A New Name for a New Year

Over 5 years ago, Mike and I's whole life was turned upside down. We had been married 6 years with no kids of our own, the only things we had to keep alive were a few pets we had accumulated over the years. When I walked into work that Tuesday morning, I figured it would be the same as any other day. Chase some kids, read some stories, wipe some noses, lunch, nap and then home.That day turned out to be anything but normal. I became aware of a child that was needing a temporary place to stay while her mother got her life back on track. I had teased Mike for years that one day I was going to bring a baby home from work. Well, September 2, 2008 was the day. That beautiful, brown eyed little girl had just turned our world right side up. For the next few months the situation was constantly changing. Courts and social workers were involved. My normal, boring life had been turned into court dates, home visits, visitations, stress and lots of memories being made. Nadia was in transition to go back to her biological mother and we were getting ready to move to a new state. She had become the center of our world and everyone that had ever met her fell in love with her. Then a set back...her mother relapsed. Now with everything in flux, we didn't know what was going to happen. Much to our surprise the judge granted us permanent custody.

Since that time, we have moved, expanded our family, started school and lost teeth. But with the start of school, brought some problems we couldn't fix. She became upset because her last name was different than ours. This led to her pointing out all of the differences between her and the rest of our family. It was heartbreaking. She wanted to start writing West instead of her own last name. Finally, after a year and a half of her asking, we decided to look into formally adopting her. Over the summer, we hired a lawyer (with our parents help) to try to figure out how to make that happen. I ended up just having to ask her biological mother. After some tears and a heart to heart, she selflessly decided that it would be in Nadia's best interest for her to voluntarily terminate her rights and let us formally adopt Nadia.

First and foremost, we need your prayers for this to happen seamlessly and quickly. We currently have 2 lawyers in KY working on one part of the case and are in the process of hiring another to handle the adoption in TN. We also have to have a home-study as a part of the process. Anyone that knows anything about adoption knows how expensive it is and all the hoops you have to jump through. We are going to need $6000 to finish up this process and make our dreams come true.

**Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our journey. For my friends and family, words cannot express how much we appreciate all that you have done for us over the years. Your love and support, financially, emotionally, and physically mean the world to us. Feel free to share our story if you feel compelled to do so.

God Bless You,
Mike, Mandy, Nadia and Aidan
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Mandy Hendrickson West 
Johnson City, TN
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