As they’d talked together about growing their family, Mike and Laura had often considered adoption. When they encountered fertility complications, they returned with ease to their earlier conversation. After a cousin recommended WACAP, Mike and Laura did their homework. “We checked WACAP’s ratings, years of service, and everything looked good,” they note. When they were matched with a little girl from India who was born without an ear — the same ear Laura was deaf in — they knew they could support her needs. Looking at her picture, “That was it. We were in love,” they recall.
After a few unexpected hurdles with their daughter’s entry visa and some changes in India affecting intercountry adoption, the family didn’t give up. “We breathed a sigh of relief when we learned India had reopened for intercountry adoption,” the couple shares. “Without WACAP, we never would have made it through that time. … But we got everything in order, mailed a picture of ourselves to our daughter,” who was finally ready to come home … just after she recovered from the chicken pox. That was in the spring of 2004, and Sasi was just 2 years old.
Here, her mom remembers that first day … and shares about the present day with the kind-hearted, energetic girl who warms the hearts of her family.
Life With Sasi
We met her and her escort at the New Orleans Airport. As soon as we saw her, we went to hug her and pick her up. Afraid, she let out a scream, but the escort showed her our picture and she looked back and forth from the picture to us, and then reached up her arms to me. I had waited over a year to hold her. It was amazing. Although she continued to be fearful of Mike, letting out a yell when he approached, after a year of incredible patience on my husband’s part, she finally accepted him into her heart.
Sasi was overall a sweet and funny kid. She laughed easily, though initially, she was afraid of our dogs and all her stuffed animals (except a singing duck). Because she was about a year delayed when she first came home, we enrolled her in an early intervention program to help her learn how to speak and how to walk. She has some facial paralysis so could not drink out of a bottle, and we had to take apart her sippy cups. Also when she arrived home, she would sometimes become very frustrated, displaying her anger outwardly. When this happened, I would hold her and tell her, “No matter what you do, I will always love you,” over and over and over again. I called WACAP often to make sure that we were doing everything we could to help her transition. They put us in touch with other people who had gone through similar challenges and were very helpful.
Today, Sasi is up to grade level in all areas. She is outgoing and funny. She continues in speech therapy and in the classroom, her teachers are always willing to give her support when she needs it. After some interesting ear doctor appointments, we found that we share a few birth defects in our ears, and one is particularly rare and is most severe in the same ear for us both. Sasi has a lot of friends, and she likes raising money for the “puppies and sick kids.” She’s enrolled in drama class and signed up for basketball. It amazes me that I was ever able to deal with the quiet life beforehand. She loves to look at the WACAP Today magazine to point out potential brothers or sisters.
She is the greatest gift we have ever received, and WACAP can never know how much we love them.