Stories // The Hulsemans
We weren't sure if we could have biological kids in the beginning, and I wanted to adopt. And so on our 7th wedding anniversary, we started the process to bring home our daughter, Zoe, from China. And a year later, we got a surprise that we were pregnant with our oldest daughter, Arayla.
And so we were so excited. We had two kids, they were both one, and we just thought adoption was awesome and we should do it again. So six months after we brought Zoe home, we decided to start the adoption process from Ethiopia. And then three days later, I found out I was pregnant with my son, Zadik.
When we first started the adoption process from Ethiopia, it was going pretty quick. But it slowed down a lot. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia suspended all international adoptions in April of 2017. And we were devastated and scared. Parents and adoption agencies from around the country, kind of petitioned on Washington, and we had a letter written to the Prime Minister from 122 Senate Members and Congressmen, and that changed things. But our case stalled out. Our agency was shut down, and then really, that's when our struggles started.
So we went there and sure enough we got some things exposed and we got our case moving and we got to meet our daughter. That was the best part of that trip, is we got to meet our daughter for the first time. But she was terrified of us. She didn't want anything to do with us. She screamed when we were there. She would look at us from behind her cup, and kind of glare at us, give us this evil eye. But somehow we just kept falling more in love with her as we were there. I mean, we barely knew her. We'd only seen this picture for a year and a half, but it's your child.
As soon as we saw her, she was our daughter. And so when she was ripped out of my arms, literally ripped out of my arms, was devastating.
Two months later we were able to go back. This time we were able to do what we needed to do to get our court date and to bring her home. We landed in Houston and we went through all the immigration stuff and we walked out, we were like, that just happened. She's really home after five years, she's really home and she's ours and nothing can change that now.
Being in Ethiopia, I mean, the things that we faced, the obstacles that we faced, some of 'em we thought were unmovable. And we didn't know how we would get around it. But, as our community, our house church, and Church Project, just came together and prayed along side us and things just began to move. Literally watched Him move mountains and it was just amazing. As hard as the journey was, I'm so thankful that we got to walk through it with such an amazing community and just watch God move. That's such a gift and just a testimony that we can now share with people.