J Simens.com

Adoption: How did I end up with the Dog?

 We just celebrated National Adoption Day!  Did you?

National Adoption Day is an effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent, loving families and this is only the USA stats.  I wonder what is it worldwide?

My friends tell me the day an adoption is finalized is one you’ll never forget. The National Adoption Day Coalition created the One Day Project to share with the thousands of waiting children and families what this “one day” feels like.

Adoption is very common with the expat community and yet most parents are concerned about several things.  Will they be able to support their child enough when he or she starts to ask questions?  Will the schools he/she attends be knowledgeable about our situation and treat it with the respect and normalcy it deserves?

Here is an excellent article on adoption and diversity in the early childhood classroom written by DEBORAH J. STEWART. Please read it.

I have often thought about what this process would have been for our family. It was very hard to leave Lagos without bringing several tiny babies who needed a good home with us. When our maid had twin boys we had three choices.

  1. We could financially support her family of five children under the age of six while she worked for us and hope she got a understanding family when we moved.
  2. We could adopt them as she really wanted us to do.
  3. We could spend a fortune to relocate her and her family back to Ghana where her children might get additional support from her large extended family.

I loved those cute little boys more than I thought possible and hugged them tight as I handed each one to her as a large truck started leaving Lagos with her, all of the children and all of their belongings. I had decided that these little boys needed to be with their extended family more than with my global moving family.

When we were in Thailand several of our friends did adopt or are still in the adoptive stage of their lives. These families were in my thoughts as we celebrated adoption day this week.

labs and color
Diversity – Congrats to every child and family as they celebrate

I wonder if you can adopt something without even knowing it or actually agreeing to it.  You see, I am suddenly the parent to my son’s yellow Lab. When he headed off to school on another continent, it was not possible for him to take his dog. So on National Adoption Day- I was able to relate to the joy of getting something special.


We were lucky enough to get all of Raja’s pedigree bloodlines. He is the son of two yellow labs.

His mother is a yellow lab from a yellow and black lab.

His Great grandma was a yellow lab born from a chocolate and a black lab.

This was interesting but what I found more amazing was where his family came from:
Besides Indonesian – his dad was imported from the Philippines
He has a grandparent from New Zealand.
He had a Great grandparent from Australia.
His Great great grandparents came from Canada, UK, and the USA.


  • November 19, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    We didn’t really celebrate as a family because we celebrate “Gotcha Day”, which is the day we got to bring our daughter home with us. But, I did write a post telling our story and you can read it at http://raisingtcks.com/2012/11/12/adoption-awareness-month-our-story/

    Loved that you believed it important that those boys were raised with their extended family. Great post!