Claiming an Orphan, Gifted a Daughter

When my husband and I were in the midst of the adoption process, I recall my heart being struck at the revelation that orphans are a people who have no one to claim them, no one that ever says, “That kid over there, he/she belongs to me.”  

I grew up with a set of parents who worked tirelessly to secure our futures. Now, more than ever before, I am deeply impressed when I recall that I never, ever questioned that Mom would be everywhere she said she would be. She was everywhere for us. I distinctly remember her sitting in her car outside the dance studio, waiting for me, as I practiced most days of the week. As certain as I was that the sky is blue, is as certain as I was that my parents (especially Mom) would be there for me, every day. Her schedule and life were built around ours, not the other way around. Her presence, her promise, like a protective wall around my life.


We have two daughters adopted from Haiti, where they lived in an orphanage for six years.  We brought them home in October 2009 at the ages of 16 and 10. (Crazy, bringing home a teenager and a preteen - you betcha!) Of all they things I see in them, one of my favorites is their reaction, when Grandma sends care packages, or an auntie calls for them, or I tell them that someone in the family asked about them. They love the gifts people send (especially Grandma) but the gift itself is secondary to knowing that someone cares about them, thinks about them, and she’s their Grandma for as long as she is with us.

They are no longer two of sixty plus children, well cared for, but claimed by an institution and cared for by an organization. Without a word uttered, their glowing faces communicate vividly, their burning, God given desire to be claimed, to belong and know that someone has established and declared, “You belong to me.”



I am a wife, full time working parent, step mom to Conor and Jessica, and adoptive mother of two Haitian-American daughters, Fabiola and Fabien.

I love to laugh and my favorite TV show is So You Think You Can Dance. My dream is to spend my retirement years in a third world country, with respite taken often on an American beach.

We live in North Carolina where I hike the Eno River Trails several times per week. I love to encourage people. I love fashion. And on occasion, am accused by my family of being "bossy."