.
It was a very cold night in January when she and the sister in charge of adoptions for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia came in. We were anxious as we didn’t know how she would respond to us. When they came into the airport after landing, she came right to me as if she knew I was her mother.
The language barrier was a little hard at first. My uncle had sent a paper with the words she knew and what they meant. It didn’t take long for me to figure out what she was saying and for her to learn our language.
When she was in the first grade, she became a US citizen. She proudly announced to her teacher and her classmates that she was becoming a ‘senior citizen’. We all thought that was so cute and my sister actually had a cake made to celebrate afterwards with the words ‘Congratulations to the world’s youngest senior citizen’.
My daughter is 45 years-old now and has three children of her own as well as four grandchildren (making me a great-grandmother!).
By the way, during the adoption process, I found out I was pregnant and had two other pregnancies after that. Maria has three younger brothers and they are very close. I can’t imagine our lives without her or our sons. It wasn’t an easy ride; however, it certainly was worth it. We’ve shared happy times and sad times, but we are all always there for one another. In the link below are some pictures of our family; we are very proud of each and every one of them.
Adoption really is a loving option!