The other day Paul and I were talking about how fortunate we feel to be part of such a great ward (our local church congregation). It is a really big ward yet somehow it still feels like people really know each other and care about each other and it really does feel like a "ward family". We have a HUGE nursery (at least for the Bay Area) with 27 kids between the ages of 18 months and 3 years, with three more kids (including Clara) who are entering nursery by the end of the year. And something like over 1/3 of the ward works in the primary because there are just so many kids.
But our ward is incredibly special because of the impact adoption has had on the makeup of many of the families in our ward. Paul and I realized that there are four different families that we are aware of off the top of our heads whose children were adopted. That is eight kids, including Clara, in our ward who were adopted. The adoptions occurred through domestic adoption, international adoption, and foster care adoption. Some of them are open adoptions and some are closed. Some of these families have a mix of both biological and adopted children, while others, like ours, grew solely through adoption. We are also aware of two adults in our ward who were adopted when they were children, which further adds to adoption diversity of our ward. Our families are diverse and vibrant and loving.
It has been such a blessing to be a part of a ward that has such strong adoption ties and we are grateful not just to be a part of the adoption community at large, but part of this smaller ward community that has so much adoption experience. We are so glad that our children will grow up knowing other families created through adoption and that the old-fashioned stigma sometimes associated with adoption will be diminished in a community such as ours.