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atrick and Jacquiline Mutuku had been married for about 10 years when they realized they were missing something in their lives – a child. They tried to conceive but without success. Highly-educated and successful business people, they knew there had to be another way. A neighbor, who knew one of the Buckner adoption staff, told them about Buckner. It took a little while for Patrick and Jacquiline to wrap their heads around the idea of adoption, but when they did, they knew it was the right decision and the timing was perfect. Emily’s* adoption was finalized when she was about six months old.

Her birth mother abandoned her when she was just two months old. A local police chief found her and brought her to an orphanage. Emily is now 3, and her parents describe her as curious and smart. “She’s a very jolly kid, very talkative and friendly,” Patrick said. “If she is sick, you notice because she will be down and normally she’s very active. She cannot sit in one place. She’s a little bit of a tomboy, running up and down, jumping and all of that.” Jacquiline was nervous at first to become an instant mother. She worried about bonding and whether her maternal instincts would kick in. “Parenthood has been the most fantastic thing,” Jacquiline said. “It’s been challenging because right from go, you have to learn how to be a mother. You are not sure if you’re bonding; you’re not sure whether she knows you.” The Mutukus cite their faith and their own upbringing in good families as

28 Buckner Today • FALL 2015 ISSUE

another reason for adoption. They want to give Emily the best education, shelter and clothing they possibly can, but most of all, the best love they know how to give. “You can see the difference in the growth of a child who grew up in a family compared to one who grew up in an orphanage,” Jacquiline said. “It is totally different because the child experiences security, love and protection in a family.”

Patrick said having a child has strengthened their marriage. Instead of ignoring issues or taking a long time to work things out, they deal with things more quickly and quietly. They know it’s important for Emily to grow up with healthy parents.

Adding a new family member has come with many adjustments, like getting up earlier and being more active – but it’s worth it. “I used to love sleeping a lot,” Jacquiline said, laughing. “But nowadays, I don’t sleep a lot. She’s a very early riser, and she’s learned to wake me up first – when it’s time to go to school – and she’s telling me, ‘Mommy, take a shower.’” It’s usually Patrick who wakes up with Emily, who they both agree is a

“daddy’s girl.”

“She is the joy of my life,” he said. “And the other thing is every time you come home, there’s always something different. She opened the door last week and asked, ‘Daddy, what have you brought for me?’ ‘What is this?’ ‘What is that?’ You always get someone to welcome you.” *Kenya law requires the names of adoptive children to be changed in print to protect their privacy.

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