Why Adoption?

I’m finally getting around to re-posting some of my old Rose Cottage posts that are relevant here. Like this one from April of 2008…

As we’ve told our family and friends that we plan to adopt through the foster care system (meaning we will adopt a child that is currently in foster care here in Georgia), most have been supportive, but all have asked, in one way or another, “Why?”

So I’ll explain as best I can for anybody else who is curious, and also let you know where we are in this process.

The first time I ever thought that maybe I would someday like to adopt was quite a few years ago. My daughter wasn’t born yet. I was watching the local news, and they featured a “Wednesday’s Child,” a foster child waiting for a forever home. In this case, the girl was 16, and she shattered my erroneous idea that teenagers just want to skip straight to adulthood. This girl said she wanted a mom; she wanted someone to love her and help her make important decisions. I remember sitting there teary-eyed, thinking, “I’ll be your mom!” It definitely wasn’t then for me to adopt, but it opened my heart to the idea. Over the years, that idea came and went as a fleeting thought, a “maybe someday” kind of thing, but nothing more.

Fast-forward several years and a whole lot of life. Ken and I are happily married, loving doing life together. We are so blessed. Having our family exactly the way it is, with just two kids is very comfortable; we have lots of good family times together, and we have a good bit of time to ourselves as a couple, too. Why would we want to change that? We have such a good thing going, so why mess it up?

Well, we’re really trying to follow God’s plans for our lives, and His plans are always much bigger than our plans. So the idea of adopting kept coming up, and we’d joke about it… “Hey, honey, let’s adopt 4 or 5 more kids!“… but it was just joking. But it seemed like God kept putting people and circumstances in our lives that kept that inconvenient idea popping up again and again, and finally we thought that maybe we should at least look into it. I’m usually the researcher in the family (unless it’s technological, and then it’s all Ken!) so I set into my task. It looked like international or domestic infant adoption was not possible for us financially, but we’d said all along that adopting an older child just didn’t seem like a good idea because an older child would have emotional baggage. It wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t be convenient. So we decided adoption wasn’t for us.

But the idea, the people, the stories, kept popping up. We ignored them a while longer. Finally, in an effort to feel like I’d looked into all possibilities (thinking this would make up our minds for sure against the idea), I requested an information packet on adopting a “waiting child” through the state’s foster care system. Ken and I talked about it, and it didn’t scare us off like we’d thought it would. So we agreed to go to the orientation, “just to see.” We agreed ahead of time that if either of us felt at all “freaked out” we wouldn’t go any farther in the process. We both expected to be scared off. But after that orientation, we signed up for the IMPACT class, which gives a whole lot more information, and is required training for foster parents and for those who wish to adopt through foster care. That was a big commitment of our time: six consecutive Saturdays. But we did it.

We learned that there are over 100,000 kids in the US foster care system waiting for forever families. We can’t help them all, but what if nobody helped? We began to talk to our kids more seriously about how they felt about this. They were all for it. We felt even more convicted, and we continued the process.

Next came a big and intimidating pile of papers to fill out: personal stuff, about everything from our childhoods, to the details of our marriage, financial information, and more. We (even our kids) had to have physicals. Ken and I had to have blood tests, TB tests, drug screens, fingerprinting and criminal history check, and personal references. And we had to get certified in First Aid and CPR. Pretty exhaustive stuff. And a pretty big commitment. But it still didn’t scare us off.

So now, we have a case worker and she is working on our home study. We have just one more home visit, and when she finishes her report, we will be “officially” approved. That’s where we are in the process.

It still feels like God keeps putting things in front of us to keep us on this path. The other day, Kathryn & I were doing a Bible study lesson, and it was about how we have been adopted into God’s family as co-heirs with Christ. Kathryn said, “That’s just what we’re doing! We’re adopting into our family, and hopefully the child we adopt will love God and get adopted into His family, too!

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