In April of 2015, when we found out that our family got matched with a little boy, I was fourteen years old.  I am the oldest child in our family, and I already had four younger brothers when my parents decided to adopt. Over the years I assumed more and more responsibility for my siblings, often stepping in and acting as a second mother.

We had been waiting for this moment for quite a while and had so many questions. When you first get matched to your new child or sibling there are so many unknowns. When will we get to meet them? When will everything be finalized? Will we have to travel?

These questions are completely valid and are all important, but if you’re adopting in addition to already having children, your children will absolutely have questions of their own. And as much as you’re in the unknown, your kids know even less about this than you and may not be able to process feelings and emotions as well as you can.

As a 14-year-old, I was definitely more focused on the impact it would make on me and my siblings, and I was completely oblivious about things such as the logistics and paperwork my parents were dealing with.

My siblings and I were happy that we were adding on to our family, but I also had plenty of questions of my own.

Where are we going?

How long will we be gone?

When do we get to meet him?

What if things don’t work out?  

The process moved unusually quickly, and we were staying at a hotel just outside of Chicago within a month. A few days after we arrived, we got to meet him, and fell in love right away.

But my last question, the one I really wanted to know before we went was, ‘what’s his name?’ Unbeknownst to me, during the entire adoption process, my mom had a feeling that her next child should be named Isaac. We have no one in the family with that name, it wasn’t of any significance … until we found out a little bit more about my brother-to-be.

My brother is now four. He has Angelman Syndrome, a rare neuro-genetic disorder, affecting 1 in 15,000 people. You can learn more about it here: It has many symptoms, including almost constant smiling and uncontrollable laughter.

The name Isaac is a traditionally Biblical name, and it means ‘laughter’. As soon as we found this out, we immediately knew that he was meant to be a part of our family.

Although we changed his first name, my parents decided to keep Isaac’s middle name in honor of his birth family. The story of a child who’s been adopted is woven into both his birth family and adoptive family, and boundaries are a fine line to walk for any parent, birth or adoptive.

If you are considering adoption, reach out to the Adoption Law Center today.  We’d love to hear from you! 615-543-8640 or

Author: Molly Gould

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