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My Story...

adoption helpMy husband and I adopted Melinda (Mellie) from Texas when she was 13 months old. For the first year or so, everything was just like we hoped. Our older son was adjusting to a younger sister well, and I felt like I finally had the little girl I had always dreamed of. Our family was complete!

After our second Christmas with our family of four, things began changing, slowly at first. Mellie's speech wasn't progressing as the doctor thought was normal, and now at nearly 3 years old, we started speech therapy twice a week. Additionally, the doctor prescribed occupational therapy because she was a few months behind in her motor skills. I had just returned to work so it was a bit of a challenge to make it all work out but we did it.

Mellie had been sick during Christmas and had never seemed to totally recover. Turns out she was having a reaction to eating milk and dairy. Rather than having her feel deprived when we had ice cream or grilled cheese, I changed our diets to focus on foods that weren't milk based.

These changes, though a small price to pay for me to have the little girl I always wanted, were difficult for my son. I couldn't go to one of his basketball games each week because of the therapy and some of his favorite foods were now out of our rotation.

My husband, who I thought was completely supportive, started to become more distant and would say things like "We never knew these things were wrong with her!" My feeling was that they were things that could be a problem with any child, even our son. It wasn't Mellie's fault that our home was become more strained, but I think my husband and son felt that way.

Each day, it seemed our home life was more tense, our marriage more stressed, and the little victories each child was achieving overlooked. It began to feel like my husband and son truly resented Mellie for her place in our family, for her place in my heart.

Finally, when we seemed to be near a breaking point, a devastating announcement: I had Hodgkin's disease.

My husband and I went away overnight, to discuss without the children how we would face the future. Tearful confessions on both of our parts led us to the difficult conclusion that adopting Mellie had been my dream, not his, and he didn't feel bonded to her. He was terrified of losing me to cancer and raising our son alone along with a daughter he didn't think he loved. How were we going to fight my cancer together?

We made the difficult decision to see if we could find another home for Mellie. One where she wasn't resented, one where she would be treasured for the sweetheart she was, one who would be safe and secure. I needed to focus on my health and my marriage, and Mellie deserved so much more than a divided home.

Thank you for helping us find a beautiful Christian family who was so ready to welcome her into their arms and their hearts. I pray for her every day, but now facing a terminal diagnosis, I know we made the right decision.



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