The Deller Family

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"I can still remember how small and scared I felt when, sitting nervously next to my then boyfriend, I explained what PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) was.  Avoiding eye contact I broke down what it meant in terms of my health - and what it could potentially mean for the future of my journey into being a wife and a mother.  I was blessed to have a strong and steadfast man next to me, someone that held me, comforted me, and became my husband about a year later, in April of 2009.  

 

Armed early with the knowledge that having biological children might not be a possibility, we had many discussions about adoption throughout the months following my initial confession.  Still, nothing could have fully prepared us for what the first few years of our marriage would bring us. Within the first year of our marriage we had lost our first child to miscarriage.  Shortly after our first wedding anniversary we lost another child. Our hearts were broken in so many pieces. We had almost decided to close - or at least bookmark - this chapter in our story when in 2011 we found out we were expecting.  This time we made it so far. Our Micah Nathaniel was born still at 22 weeks. It was a blessing to be able to hold him and sing to him the way I couldn’t with his sisters. Another miscarriage shortly after this confirmed that our hearts needed a break from this constant sorrow but at the same time we both knew that we were called to grow our family.

 

During all the grieving and recovery, the tears and the anger, our prayers turned toward the Lord in asking what we should do.  After much discernment we decided that we were ready to strongly pursue adoption. We researched tirelessly all the different options - domestic adoption, international adoption, foster-to-adopt, infant adoption, older child adoption, waiting children, special needs children.  For reasons of our own we felt international adoption was where we were called to go. After more research into agencies we found ourselves on track for approval to adopt a sibling group from Colombia. Adoption isn’t a quick process and we were soon neck deep in paperwork (known as “paper pregnant” in the adoption community) working on our home study and then dossier.  Through most of 2012 and all of 2013 we trudged forward, dreaming of little faces and little fingers and toes.  

 

Much to our surprise, and I have to admit initially our frustration and despair, we were amazed to find out we were expecting again in early 2014.  Slowly our frustration gave way to joy as the weeks went by and our child remained with us. The pregnancy proved to be difficult and we made the tough decision to put our adoption progress on hold until we saw through whatever God had in store for us.  It was such a healing moment in our lives when our daughter was safely sleeping in our arms many months later.

 

Still feeling the pull that adoption was meant for our family, we moved ahead with our adoption plan.  As changes were constantly happening in various countries, we decided to switch to the China Special Needs adoption program.  It was another 2 years before we traveled over 6,000 miles to adopt 2 children, an almost 5yo girl and an almost 2yo boy. We spent 3 weeks in China, traveling across the country multiple times to meet both our children.  Both children were scared and overwhelmed. Our strange faces and voices taking them away from what they’ve grown to know. It was tough to find our connection. We all had to make the decision to try. Every day. To find the blessings every day.  Progress was slow to start and it took time to build trust and assure their worried hearts that they were home with us and not going anywhere. Trauma brain is real and challenging. Early on tears were as plentiful as laughter.

 

That was over 2 ½ years ago and in that time our family of 5 has had struggles, surgeries, unseen diagnoses, and more.  But through it all there has been love. So much love. More love than I could express here. It amazes me to watch all three of my children playing.  So secure in their roles as sister, brother, daughter, and son. They are a unit, never really remembering what it was to be without each other. Three children - not related by blood, born thousands of miles apart from one another, and who at their birth it could not have been dreamed they would be who they are to each other.

 

This season in our lives has taught us all how to grow in faith.  It’s taught us how to be vulnerable and accept the grace Christ has given to us.  Adoption isn’t easy. Some days love comes naturally and other days you have to choose love.  It is a blessing born of loss and trauma. It will continue to challenge and bless our family and our marriage for the rest of our lives.  And we wouldn’t change a thing!"

-Theresa Deller, Toronto, Ohio