We are Nicole and Mark Saylor, and we weren't planning to adopt again. Really, we weren't!
Life was full as the parents of four children. Why would we add an 11-year-old from South America?!
We had adopted our oldest daughter as a healthy infant after years of infertility and miscarriages.
We had been surprised by two healthy pregnancies that resulted in two more healthy daughters.
We had adopted an infant with an ultra-rare, severe genetic skin condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis.
In early 2017 Mark and I had a few conversations about how we could combine two of our unique family traits (care for orphans + knowledge of ichthyosis). It was nothing too serious...just wondering out loud about perhaps visiting children with ichthyosis in orphanages to help improve their care.
And then, in March 2017, we got an e-mail from an adoption worker (forwarded to us by the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types) that would put a laser focus onto how we could live out our desire to care for orphans with ichthyosis:
"This kid just needs a chance! He has been passed over too many times--only because of his looks!"
The e-mail included a photo of "C" and some of his amazing artwork, as well as information about his age, medical diagnosis, and personality. It said that he had the opportunity to come to the US for a summer vacation hosting program. And the e-mail asked if we knew of anyone who might be interested in considering adoption.
Mark and I decided to just put one step in front of the other and see whether this might lead to C becoming our son.
We hosted him in the summer of 2017 and had a BLAST with him! The day after he left, we sent our official "Letter of Intent to Adopt".
Since then, the process has consisted of:
Skype calls with C
Fees to the adoption agency
Preparing our 4 children for the addition of a 5th
A January visit with C in his hometown in Colombia
We know that C's road to becoming our son includes much grief, including the loss of his beloved foster family (sadly, staying with them simply isn't an option). It won't be a fairy tale, but we are determined to fold him into our family and show him what a loving "forever family" is all about. We are grateful to God for this opportunity to add another child with ichthyosis into our family!
- Carol Fraker