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Our Road to Adoption: Earl and Rebecca’s Story from the UK

Jul 25, 2019

Our guests today on ADOPTION NOW are Earl and Rebecca Robinson. As you will soon learn, the couple is from the states, but ultimately chose to adopt while in the UK. Earl authored a book, Our Road to Adoption, to chronicle this powerful story, so be sure to pick up a copy after listening to this interview!

To kick off this episode, host April Fallon asks about their early struggles before moving to the UK.

Earl and Rebecca were married in 1996 and wanted to have children, but it wasn’t happening naturally.  They decided to adopt, but once they moved to the UK, they had to wait to become long term residents first.

Rebecca says that because they were not UK residents, they couldn’t get into the adoption system.  April then asks them what their course of action was for applying for adoption at the same time they were trying to obtain residency in the UK.

Earl says that to their surprise they were able to work with US adoption agencies even though they were living in the UK. It was because the couple were not yet residence of the UK, they were an exception to the normal process. They started working with an agency in Indiana shortly after.

But after completing their training, they hit a difficult stretch of time where they didn’t receive any calls or information about any potential matches.

Rebecca said that it was a really tough time. Having to tell everyone who asked that there was still no news was disheartening and exhausting.

They were unsure if they should close the door on the US adoption system because they did not think it was possible to adopt from the UK without being citizens. They were close to living in the UK for five years, and would soon be eligible for residency. Soon they found they could pursue adoption in the country they were living in, but they would have to start the whole adoption process over.

April then asks them what the process was like in the UK.

Earl said they had to first do a four-day training program. Then they did a home study, which had eight separate meetings at their house and was very thorough, to say the least.

The funny thing about their first home study in the UK was that they were forced to move to another house a week and a half after completing it. They found a great house by the providence of God shortly after. They then completed the next steps and were officially in the adoption system about seven months after starting the process.

Earl and Rebecca decided they wanted two little girls. Rebecca says they considered about 25 different children, but two little girls in particular really leaped out at them. Earl shares at how emotionally draining it was to look through the profiles and to see how many of those children were hurting for a home.

They’d soon get a call from the agency about those two girls.

“We were not expecting it that fast. That was just so exhilarating to feel after all of those years.”  

They then met the little girls through the UK’s gradual process. When asked by April about how the girls responded to them, Rebecca says an incredible thing happened.

She says that she and her husband had taken the time to make a little booklet with pictures of their house and little snippets of their voice to accompany the pictures. You won’t believe what happened the first time they walked through the doors and met the children!

Rebecca says that the first words they heard when the walked through the door was “Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!”

They had an absolutely incredible first meeting better than their wildest expectations. It was an instantaneous connection between adoptive parents and their adopted children.

Rebecca said that she connected more with the older daughter (three-and-a-half) over the younger (16 months) because the older could talk. It was when the younger got bronchiolitis, Rebecca bonded deeply with her sick child because she only wanted her mom to take care of her--not the hospital staff or any other caretakers.

Earl said that while their youngest was sick, it was such a difficult time for the family. His father had passed away during that time, so he was actually back in America planning the funeral, but he had a beautiful phone conversation with his four-year-old daughter, which certainly lifted his spirits.

Fast forward a bit and they received another call: the birth mother of their daughters was pregnant again. The agency wanted to know if they would like to adopt their sibling. After dealing with their mixed feelings of excitement and terror, they both felt that God was calling them to adopt again. So they did!

As Earl describes it, they were approved for adoption but heard nothing for months on end.

Obviously, that was an extremely confusing and stressful time for Earl and Rebecca, but they God led them through it and now they have three daughters: Amy, Katrina, and Rose. Rebecca says that they feel complete now!

For more on Earl and Rebecca’s story, listen to this interview in full, and don’t forget to check out Earl’s book, Our Road to Adoption, in softcover and Kindle formats. Also, watch our After Show on the ADOPTION NOW Youtube channel.