Although on the other side of the world, two parents were drawn to a trio of kids they had never met before. Terrified, they chose to adopt these children, but the journey was so arduous that many would have given up right from the start.
Kristina M Ward and her husband from Northern Minnesota had a lot going on in their lives, from taking care of a newborn and two other children to struggling with money and work instability.
However, no matter the practical challenges, the couple couldn't help but be drawn to three kids in West Africa whose picture they could not stop looking at. These children were in dire need of adoption. So, in 2016 they took a leap of faith.
Kristina M Ward and her husband with their six children [left]; Kristina M Ward and her husband’s three adoptees [right]. | Source: instagram.com/kristina.m.ward facebook.com/kristinamward.write
AND SO IT BEGINS
These siblings had lost their parents due to an Ebola epidemic. They faced being split up during the adoption process. The duo dived right into the paperwork to avoid this scenario. Writing in a 2020 Facebook post, Ward said:
"February 29th  will always be a significant day for us. Exactly four years ago, we started the process to adopt these three. I remember it all so clearly as we made it official that day... trembling in fear and excitement."
Soon after the paperwork was done, they faced a grueling voyage from money issues to losing contact with the children and the adoption agency collapsing.
However, they soon managed to get in touch with the lost kids, now facing an independent adoption, complete with an application, additional costs, lawyers, paperwork, and so much more.
Nevertheless, none of these challenges deterred the two. Finally, only weeks after this application and Ward meeting the children for the first time in Africa, the court approved their adoption -- sadly, the battle wasn't over.
MORE HARDSHIP TO COME
Unfortunately, after the adoption was complete, the couple faced trouble bringing their children back to the United States due to issues with visas. Ward recollected:
"Complications came up with the country's embassy, and several adoptive families weren't issued visas."
They waited months for their case to be taken on. Finally, their visas were approved, with the parents and their kids flying to America.
HOME SWEET HOME
Now a happy family of eight, the only problems these children face are those of any ordinary kids -- homework, school, and making friends. The elated mother wrote another Facebook post about the adoption:
"Taking the leap from three to six kids overnight was one of the best and scariest things I have ever done."
If anything proves these parents' love for their kids, it was their propensity to never give up on them, no matter what roadblocks came their way.
YOUNG AND READY
Children, though a blessing, are a huge responsibility. So, like Ward and her partner, one has to be genuinely ready to not only love but look after and raise them -- an even more extreme feat if one has six children.
If this number of kids appears to be a lot, one woman managed to adopt thirteen children at only 23 years old. She then gave birth to a biological baby soon after.
Katie Davis was on a missionary trip in Uganda when she fell in love with thirteen girls in dire need of parents. Initially, she struggled to get lawful approval due to her young age.
However, Davis proved that she was the best thing for the girls, with the thirteen kids all agreeing that this is what they wanted and what would be best for them.
Although halfway across the world, these individuals somehow found their family, traveling the globe and doing all they could to be together -- a sign of unconditional love.
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