The Malcomb FamilyWritten by Danni Malcomb
Our HistoryRandy and I met in 6th grade. We ran in the same social circle all through junior high and high school. We began dating when we were juniors in high school. After graduation I joined the U.S. Army Reserve and Randy began college at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Once my training was complete, I joined him at B.S.U. After obtaining our college degrees, we were married in Brown County, Indiana at the age of 23. We moved to the Indianapolis area to start careers and a family. In 1998, we delivered a very healthy baby girl, Lily Dawn. All was going according to plan.
Rude AwakeningJust 11 months after the birth of our daughter we had a devastating miscarriage at 20 weeks gestation. How could this happen? (No one in our very large extended family had ever had this kind of trouble. Everyone was extremely fertile and if they even thought of a baby, nine months later it was there, healthy and happy!) Time passed and we were pregnant again. 14 weeks later, that pregnancy also ended in miscarriage. Pregnancy after pregnancy ended in miscarriage, totaling 6 miscarriages. My husband and I sought medical expertise, went through some painful procedures and at least one surgery. I even went so far as to administer injections in my stomach twice a day for months. The physical pain was one thing, but the mental anguish was far worse. Our fairy tale of a life had turned into a nightmare and it was hard to see what God’s plan was for our family. At this point, through the encouragement of my sister and her husband, we began attending Grace Community Church. I wanted to blame God for this horrible suffering we were going through, but I felt His wonderful love and reassurance at there. I couldn’t question His plan for our family, I just had to gather strength and keep moving forward. In the midst of a seemingly hopeless struggle we knew deep down we have a loving God who gives us gracious answers.
The “Ah ha” MomentThrough tears and prayers we began to consider international adoption. It wasn’t like our lives had never been touched by adoption; Randy was adopted domestically as an infant. We were almost immediately discouraged by the cost, as we were (and are) a single income family. Cautiously, we started to talk to a select few friends and family about the possibility of adopting. The first family we spoke to had three adopted children from Korea. They encouraged us to pursue adopting because it wasn’t impossible as we thought. The next evening my mom came over and out of the blue gifted us enough money to pay for one third of an international adoption!! She had no idea we were seriously entertaining the idea. We were in shock. We felt that this was what God wanted for our family because with out asking (people) we were gaining support.
Sealing the DealWe had spoken to our friends on Wednesday, were gifted money on Thursday and no one could ever believe what happened Friday! The same friends from Wednesday had found a flier at a doctor’s office with these words at the top “Please Adopt Me”. There was a picture and a few details of a toddler in a very remote part of China that needed to be adopted soon as she was approaching her third birthday and was born with spina bifida. (It is harder to place kids over two years of age and with special needs.) My heart was racing as my husband and I looked at this adorable little orphan. Randy said, “What do you think?” and I said, “I don’t have to think. This is all happening for a reason.” God meant for us to have this little girl. This was His plan for our family and it was finally made visible to us. We contacted the agency from Evansville, Indiana, on Monday. She was still available and we officially started the adoption process.
Anything worthwhile is never easyThe journey had just begun. We had paperwork to complete, a home study to schedule and money to raise!! We scoured the Internet for grants, loans and fund raising ideas. We contacted China Care, an agency that grants money to families adopting special needs children from China, and were given a $4,000 grant to help towards our adoption costs. We started asking friends and family to spread the word that we were collecting stuff to sell in a yard sale to offset some of the costs. People were more than willing to clean out their closets and garages to help us. Before we knew it our garage was packed from floor to ceiling with stuff – all kinds of wonderful stuff!! Furniture, clothes, toys, books, movies, dishes, tools – you name it, we had it!! We poured a lot of time, sweat and hard work, as did friends and family, getting the items priced, organized and advertised. After a series of sales, we raised $2,500!! Plus, several people felt compelled to give us a cash donation ranging from $20 - $600. We were amazed at the love and support we were receiving!! In addition, my husband, Randy, worked many overtime hours at his job to build the fund, as well. And he discovered that they offered a small reimbursement after the adoption was completed.
Journey to JadaJust nine short months after starting our adoption journey, we were on our way to China. My mom and five year old daughter went with us to pick up three-year-old Jada Rose Yu Xiang Malcomb. It was a life-changing trip. We were able to see a part of the world so very different than ours. We met other amazing adoptive families, helpful guides, knowledgeable in-country adoption coordinators and selfless orphanage caregivers. Our trip went by in a flash and we were back home in Noblesville, Indiana with our newest family member.
We could not have done it without God’s direction and loving arms holding us up through every step of the way.
The next MalcombAfter having success with our first adoption, we felt compelled to do it again. Still anxious about the financial aspects, we were undeterred. We also felt called to help the “waiting children” those who were available but had yet to be adopted. That is when we found Sam, a three-month-old infant in Guatemala. He was perfect in every way, but had been overlooked for some unknown reason. I can only assume he wasn’t overlooked, but was meant for us. We contacted the agency, this time in Florida. Before we knew it we were well on our way to gaining another child.
Textbook adoption #2We went through the same rigorous paperwork, home study and fundraising. This time we got a home equity line of credit to pay for most of the adoption. Unbelievably, nine months later we were on our way to Guatemala to adopt little Samuel Alexis Gabriel Malcomb!! We left our two daughters behind with loving friends and felt confident they were well cared for while we picked up their baby brother. Our trip there was brief, only a week. We were met by a wonderful guide, a kind adoption facilitator and one very sweet (but heart broken) foster mom. After a couple visits to officials, he was ours and we were on our way back home!! We brought Sam home on his first birthday. I have a feeling it was more of a gift to us than to him!!
I cannot praise God enough for His faithfulness to our family. He has given us the gift of three wonderful children, all miracles. It was hard at times to understand, but who can know God’s will. My husband and I just had to pray and remain faithful to His plan as it unfolded in our lives.
I would encourage anyone and everyone to adopt. Whether it is domestic or international. It IS possible. It IS a wonderful way to build a family and the children you adopt ARE YOURS from the moment you see them from the first time and give them their first hug. You know it and they know it!! But above all, God knows what is right for you and that child. Have faith and remain persistent.