My name is Kristen Kimball and I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself! I will be walking along side the staff at About a Child to keep you up to date on current events and topics in the adoption world, as well as tell the stories of families who have journeyed through the adoption process. I believe with all my heart that each person’s story is important and I am excited to learn from each one of you. Please feel free to share any posts that you wish and provide feedback on what you would like to hear about.
Here is our family’s story:
I met my husband Derek on a college ministry Spring break trip while we attended the University of Northern Iowa. We dated for five months, got engaged and then got married on our 14 month anniversary. After being married for just under a year, we decided that it was time to start a family. We tried getting pregnant for about eight or nine months, but it stressed me out to live my life on such a schedule. We started asking the “what if we can’t get pregnant” question. Both of us knew right away that the answer for us was not going to be spending money on fertility treatments, so we decided that we would start researching adoption.
A long, long, VERY long story made short – we were about to sign on with a domestic adoption agency when we felt a tug telling us not to do it. We were both confused as we thought we were making the right decision, but it felt wrong to us. So we started thinking about other ways to start our family. About three weeks later we were at our church service when Derek and I opened our bulletin and saw the title of the service was “God Adopts us into His Family.” We took this as a sign to revisit this whole adoption thing.
We began researching adoption agencies. When we started searching for an adoption agency, we knew we wanted to go through an agency that had a master waiting list that we could get on for all the countries they worked with. We wanted to feel as though God was selecting the country we worked with, instead of us choosing. We also wanted to find an agency that was local, and didn’t cost a fortune to work with. I had heard of the big name agencies, but wanted to keep searching. After literally doing a google search, we found About A Child. They offered us everything we were looking for – so we had our first phone conversation with Carla where she told us about a new pilot program they were starting in Uganda. We ended the conversation with the agreement that we would begin thinking about our options. 18 hours after we spoke with Carla, she called again, letting us know they had been made aware of a sibling group in Uganda and we could pursue them as referrals. Derek was very hesitant (rightfully so) due to the fact that we thought we had at least a year to raise funds, not less than 24 hours. I saw the first pictures of these beauties and knew we needed to jump in. Faith (4) and Stecia (2) became a part of us and started us on an incredible journey.
Fast forward about seven months and in that time we had signed on with an adoption agency pursuing children in Uganda, been through three different referrals, lost my husband’s 22 year-old sister and my 57 year-old aunt and were now on our 4th referral for little miss Viola. It was a whirlwind to say the least! We learned that Viola lived with her 87 year old grandmother. At such an old age, her grandmother was full of fear for what would happen to Viola and was being proactive in finding a new family for her. We were excited when we found out that WE would get to be the ones to bring her home! The next few months were full of showers, room decorating, and enjoying our last few months as a childless family.
Then we got a call that has changed our lives forever. The call happened just three short weeks before we were to leave to get our Viola. It was from our adoption agency and this is how it went, “Hey Kristen, Joseph (our Ugandan caseworker) has just found another orphan. I am sending pictures of HIM to you right now, would you please think about adding him on to your case?” We got the pictures and medical information on our little man, Gideon, fell in love, and responded, “Sure, why not?”
After spending 73 days in Uganda going through the emotional rollercoaster of working to get our children cleared to come home with us, we landed in Cedar Rapids on November 2, 2012 with Viola Ann Kimball (age 4) AND Gideon George Kimball (age 2). I will never forget the feeling of riding down the escalator and seeing our families holding signs and balloons and sporting the biggest grins and happiest tears. I am not a crier, but boy did the tears flow that day. I know now that the feelings I felt introducing my two sweet babies to our families are similar the feeling women have when introducing their newborns for the first time.
Fast forward another year and a half and Derek and I were in no way, shape, or form thinking of adding to our family. Wrong again. It seems God had another plan for us. We were approached by a family friend who knew of a single mom, working at Burger King, who was looking for someone to adopt her baby. So after a LOT of consideration and even after initially saying no a couple times, we said yes and welcomed Charlotte into our family on July 15, 2014. Our family of five stays busy by playing outside as much as possible, spending time with friends and extended family and eating a lot of ice cream along the way. We know our family is not complete yet, but have no clue as to what God is up to next.
Working with About a Child was an experience I highly recommend and am so grateful for their help in building our family. I am excited and honored to be able to share my skills and passions to build the first About A Child blog.