Adoption II: Double the love

Posted: Sunday, December 24, 2000

Denise and Lindy Cox already know the names of their next two children.

Denise plans to name her son Martin Luther Cox III, after her father. Lindy plans to name her son Hamilton Clark Cox, after her grandparents.

"But I don't know if they are even born yet," Lindy said.

Two years ago, the sisters traveled to China to adopt two baby girls. Next summer, they hope to travel to Vietnam to adopt a pair of baby boys.

"We're just blessed with two wonderful girls that needed a home just as much as we needed them. Now, were going to add two boys," Lindy said. "We've turned the paper work in. It's in Ho Chi Minh City right now. It takes about three weeks to pick them up. You have to spend time in the province. You have to meet the birth mother. They have a giving-and-receiving ceremony."

Denise's daughter, 2-year-old Evangeline Ruth Cox, rode a tricycle around the home the sisters share in Nikiski. She abandoned the tricycle and ran to the kitchen for a lollipop, then shredded paper with a pair of scissors. Lindy's daughter, 3-year-old Marguerite Ruth Cox, snuggled in her mother's lap, batting a fever.

Adopted dogs and cats sprawled across couches and cushions.

"People told us we were nuts to (adopt the girls), but we really wanted to do it," Denise said. "People told us we were nuts when we wanted two boys, but we really want to do it with boys."

The unmarried sisters already have had more than their share of parenting trials. Margy grew desperately ill shortly after Lindy brought her home from China.

Doctors finally determined that she had a blocked kidney, which they surgically removed.

Last March, while the family was visiting Anchorage, Evie fell suddenly ill. At Providence Hospital, doctors diagnosed her with pneumonia and a partially collapsed lung, then determined that she also had a ruptured appendix.

"When Evie had surgery, you could tell how deep the bond was between the two girls," Denise said. "Margy was very, very concerned. She didn't want to leave the hospital. Those girls have a difficult time sleeping apart."

Nothing compares with sending a child to surgery, she said.

"We didn't know if Margy would make it, she was so close to death. We didn't know if we'd see her again. Those were two difficult moments," she said.

Now, the girls are thriving, and the rewards also have been great.

"They are two majorly different personalities," Lindy said. "Margy loves to read. She loves the computer. She is much more sedate than Evie is. Evie's the wild child."

Evie recently cooked her books in the microwave.

"I said, 'Evie, you never touch the microwave,'" her mother said. "She says, 'I cook books.' She goes to the shelf where I have my cookbooks. She says, 'Mamma cook books.'"

When Evie flushes the toilet, it is time to look around and see what is missing, Denise said.

She said her parents both were Salvation Army ministers. After they died about 15 years ago, Christmas was difficult.

"Christmas was around the Salvation Army. We would be out on the street corners playing our instruments with the kettles. Then, after they died, Christmas was difficult," she said.

When the girls came, it brought the family feeling back, she said.

"We're having a birthday cake for Christmas, because the girls said we have to have a cake for Jesus' birthday," Denise said. "They said Jesus' favorite flavor is chocolate, so we're going to have a chocolate cake with chocolate icing."

The sisters have been researching adoption agencies since August, when they decided to adopt two boys.

"I think we thrive on chaos," Lindy said.

Denise said she grew up with five brothers and sisters.

"I like large families," she said.

Lindy said their children's nationality is not important.

"This time we chose Vietnam," she said. "We wanted boys. We wanted infants. They seem to have a lot of boys."

It cost about $20,000 to adopt each of the girls.

"That took care of our retirement," Lindy said.

Now, adopting the boys is a financial challenge.

"The second round, we're doing fund-raising. We're selling See's candy," Denise said. "We're going to have a garage sale. Our friends have been giving us stuff to sell. Once we get them, day care is going to be the real problem."

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