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We are Laura and Steve MacDonald. We chose to build our family thru adoption versus biological methods, as I (Laura) have known I wanted to adopt from the time I was a child. We began this life-long adventure with the adoptions of our two sons from Guatemala in 2006. I moved to Guatemala to be with them from the time they were about six weeks old, until the paperwork was completed 6 months later. They are ABSOLUTELY the loves and joys of our lives, and I often forget that they are adopted, attributing tastes or allergies/etc to either myself or Steve. We absolutely CANNOT imagine loving or cherishing a child more than we do our boys.
For a reason I still don’t understand, I always felt drawn to Haiti – even prior to our adoptions from Guatemala. Haiti was always on my heart and mind. Therefore, when we decided to start another adoption, we went to Haiti. We were matched to Taina, and went down to meet her shortly after. We immediately fell in love, but were also tormented by the conditions we saw on that trip. Despite much international travel, and 6 months living in Guatemala, nothing could have prepared us for the utter devastation and poverty that defines Haiti. As we left Haiti, we inadvertently ended up in a government run children’s hospital with the person driving us to the airport. We were there a few hours during her meeting and as we rushed towards the door, we almost literally ran into our little Jesse, a small little light in a dark and somewhat hopeless place….a two year old little girl in a bright red dress with a smile that warmed you to your toes, who had been abandoned at the hospital seven months prior. We looked at each other and were both instantly struck with the knowledge that Jesse was supposed to be our daughter…so we began the process as we left her country that day.
I spent the next several months on the phone, the computer, and on my knees….working and praying for a solution for Jesse. She needed a relatively routine operation to correct a gastrointestinal issue. I did everything in my power to get her adoption expedited, and when that seemed absolutely impossible, to get her a medical Visa so we could at least get her medical condition corrected. The paperwork was insane. People’s reluctance to help because, for example, they could not fill out the necessary forms because no one knew her real last name, seemed unfathomable. It is a situation that is SO difficult to explain…those who have adopted, or who are in the process, and whose hearts have left their bodies to touch and be with the children destined to be theirs understand…they understand that when you meet the child who is to be your son or daughter, and then have to turn your back and walk away from that child, a child who oftentimes has already been thru more trauma than most of us have, to wait for paperwork and bureaucracy…your heart breaks, your entire being aches, and you are filled with an intense longing to provide the comfort and security you know your child so needs and deserves. We left Haiti that day after meeting Jesse, absolutely FULL of sadness for both her and Taina. Unfortunately, despite all of our efforts, Jesse died just 5 months after we held her in our arms…thousands of miles away from the family that loved her, that longed for her, all alone in a Haitian hospital room, never knowing the comfort and security of the loving arms of her forever family.
We have since been blessed by the addition of both Taina and Yvelore…2 of the most beautiful and amazing little girls one could ever imagine. Both came to us shortly after the devastating earthquake in Haiti…and our hearts have now expanded to 4 times their original size as these girls join us and our boys on the adventure of our lives. We still think about Jesse constantly. We still pray for her, and our hearts still break for her – that she had to die alone, with no one there to hold and comfort her…a senseless death when just a plane ride away, she had the medical care she needed, and a family desperate to help her and head over heels in love with her.
Be The Answer for Jesse by Visiting the National Adoption Month Website to find a local event to attend in your area!