Beka Wolfe is an AGCI adoptive mom. She adopted her daughter, Shiloh, from AGCI’s Bulgaria program in 2020. She is familiar with every phase of the parenthood journey: the hoping, praying, waiting, and the joys and challenges of becoming a first-time mom through adoption. Her family’s journey to parenthood hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been so worth it. Read her story below.
My husband and I got married in 2011. We wanted to have a big family. We wanted lots of kids. Of course, when you get married, you think you’re going to plan out your little life and everything’s going to go according to plan. Ours did not. From childhood, the Lord instilled on my heart that I would be a mom someday but soon after we got married, we lost a baby and struggled with infertility. We had always intended on having biological children and then adding to our family through adoption, but the Lord had different plans for us. In 2014, we had been praying about it for some time and decided to adopt. Not long after, we felt called to international adoption and submitted our dossier in 2015.
Our adoption advisor suggested we join the Bulgaria program. I had no idea where Bulgaria was so it was an adventure off the bat! It took a while but in October 2019, we got a referral for Shiloh. She had some medical challenges that we went back and forth with social workers and doctors about, and in December we finally got to visit her on our first of two required trips. Of course, in December 2019, nobody knew what Covid was becoming. We got home right before Christmas and were told we just needed to get our court date, get all our paperwork done, and then travel to pick her up. The plan for that was mid-March, 2020.
We had the easiest court date and decree process—I don’t know if there’s ever been a faster one—but then Covid set in. Many people can relate that in our minds, it was just going to be a couple of weeks delay. Then a month went by, and you know the story. So, while the waiting for a referral was hard, when you’ve met your child and you’re preparing their room, and you’re delayed for months, that’s really hard. We were dealing with a two-and-a-half-year-old. I thought she might remember us for a little while but months later, the only reason she still knew our faces was that we had left a photo book with pictures of us and printed off more pictures during our first visit. Her caregivers were wonderful and showed her the photos so she would know mommy and daddy. Of course, that’s still more months for her without being in a family which was heartbreaking so in the summer, the United States and Bulgaria were both shut down but we knew, one way or another, we had to figure out travel.
We completed a two-week quarantine in Bulgaria before we were able to bring Shiloh into our apartment. Then she stayed with us for the required 10 days and we finally brought her home at the end of July. Having her home with us, it’s clear that she was meant to be our daughter. There are so many times throughout the day when I think to myself, “yup, you’re my daughter!” God knows what he’s doing. Not to say the transition has been without struggles. I’m constantly reminding myself that she calls us mommy and daddy, but she doesn’t truly know yet what a family unit looks like. We’re still trying to navigate that but despite challenges, adoption has been the greatest adventure for our family.
Want to hear more? Listen to Beka share the rest of her family’s adoption story on our podcast.