I can distinctly remember the day my husband and I first discussed the possibility of pursuing adoption. We had been dating for a couple of months. Ha! Now, I’m not sure what the normal “talking-about-kids-while-dating” timeline is, but we knew from very early on that we were on a fast track to the altar and this was a topic that should be broached sooner rather than later. I knew I wanted to adopt from probably my early teens; it was just always something on my heart. So, as we stood out in the cold by the side of his sweet ’96 manual Toyota Celica I blurted out, “What are your thoughts on adopting? I really want to, so is that something you’re okay with?” He responded in perfect stride (which he excels at), “I’ve never been with anyone I wanted to have this conversation with, so I haven’t given it much thought, but I don’t see any reason why not.”
And that was that.
We wanted our family to reflect heaven – where gathered together will be brother and sister of every tribe, nation, and tongue. We wanted to break barriers and start conversations. We wanted to be part of and understand more of the world beyond ourselves and our experiences. We wanted to tangibly live out our stance on the sanctity and beauty of life; not just state our views and slink back into the corner but boldly be part of the answer for women who choose life!
Undoubtedly, when this topic comes up, people say they’ve always thought about it. If you have that nudge or inkling in your heart toward adoption, here are a few ideas to help you think on it a little further:
Talk to people who have adopted!
First ask how they feel about sharing the details and if there are any questions off limits. In my case, there are certain details about my son’s story that I don’t share because they are his to learn when the time comes and share as he sees fit; but other than that, I’m an open book. We love answering questions, offering resources, and meeting over coffees and dinners to answer people’s questions and share our story.
Go to an informational meeting.
Agencies have a variety of ways for prospective families to just gather information. Setting up or attending a meeting in no way means you’ve made a commitment, but it can answer a lot of questions really quickly and point you in the right direction. We didn’t go with the first agency we visited, but we learned a ton about the needs of birthmothers and children and the adoption process. It simply got the ball rolling.
Read Books and Websites
A quick Google or Pinterest search and you’ll be swimming in recommendations. You can also gather great recommendations from the families you talk to!
Don’t worry about finances!
This is the number one fear/concern/argument, “It’s SO expensive.” We hear it all.the.time! But it really doesn’t have to be. There are a million ways to subsidize the cost: grants, fundraisers, tax credits, etc. When it came down to it, we probably paid a little more out of pocket than we paid to have all of our biological children in the hospital. This does NOT have to be an insurmountable hurdle.
Pray about it.
Last on the list, but my first and necessary priority! If you feel this inclination, pray about it. Especially if your spouse is not on the same page; God has a profound way of changing hearts. The desire will either fade for one or more often than not, it’s the other way around.
What I don’t recommend:
Asking family and friends their opinion.
If YOU are led to adopt, you cannot expect others to understand, and have the same views or heart for adoption. You can certainly seek wise counsel, but it ultimately comes down to your own sound judgment. People tend to view things through the lens of comfort, fear, and finances; if we had listened to everyone else’s opinions we never would have adopted! I’m so glad we didn’t.
Adopting was never a matter of if, but simply of when. There would be other questions to answer and fears to squelch along the way: International or domestic, what about finances, how will our family and communities respond, will we love an adopted child the same, etc. But all in all, it’s all a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and taking each step by faith.
Fast forward from that original conversation and we’re 8 years into marriage. We’re now four kids deep; one of them is almost two and a half and bares no physical resemblance. Is it hard? Absolutely. Children are hard, period. Does adoption add a different element of nature and unknowns? Yep. Is it worth it? Hands down, 1000 times over!
And we can’t wait to do it again.