No matter what we do, what we do matters.
Meet Kevin and Kara Comer. The Comers live in our neighborhood and homeschool their 7 children. Over the years, our neighborhood has watched the Comer family grow. Biological parents to Colum, Anna, and Marty, they have opened their hearts and their home to adoption to expand their lovely and loving family. Since 2011, they have welcomed John, Bridget, Mary and Ruth, all from the Guangdong Province in China.
G: Did you always know you were going to have such a big family?
Kevin: I did not! But the belief is that God had a different plan for us. Kara sometimes jokes with me that I was fighting with the idea of going from two kids to three kids, and now we have seven kids.
Kara: I always wanted a larger family. I never knew it would be this big, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
G: Tell me about your decision to adopt. You had three biological kids. When and how did adoption become something you were considering?
Kara: By the time our youngest was around 2, we knew we wanted to have more children, but we knew at that time, that it wasn’t going to be possible. While we were struggling with the idea that God had closed a door on having more biological children, a door to adoption was opened through another family we met that was just starting the adoption process. I don’t believe that was happenstance that we met that family at that time.
G: What was the process of learning about adoption like?
Kevin: We had these friends that we had just met walk in those shoes a year or two before we did, so we saw that happen and unfold. Our friends had adopted their son from China, and I came home from work one day and he was playing in our yard as if he had been with this family his entire life. It opened our eyes to how natural this was. Having that example helped. It felt like less of a leap.
G: It seems like there is a lot to get your head around. There are so many places in the world that have orphanages, and it seems like such a process. It seems like it could be so overwhelming. What was that like for you?
Kevin: The process for each adoption is different. We were adopting kids with special needs so that process goes faster. For Bridget, it was 13 months and that was our longest wait. If you are waiting for a healthy infant, at least from China, you could wait for five years. There is an overwhelming amount of paperwork. We had some tough moments trying to get documents back and forth to China. It has gotten easier for us with each adoption.
G: You decide to adopt. Then you are in limbo for over a year, working on all of the paperwork, and waiting. What was that time like?
Kara: It was definitely a time of anxiety. Excitement too, but we were learning to trust that the path we were on was the right path. Even hearing Kevin talk just now about how our kids were special needs adoptions. That concept seems so absurd to me to think of it in that way. I never think of our kids as special needs. That is probably what I have learned most. We all have special needs. Every person has an area of them, either physically or emotionally that needs special attention, and that was family is for. To fill those holes. Human kind is human kind. We all have some area that we need to be loved on.
G: So beautiful and so true. So the moment finally arrives and you and your entire family head to China for two weeks to welcome a new family member. Tell me what those first moments are like.
Kara: The first moments with all four of our children were different for each one. They were different ages and had had different backgrounds and experiences up to that point.
G: What is it like bringing your children home for the first time?
Kara: I think that’s when it all just clicks. The bonding and attachment seems more natural and it’s like the magic moment. It all just becomes a natural thing.
Kevin: With each of the kids, they come home and then we have a holiday or a family gathering. We have a lot of close friends and family. One year it was a big Father’s Day party and one year it was right before Christmas. They are just in it with all of us and they get to have these big moments with our family.
G: Your family has just grown in this beautiful way, and you have created this together. You home school all of the kids. We all have challenges and ups and downs, and you have had your own set of unique challenges that come with the decisions you have made for your family. What are some of the things that help you overcome your challenges?
Kara: The biggest thing that is always at the forefront of my mind is that I can look back at this whole process and see that adoption was never Plan B. I feel like from the very beginning of time, this was The Lord’s plan. I can’t envision it any other way. We are a family to the very core of who they are and who we are. At the beginning, we talked about how we were going to change someone’s life, but the truth is that these kids have changed our lives. They are the biggest gift in the whole world. Knowing that this is all such a gift, it makes it easier when there are challenges. Knowing how right it feels and was always meant to be just helps in those moments of everyday life.
Kevin: It has brought us closer together too. Having these experiences, trials and joys together just brings us closer together.
G: What advice would you give to couples who are considering adoption?
Kevin: I would tell people that it is one of the greatest gifts, if not the greatest gift of my life. People shouldn’t be afraid of it, but instead can see how it is all a part of the plan for their life.