A few weeks ago I had the true pleasure of photographing the Teefey family. They had just adopted sweet Elijah from Ethiopia and needed an updated family picture. I loved how Elijah already fit into the threads of this family and it was so obvious that they were woven together long before Elijah was even born.
To give the story justice, I wanted to give Lindsey and John a chance to tell it.
So here is the Teefey family adoption story.
In February of 2008 we felt a strong leading from God to begin the adoption process. We had talked about it since we started dating, but never dreamed it would begin so soon after having a child just one short year before.
After a year and a half of paperwork, fingerprints, getting issued foster license, and more paperwork we were finally put on the waiting list for a child in Ethiopia.
There were several reasons why we chose to adopt from Ethiopia. One, we have always had a heart for Africa and felt deeply the conviction to help in someway with the aids crisis that’ s leaving millions of children abandoned. Second, the children in the orphanages and institutions are very loved and cared for by the people of Ethiopia, and their heart is for them to be in a loving home. Finally, we were open to having a family that was multi-cultural.
At the time, many fears came over us. We didn’ t know what adding a 2 year old boy would look like, especially with having a 3 year old son. We couldn’ t help but think that through all of the hoops and trials, God had a plan for this, even though it didn’ t look like we expected.
We got another call on June 16, 2010 stating that the birthmother relinquished her rights in court and that we could travel in July to bring him home. My first thought was anger toward her that she just couldn’ t “ make it work” . God quickly showed me that she was courageous and very selfless to give up the only thing that she had because she wanted him to have a good life. She was too poor to feed and take care of her little boy.
On July 18, 2010 we headed for Ethiopia to meet our son.
The day after we arrived, they took us to the children’ s home where he was staying. He immediately called us mommy and daddy. He was holding the bear and picture album we had sent a month before. Feeling his skin, and knowing his reality at this moment made me let go of all the anxiety I had been holding on to.
We flew home with him a week later. He became a forever part of our family and met his new brother on July 27, 2010.
The last 3 months have been a time of adjustment and leaning on Christ to pull us through and hold us together. We’ ve seen him bring joy, laughter, and love into a little boys life that once was alone. We’ ve seen how following His leading to adopt has brought joy to our life, even through the pain.
We believe that we all have a responsibility in some way to care for the orphans. Adoption is certainly a good way to do that.
The agency we adopted through is based out of St. Louis, MO. http://adopt.childrenshope.net/
Thanks Teefey family for taking the time to write your story. God bless!