Love At First Sight

The beautiful thing about families is that they can form without any biological ties—just love.

Missy and Chris had two biological sons, David and Tim, and an adopted daughter, Lilly. When they started thinking about a second adoption, Lilly asked for a sister. Missy and Chris went to a Wayfinder family fair for prospective adoptive parents, looking for a girl younger than Lilly. There, they saw a photo of 10-month-old Cici—and fell in love.

“I was sure. She was our match,” Missy remembers. “She did not fit the profile we thought we were looking for. She has an exceedingly rare genetic disorder. At birth, she had club feet, and her hips were not in alignment.”

Missy and Chris learned that Cici’s biological mother loved her daughter very much, but post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues had prevented her from meeting Cici’s medical needs. Cici had to be removed from her mother at 6 months old.

There was one hitch. Cici was receiving medical treatment and living in a foster home three hours away from the Ewing home. She could not be transferred now. Missy and Chris decided to wait for Cici, the little girl with a big smile. Five months later, they got good news: They could pursue adopting Cici.

“She has been with us for over a year,” Missy says, “and it has been so incredibly easy. People think we are out of our minds. They ask, ‘How could this child be so easy?’ But she is, and we all love her incredibly much.”

When she joined the family, Cici could not sit up without help or move independently. Now, after hip surgery, she can sit up, scoot and crawl. She is getting closer to walking. “She is such a brave and strong girl,” Missy says, “and she’s taught me so much about motivation.”

Having a sister is a joyful experience for Lilly. “It’s all about dress-up clothes and princesses,” says Missy. As the biological mother of two boys, she adds, “This is an entire chapter of my life that I wouldn’t have had without adoption.”

The beautiful thing about families is that they can form without any biological ties—just love. At the time of her hip surgery, Cici had been with the Ewings for about four months. Missy worried that Cici’s intensive post-surgery needs would make the other children feel they weren’t getting enough attention. One evening the week after surgery, Missy left Cici on a bean bag chair watching a show and went to make dinner. One by one, each of the children came in from homework or other activities.

“They gathered around Cici,” Missy remembers. “Someone brought her a book. Another brought her favorite stuffed animal. They cuddled around her watching Winnie the Pooh without anyone asking them to. They were her siblings. They understood what she needed, and they had taken care of it.”

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Adoption is particularly difficult for children who have disabilities or health challenges. Your support helps Wayfinder prepare families so they can foster or adopt children with medical challenges. Your generosity will help more big-hearted families provide loving homes to children who need extra care.



February 14, 2021