ADOPTING A BABY FROM INDIA [S4E8]
In this episode of ADOPTION NOW:
Nellya tells her courageous story of an Indian adoption.
Nellya and her husband had two biological children and they were fostering a child when they decided to adopt a baby from India.
In the process, they found out they were pregnant… but then said yes to 3 more foster children! Their house was full as they waited to bring home baby Millie.
When the agency went silent on updates, Nellya found out some devastating news. On this episode, we hear from a mother who puts all her heart toward saving a child no matter the cost.
April begins the episode by asking Nellya to bring listeners back to 2013, when she, her husband Kelsey, and daughter Harper moved to Tennessee. After initially wanting to adopt from India, they were discouraged by adoption regulations they didn’t meet and decided to start with foster care.
“India had changed some regulations, so we longer qualified and we were just so discouraged by that. But we wanted to do something, so we started looking into what we could do here in America.”
Once they decided on foster care, Harper was 17 months old and Nellya was 7 months pregnant with another child. They soon said yes to a 10-year-old boy! April asked if they wanted to do foster-to-adopt, and Nellya said they did not. They were more focused on international adoption at this point.
But eventually they would fight for this boy whose mother was absent and father was in jail. Sadly, after a long battle for his rights, the state determined that reunification with his father was the best course of action. Everything was set for a home study for the father, but he refused and then surrendered his rights.
Nellya says that any heartbreak they went through during their fight for his rights was nothing compared to the heartbreak that boy must have felt. This changed him and he became very discontent living in Nellya’s home.
Fast forward to February, 2016. On her 30th birthday, Nellya was gifted a home study by her husband Kelcey. She describes it as the best gift ever! She was more than ready to start the adoption process. But on top of the home study, Nellya found out she was pregnant again. This meant child #3!
When asked if they both still wanted to pursue adoption directly after finding out they were pregnant again, she said they were both still very much ready to tackle an international adoption from India.
However, before they underwent the adoption process, Nellya shares that she almost died during her third pregnancy with her son Gibson. When asked about the harrowing ordeal, she says this:
“I was in the operating room for over two hours, and they had to give me three blood transfusions…but we made it out and Gibson is perfectly healthy.”
Nellya then says that a few days before her birthday in February of 2017, she got an email that had the subject line of simply “referral”. She then looked over all the information on a girl from India who was 13 months old.
“But wait,” April says, “didn’t India have restrictions on adopting younger children and babies?” Nellya said they had for many years restricted the adoption of younger kids from India, but in 2015 they dropped the restrictions for Americans to adopt babies internationally.
A video was sent to Nellya and Kelcey of the little girl they would adopt. She says that she soon noticed that despite being 13 months old, she was not crawling or walking. But instead of dwelling on what could be physically wrong, they decided God had sent the referral and they just needed to trust him and provide a family for this little girl.
They would soon find out later that in India they write the dates differently, so she was in fact only 3 months old!
They had the room in their household and their hearts for the little girl from India (Millie), but also 3 more kids from foster care. Normally agencies don’t allow for both adoption and foster care to function simultaneously, but they had a loophole! Yet things would soon grow stressful.
Nellya says she saw a video babies who were dying of malnutrition in the orphanage where Millie was located.
Nellya asked the agency what was happening but they denied that this was the same orphanage. Nellya hired a 3rd party to check on Millie. She soon got a call that Millie was in the hospital. They found out that she was hospitalized for malnutrition and infection.
Distraught, she and Kelcey considered their options: having 7 kids total in their house meant that only one of them could realistically fly to India. So the next day, Nellya found herself on a plane to India.
Fortunately, the 3rd party she hired became her translator who was endorsed by Nellya’s friends. They had been through the Indian process, so the contact she met up with in India was trustworthy and soon helped her unite with Millie.
She said she was like a mom on a mission. Once she got to the hospital and held Millie, she says it was so surreal. She was ecstatic to finally be with her child and to know she was safe.
Although Millie had rickets because she was so malnourished, Nellya was soon able to take to her to a hotel and sleep in the same bed with her. It would be another 6 weeks before she was back in the states.
Wondering about the impact of being in India for 6 weeks, April asks Nellya if she was thankful for that time. Nellya responds that she was absolutely grateful for the opportunity and the perspective that it brought. She describes it as a life-changing opportunity.
For more on Millie and this incredible story of bravery and faith in God, listen along! Leave comments and tell us your favorite part of the story. Thank you!