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International Adoption Clinic
Lillian Ruth Thomas

Lillian Ruth Thomas is 2-years-old and her big brothers, Henry and Will, are crazy about her! The siblings have been thick as thieves since parents Mary Brook and PK Thomas adopted Lillian from China in 2017.
From the moment Henry and Will, ages 7 and 5, respectively, laid eyes on their new baby sister, they instantly accepted her.

“We had prepared them over a period of time that they were getting a little sister and I think it really helped,” Mary Brook said. “She always wants to learn new things and her brothers are always loving on her. It has been awesome watching them with her.”

The Thomases had considered adoption before having their boys. A few of their close friends had adopted and they witnessed them go through the process. The couple waited until Henry and Will were older before moving forward in their adoption journey in 2015. The decision was both exciting and terrifying, Mary Brook said. “Adoption is such a leap of faith!”

Since their hometown of Starkville, Mississippi didn’t have an adoption agency, the Thomases chose an agency in Nashville, Tennessee. “When we received Lillian’s referral, all of it was so overwhelming,” PK said. “You get this packet of information from China and all her medical records were in Chinese.”

It was then the Thomases turned to the International Adoption Clinic at Children’s of Alabama for assistance. “It was like a weight lifted off our shoulders to have someone who knows what they are looking at, to go through it and relay that information to you, so we would have the information we need,” PK said. “They have been incredible!”

After reviewing Lillian’s medical records, clinic doctors found an atrial septal defect – a hole – in Lillian’s heart. The Thomases were told the spectrum of severity could be mild to severe and that each case was different. “They stayed on the phone with us and answered all of our questions,” Mary Brook said.

In 2017, the Thomases flew to China and picked up Lillian one day after her first birthday. Two weeks after arriving home, the Thomases traveled to the clinic in Birmingham for Lillian’s medical assessment. “The information they gave us was invaluable to us,” PK said. “The bonding and emotional information they gave us helped us to make her feel more comfortable in her new home.”

The Thomases also scheduled an appointment to evaluate Lillian’s heart condition. “The cardiologist told us that he could not see her defect anymore,” PK said. “The hole in her heart had closed!” The family was instructed to follow up with their cardiologist if they felt the need to do so in the future.

Today, Lillian is a talkative, playful little girl. She loves all kinds of animals as well as the outdoors and music. “If she is in a temper tantrum mode, we just put on some music or sing to her, and it will calm her down,” PK said.

As a memoir, Mary Brook captured pictures of their journey to China and created a memory book for Lillian. As for Lillian’s brothers, they want their parents to adopt more brothers and sisters.

Said PK, “We just tell them when they get older, they can adopt, too!”
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