And Then There Were Four

David and Jason joined our family just a few months apart.

Sonia Billadeau April 03, 2014
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After two years of infertility treatment, John and I realized that we wanted a child to love. So we began our search. In January 1996, we met with Jewish Family Services to discuss our options. Both John and I just knew that our child would be waiting for us in Guatemala. We started our home study in February 1996.

We gathered all of our paperwork, had sessions with our caseworker, had our home visit, and after six weeks, our domestic home study was complete. It was time to start the process of international adoption. We had already filed our preliminary paperwork with INS. We then had to provide them with a copy of our home study as well as family photos. Once we received approval from INS, we sent the paperwork to our international adoption agency.

Our international adoption agency was World Child in Silver Springs, MD. They received our INS approval in early June 1996. On June 25, 1996 we got the news that our son had been born. Jose (aka David) was born on June 23, 1996. I cried like a baby. I called John, my mom, my brothers, John’s family, friends, and anyone else who would listen.

David’s birth mom was 13 years old and unprepared to raise a child. David was placed with a foster family in Guatemala as soon as he left the hospital. His foster family consisted of his foster mom, foster dad, and four foster brothers, ages seven through seventeen. They all fell madly in love with this wonderful, social baby.

We were told that all of our paper work was flying through the court system in Guatemala. David would be home with us in October. My mother-in-law planned a baby shower for October 13. We all laughed—what if I was in Guatemala during my baby shower?

On October 12, we received a call from World Child. There were problems with our paperwork. They spelled John’s name incorrectly on a document (how do you misspell John White?) and a corrected version of our paperwork would have to go through the court system. It took everything I had to be a good hostess at my baby shower.

The week after my shower I did not feel right. My body temperature felt high (strange, but true) and I just didn’t feel like myself. On October 20, John and I went out for breakfast. During breakfast I got a migraine. I’m not sure why, but for some reason, I decided that this was a sign that I had to do a pregnancy test. John thought I was losing it, but he humored me and we bought the test.

The pregnancy test was positive!

When I showed John, he decided that I was part of the 1% who had an inaccurate test. The next day, Sunday, I tested again with a different brand. I was still pregnant. John still did not believe it. The next day I went to the doctor. By his calculation, the baby was due on June 23 (David’s birthday).

We left for Guatemala on December 9, 1996. We arrived home on December 11, 1996 with our beautiful son, David Albert Jose White. (Jose was the name that his birthmother gave him). He was five and a half months old and absolutely gorgeous. A dream come true.

On June 4, 1997 David’s baby brother, Jason, was born. At first David did not know what to make of this interloper. Today they are best friends. David takes care of his little brother. Jason looks up to his big brother. John and I couldn’t be happier. We have our dream family.

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Sonia Billadeau


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