When the Prickett family learned of the great need for families to adopt boys, their adoption journey became that much easier. “When it came time for Jimmy and I to fill out our Medical Conditions Checklist, the gender section was the easiest part!” says Corrie Prickett, mother to Finnley, adopted from China six months ago. “Without hesitation, we marked ‘either’ and continued on to the next section. We knew that there was a shortage of families open to adopting boys and that this would likely mean we would be referred a boy. However, we felt strongly that adoption should be no different than biology.”
by Corrie Prickett
My husband Jimmy and I began to discuss adoption about nine years ago, as we struggled with starting our family. Once our son Jackson (age 7) was born, the adoption discussion ceased for several years. We were filled with the joys of parenting Jackson through the many milestones of childhood, including first steps, birthdays, and the first day of school, the first lost tooth, and the first home run. Many times we said how wonderful it would be to adopt. However, like many families, we didn’t actually consider adoption a realistic possibility due to misinformation, rumored long referral waits, and the idea that adoption was financially out of our reach.
In the fall of 2010, God placed the topic of adoption on our hearts again. Finally, in the late summer of 2011, we applied to Holt’s China Child of Promise Program, a program for children with special needs. When we began looking at the Child of Promise Program, we were surprised that many families were traveling to meet their children approximately one year after application to the program. We were also surprised to learn that there was a great need for families open to adopting boys.
When it came time to fill out our Medical Conditions Checklist, the gender section was the easiest part! Without hesitation, we marked “either” and continued on to the next section. We knew that there was a shortage of families open to boys and that this would likely mean we would be referred a boy. However, we felt strongly that adoption should be no different than biology. When I was pregnant, we chose to do things the old-fashioned way and wait until delivery day to hear “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl.” Referral day would be just the same.
On December 2, 2011, my cell phone rang. “Holt International” appeared on the screen. My heart sank as I wondered what they could be calling about. We were not expecting a referral call at all. It was a Friday, and those families who had received a referral had been contacted earlier that week. We didn’t even expect to have our dossier in China until sometime in January. When I answered, Beth Smith, program director for China, was on the line. She said “Hello Corrie, are you ready for a referral?” I was so thrilled I don’t even remember saying yes. I do remember her next words, “He is a beautiful thirty month old boy!” In the moments that followed, Jimmy and I waited to see the precious face of the boy we now call Finnley. On Christmas morning 2011, our son Jackson opened his last gift. Inside was a picture of his new little brother!
We spent the next five months preparing and not so patiently waiting to meet Finnley. This May, Jimmy, Jackson, and I traveled to China to bring Finnley home. When Gotcha Day finally arrived, we were a mixed bag of emotions. But, when that beautiful and brave little boy walked around the corner, only one emotion remained, joy! Finnley would be with us forever and us with him. Everything we had spent months worrying about suddenly became a distant memory! In the coming days, we learned many things about ourselves. We grew as a family, as parents, and as individuals. We saw sites and shared experiences as a family that none of us will ever forget.
This week marks six months since Finnley joined our family. I know it may sound cliché, but we honestly cannot imagine life without him! Finnley fits seamlessly into our family. He has taught us more in our six months together that I ever thought imaginable. Finnley is loving, courageous, and funny. He is the most selfless child I have ever met. He never accepts anything for himself without thinking of his older brother as well. Finnley loves to sing, dance, and play music. His courage has amazed surgeons and strangers alike. He never gives up and would rather help Jimmy and me with laundry or emptying the dishwasher than just about anything else. Most of all, Finnley has taught us that love knows no boundaries , and we feel truly blessed to have him in our lives!
I mentioned before that we saw things in China that we will never forget. For Jimmy and me, one of those things was our visit to Finnley’s orphanage. That visit was priceless in regards to Finnley’s beginnings and holds many memories too personal to share. The visit also etched faces into our hearts and minds. As we walked the halls, we were greeted by countless children. Each of those children equally deserving of a loving forever family. Every one of those children, precious. The vast majority of those children, boys! I will never forget their faces or the joy that came from being given a simple piece of candy. We had been told of the increasing need for families open to boys, but there in front of us was living proof. Just days before, our Finnley had been one of those boys, waiting for his forever family.
Our home is now filled with the sound of two brothers loving life and loving each other. The boys can be found putting on a dance concert in the living room, playing football with Jimmy or snuggling up with me on the couch. Parenting boys is full of fun, laughter, and most of all love! We are so grateful that we chose to open our hearts to whatever gender God felt best for our family. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t thank heaven for boys!
Read some other great stories from families who have adopted boys: