Sunday was our 6th year anniversary of adopting our daughter, Ruchi. Before she was in our family she spent some time living on the street in New Delhi followed by two years in an orphanage. Ruchi is a survivor. Today she is in school, doing very well and enjoys using multiple devices simultaneously while she is gaming. I like to joke that she is training to be Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek who often multi-tasked at her desk to serve in her role as a translator and communications officer.

In 2011 Laura and I made the trip to India where we picked up Ruchi and spent 9 days going through all of the medical and bureaucratic tasks required to bring her home. We thought she was much younger than it turns out she is. That was due to an inadequate diet and care, we later found out when she grew three years worth in just one. Today she is very healthy.

Ruchi spent a year and a half in kindergarten because she came here without any base including no real English to speak of other than a list of 26 memorized words that corresponded to the letters of the alphabet. We were so fortunate that one of her first teachers was Pakistani and spoke Hindi.

Today Ruchi speaks comfortably and fits in seamlessly in social situations. People often tell us how lucky she is because that’s how adoption is framed. But, the reality is that we are all fortunate. Ruchi has changed our lives forever. The journey with all of its ups and downs has left indelible transformations in its wake for everyone in our family. Adoption is so much more than I thought it to be before we brought Ruchi home to our house.

Adoption brings a stranger into your midst and consecrates her presence with family ties, which grow slowly and even imperceptibly at times, but with undeniable force and power. Adoption sews two cultures together and then bonds them so they are inseparable. Adoption is very personal, made up of the intricacies and nuances of everyone’s individual personalities. Adoption teaches through experience. Adoption is a rite of passage for the family as well as the child, changing all forever. Adoption is an ordeal, but one that yields a bounty of blessings.

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I decided I wanted to adopt. I am so grateful we did the hard work to make Ruchi’s presence in our family real.

“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.”
– anonymous