She’s a mom of two — yet she’s still a mom in waiting. As this Mother’s Day approaches mom Lisa Perreca hopes to have two new little ones in the coming year.
Perreca and her family feel this Mother’s Day, and possibly next Mother’s Day, will be two of the most memorable for their family because they are waiting to find out if they can adopt a special needs sister and brother pair from Lithuania.
Just last summer the Perrecas — Lisa and Al—were contemplating their family. Lisa is a teacher at Davis Middle School in the Enon/Chester area and Al is a program manager for a construction firm. They have the two children — one girl and one boy that are the American dream. Their daughter and son, Adeline and Alden, are both in elementary school in the Chester area.
They were contemplating whether they wanted another child. “We felt it was a question not of whether we had enough,” Lisa said. “Our faith tells us that it’s about serving those that need the most.”
Once they decided that they wanted to enlarge their family they looked to adoption, wanting to help those most in need. They looked for children locally and they were all much older than their two children. They wanted them to grow up together and have time to bond.
Al looked into the idea of foreign adoption and found there was a great need to place special-needs children from other countries. Lisa said, “Two hundred million orphans in the world will never be adopted.” These special-needs children are almost never adopted. Instead they spend all their years out in an orphanage.
The couple knew this was what they needed and wanted to do. “We knew we didn’t want to birth anymore children,” Al shared. “But we still wanted to grow our family.” Al took on the research of the special needs children and they began working with Bethany Christian Services, an international adoption agency in Michigan.
“Internationally, there were 400 sibling pairs on the waiting child list under the age of seven in Asia, Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe,” said Lisa. So, the search began and applications and funds began to flow earlier this year.
The family decided on a sister and brother pair from Lithuania. They are hopeful that the two will be living in their home by the fall of this year. The sister and brother twins are four years old and both have learning disabilities and one has cerebral palsy. Lisa shared, “Four children will be very busy.” She said it’s a lot, she knows this.
“We could have a convenient life or a life serving others — we are called to serve others and we are blessed to do so,” said Al. “We know that the first year is going to be very chaotic but we’re ready for the tests and we have lots of resources.” They have a network of friends they know will help.
Lisa said that she, as a teacher, has worked with many of the special needs children in school and hopes this will help her be prepared for the days ahead. “My experience as a teacher, is a plus and I know the system and how to ask for the help they are going to need.”
The brother and sister duo will be added to the A-name scheme the Perrecas have started with the names Analise and Asher and retain their Lithuanian names as their middle names. “I already feel they are a part of our family,” said Lisa. “We can’t wait to meet them and it will be neat to figure out who they are as people.”
For now the family is in the middle of the home studies (four of those) and then there will be a dossier of paperwork sent to Lithuania to setup the next steps. Al estimates the cost may be nearly $40,000 before all is done.
Lisa said, “We want them to know that even before they were here we were those people that were so excited to bring them home and we don’t even know them yet.” They have tried to involve the community in their efforts through a blog. “They will live in this community, so we’ve been getting the word out.” Al said.
They are getting their home ready, even learning the language as they can. “Those first six months or so they will not even speak our language,” said Lisa. “So we’ve been doing the things we can to be ready to bring them home.” She mentioned she can’t record their births as the couple did with their first two children, but she can record these memories. “We are going to keep track of things we did for them and turn them into a scrapbook, create new memories.”
Lisa wants the twins to be welcome here and the Lithuanian word for Welcome “labos” is her way of letting them know they can’t wait for them to be a part of their family. She knows this Mother’s Day will be the last one like this.
“I think this Mother’s Day is going to be special as I get to enjoy my two amazing kids,” Lisa said. “I also get to look forward to how my heart is going to grow once our two children who happen to now live in Lithuania, come home. Next Mother’s Day is most certainly going to be exponentially more amazing!”
On June 8 the Pereccas will sponsor a community yard sale at The Goddard School at 13036 Rivers Bend Blvd. from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. to offset the costs to bring Analise and Asher to the U.S.A. They’d appreciate any donations of clothing or other items. Lisa can be reached at email@example.com.