Follow us to South Africa as we grow our family through adoption.
For our honeymoon Ryan and I volunteered at an orphanage in Kenya. While there we met Lulu Glory- a tiny four year old whose mother was dying of AIDS. Lulu herself carries the virus, along with the pain and confusion any child would feel after being unexpectedly left in a crowded orphanage. She was lost and grieving. Lulu quickly attached herself to both my hip and my heart.
One day while rocking Lulu on the steps of the orphanage I turned to Ryan and choked out, "We could take her...". Quiet tears spilled down my cheeks as I realized there was nothing more I wanted than to parent this sweet little girl. We inquired but quickly learned that no, we couldn't adopt Lulu. Kenyan law requires couples to be married for three years before they can adopt. Furthermore, the law states that you can not adopt a child you've met before. Lulu could never be ours.
But we will adopt. That decision has never been clearer to us. Because now orphans have a face and a name: Lulu. When I close my eyes I can still feel Lulu's skinny little arms wrapped around my neck, and I can see her big brown eyes searching for validation that her life matters.