Ask Methodist Mission Home (MMH) Adoption Services Director Helen Huff what inspires her most about her job and she answers without hesitation, “There’s just something breathtaking about adoption… the way God moves people around to form these amazing families.”
Recently, Huff experienced this profound inspiration again when she had a visit from a family who had adopted from MMH over 10 years ago. With plans to show their daughter, Kara, the place where she was adopted in 1998, Wheeler and Sharon met with Helen to reminisce about their adoption journey with MMH.
Kara, who has now grown into an intelligent and beautiful 13-year old, sat modestly by as her parents shared their memories of how she came to be a part of their family.
Sharon and Wheeler had already adopted a son who was very excited when he found out he was going to have a little sister. Kara has become really close to her big brother despite their 9 year age difference. “Although I’m younger, I’m like his second mom, I’m the one who’s always looking out for him,” she laughed.
Married 16 years at the time of Kara’s adoption, Sharon and Wheeler had originally filed an application with another agency in their home town of Chicago. Keeping an open mind, they reached out to different agencies and found out about MMH through a relative in Houston. After researching MMH’s history of adoption, they immediately made contact with an adoption counselor to begin the enrollment process. Soon their profile was submitted to an eight-month pregnant birth mother who was still in search of an adoptive family. She chose Sharon and Wheeler almost instantly, and within days they were flying to San Antonio, eager to spend a few days with the birth parents.
“We went out to eat and visited several times just talking and getting to know each other a little before flying back to Chicago until the birthmother’s due date,” Sharon remembered.
Sharon recalls the joy she felt when the birth parents asked them to be present at the hospital for Kara’s birth. On the day her baby was born, Sharon was in the hospital room with them watching movies.
“I was with them until five minutes before Kara was born,” Sharon said, “I stepped out and they called me back in, and there was Kara. I was the first to hold her and I remember her head was bobbing everywhere.” Meanwhile, Wheeler was in Chicago at the time with their son but flew in the next day knowing exactly who he wanted to see. Laughing, Sharon remembered how Wheeler came in wanting to see his baby girl. “He just kept asking where is my baby?” until he finally had her in his arms.”
Ever since then Wheeler and Sharon have been very open with Kara about her adoption.
“Every day we look at Kara and our son and see them as such blessings,” Wheeler shared. Their love for the children is such a deep and natural emotion that when they share their story with others, people find it hard to believe their children are adopted because of the family’s closeness.
“We find our story inspires our friends and they often ask us about the process,” Sharon said. “We are surrounded by people in all sorts of relationships, and different races and personalities, who are either interested in adoption or have adopted before and we never hesitate to tell our story and encourage the idea for others.”
Kara’s adoptive parents are always admiring of the courage of birthparents in choosing adoption.
“Adoption is so much an individual decision, and it’s important to think about what’s best not only for yourself but for the baby,” Wheeler commented, saying he knows there are many families ready to step in and love a child unconditionally if birthparents are not able, for a variety of reasons, to provide for a baby. “Kara’s birthparents were very mature, loving and caring, especially the birthmother who made the ultimate decision with both courage and determination.”
It was over a month before Wheeler and Sharon could take Kara home to Chicago and, to them, it seems like yesterday. They had to wait three days to take her from the hospital and were then required to stay in Texas for a month before leaving.
With so much love in her life since the day she was born, it’s safe to say Kara is growing up with wonderful parents and a bright future. It’s no wonder Helen Huff loves her job in Adoption Services.