The Lohse family first appeared in the April/May 1998 issue of Focus on Adoption magazine, where Annette told the story of adopting Mikayla. Today we catch up with them and hear about the following 18 years from three perspectives: adoptive mom Annette, adoptee Mikayla, and birth mom Lisa.
In part three, we hear from Lisa.
How did you feel when Mikayla was coming to visit for the first time?
I was very worried about the visit. I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Their way of living is so different from ours. I worried about whether Mikayla would be comfortable. Our house is so loud and busy.
What did her brothers think?
The boys [Lisa’s sons, Mikayla’s siblings] felt like they knew Mikayla but just hadn’t seen her. I thought I would get a lot of questions and accusations from the boys but there was none of that. Once they met her, they were thrilled. The second time Mik came they fought over who’d give up their bed. They wouldn’t go to sleep until she got there, and then they were cuddling and wouldn’t leave her side.
The rest of the family was totally accepting and fully embraced Mikayla when she arrived. They felt like they’d missed Mikayla even though they hadn’t met her before.
How do you feel now that Mik has visited you a couple of times?
It was so good that we kept in touch all those years. That really helped me. I loved hearing updates and getting pictures and appreciated how [Mikayla’s adoptive family] opened their doors and accepted that Mikayla has another family who loves and cares for her.
I know I couldn’t have provided Mikayla with the kind of the life she has. I tell my husband that there was something about her family that lead me to pick them [to adopt her]. Now I know why, and I’m so happy.
I’m prepared to answer all of Mikayla’s questions and will continue to answer them. We’re all so excited to have Mikayla come back to visit because next time there will be a little one [Mikayla is expecting a baby]! I love, love, love Mikayla and the beautiful woman she has become.