- Last Updated on 11:41 AM 04/23/12
- BY Staff
“Of a good beginning cometh a good end.” — Chinese Proverb
Doug and Cindy Whitt Smith of Mechanicsville are the parents of two baby girls. Bridget Lanier celebrated her first birthday last month, and Molly celebrates her first birthday on Friday.
Confusing? Not really, considering Molly’s middle name is Zhi. Cindy and Doug adopted little Molly from a Chinese orphanage in November.
Cindy was born and raised in Halifax County, the daughter of Sandra and Gary Whitt. After eight years of marriage, she and husband Doug chose adoption as a way to complete their family with a child who had the same needs as they had.
“We originally decided to adopt because we were struggling to get pregnant, but in the end our adoption had nothing to do with desperation,” said Cindy.
In August 2005 the couple decided to adopt a child from China, and they began the tedious process of what seemed to be never-ending paperwork. Then they waited. After four and a half years of being “paper-pregnant,” a term adopting couples use to describe the time between their initial paperwork completion and waiting for a child referral, the Smiths traveled to China to pick up their newly adopted daughter.
But in the meantime, Cindy became pregnant.
“I thought for a long time that I would never have any grandchildren, and now boom, two at one time,” said Cindy’s mother, Sandra.
On Nov. 18 of last year, Cindy and Doug traveled to China to pick up their baby after four and a half years of waiting. While that length of time would be an eternity for a biological pregnancy, the couple said the wait was well worth the time it took to complete the adoption.
“The time was painful waiting for so long, but when Molly was placed into my arms the years melted away,” said Cindy.
“You still remember the wait, and you have tremendous empathy for the many families continuing their own journeys, but love comes instantly and catches you by surprise,” she explained.
The Smiths returned home on Saturday, Dec. 5, with their new daughter, overjoyed to reunite with their 11-month-old daughter Bridget Lanier, named for Doug and Cindy’s dear friends, John and Bridget Newbury, who live in Wales. Bridget’s middle name came from Lanier Moore, according to Sandra.
“Sometime before Bridget was born, Cindy and I were in Garland’s in Halifax, and Lanier Moore waited on us,” Sandra said. “When we left, Cindy said she really liked the name ‘Lanier,’ and that became Bridget’s middle name.”
“With the adopted baby Cindy and Doug kept the name a secret until they got the final papers from China and then told us her name would be Molly, which fits her perfectly,” said Sandra.
“After so long it is kind of funny that I gave birth to Bridget and adopted Molly in the same year,” Cindy mused. “Our twosome are not exactly twins, but the three weeks that separate their birthdays means that both kids will share a sisterhood that is very unique.”
After returning from China, the family said that life is getting back to normal at their Mechanicsville home, and many trips to South Boston to see grandparents Gary and Sandra are in their future.
“We want the kids to know about farming and family,” said Doug. “And there is no better place on the planet to get outdoors than Halifax County.
“This is where the kids’ great-grandmother, Frances Whitt, is, and we want to make sure they are connected to her as well as the rest of Cindy’s family including uncle Jason and aunt Kacey (Whitt).”
“It amazes me to think that now I am a grandmother, but that doesn’t make me feel any older, it makes me feel younger,” said Sandra, laughing.
“It’s a lot of work taking care of two babies the same age, so when I go up for a visit now, Cindy tells me to bring some ‘Wheaties’ with me,” she added.
Grandpa Gary, or “Papa,” loves to get in the floor to play with the girls, Sandra said. “I debated on what I wanted them to call me, and I prefer ‘Nana,’” she said.
“But as happy as I am, I don’t really care what they call me.”
For families considering adoption, domestic or international, the Smiths said research is the best way to know about the entire process. The couple advises anyone considering adoption to work with a qualified agency.
“Families struggling to get pregnant may feel broken, but they are not; they just have to see that their options are different,” explained Cindy. “Bringing Molly into our family has reminded us that we all need someone to love and have the capacity to do so.”
“With a smile on my face, I thank God for blessing us with two little bundles of joy,” said Nana Sandra. “It is just wonderful!
“Happy people never count hours as they pass.” Chinese Proverb