November is National Adoption Month and we’re celebrating by featuring the unique stories of adoptive families across the country. Today, we hear from the Clark family. The following post was written by Brittney Clark.
My husband and I met in 2004 and got married in October of 2007. We met at work. I had moved from Hammond, Indiana to Indianapolis looking for a change and a fresh start. I accepted a job at a call center shortly after moving to Indianapolis...and that’s where we met. I was 21 and Carl was 24. We had a lot of fun during our courtship and throughout our marriage. We’ve been able to travel and spend a lot of time building a strong relationship. We relocated to Charlotte, NC, where we purchased a home and returned to school to earn our master’s degrees. We’ve both grown a lot personally and professionally.
Adoption was never really on the radar, although we have had conversations about what it would be like for us to adopt. My husband’s sister is adopted. He also has a cousin who is adopted. I’ve been exposed to a community of adults caring for young people who may or may not have been biologically-related. However, in 2014 we discovered infertility issues that impacted our ability to conceive naturally. We discussed other options such as IVF, but I knew I did not want to put my body through the stress. My husband was supportive. It was at that time we figured there were many waiting children, especially brown children, and this was the best route to expand our family.
One of the biggest challenges was the uncertainty of the process. When we first started exploring adoption, we saw websites with children that we thought might be a good match. There seemed to be so many delays and “red tape” that slowed us down. It was frustrating. The greatest reward was finding our daughter, Zendaya! Every delay and piece of red tape with the other children ultimately made space for her.
The first day we met Zendaya in September of 2016 has to be one of my favorite memories! She jumped right into our arms as if we had always been her parents. Zendaya entered our lives at the age of 15 months and she is now 5. She is very smart, funny, sensitive and empathic, energetic, and a risk-taker. She loves to play outdoors, help cook, and appreciates using her hands a lot. Zendaya has a beautiful personality and often lights up the room!
There are so many funny moments we have as parents! We love to see her grow in her independence, especially with fashion. To see her in rain boots, a tutu, and a baseball cap is a hilarious sight.
If you’re looking to adopt, make sure it’s in your heart to love a child that is not biologically yours. Also, understand just what that means and the dynamics that will be at play. Just know the process is an emotional rollercoaster but you will have the child(ren) you are supposed to receive. Make sure you have a strong support system or a therapist to process all the thoughts and reactions that will come up for you. Keep the faith and DO IT!!