I can’t believe my son just turned 1 years old. It feels like yesterday when my husband and I got him from the hospital and were filled with so many emotions: joy, anxiety, hope, love, anticipation, and gratefulness! I say anxiety because having a baby in general comes with so many similar feelings. Parents are entering a new journey and path that they have never traveled before. What will my child be like? Will I be a good parent? How do I know I am ready for this? You prepare all that you can and read books, but you can never be fully prepared as there is so much that you learn as you go and each child is unique as God made them to be.
Then there is adoption.
Not everyone experiences the journey of adopting a child which comes with its unique joys and challenges. People adopt for a variety of different reasons. Some just want another addition to their family and want to help a child have a home that needs one. Some adopt to avoid the pain that comes with birthing a child. Others may have a relative who needs to be adopted. For me, it was a combination of some of these plus experiencing infertility. My husband always wanted to adopt before he ever met me, which is ironic. I always thought about it but wasn’t sure due to the many stories I heard of the struggles that come with adopting. I did, however want to give a child a home that needed one and my heart went out to so many children who don’t have a home. Imagine growing up without a family!
We were married for 13 years before we adopted without success of having our own child.
We actually started to get our baby room ready before we even started the adoption process as a way to expect the unseen. We went through an adoption agency that focuses on giving families a baby. Those 13 years were long years of disappointment and pain. When those around you are having children, you begin to wonder if your dream will ever come true (more on this will be in my next article in April). Looking back, it was a good time for my husband and me to bond as a couple. Many people present adoption as an option for couples who are trying to conceive. But many people don’t know what all it takes to adopt a child.
It is not always a simple choice to just adopt.
There is a lot of paperwork and at times money involved when adopting. It’s not always simple for couples to be able to afford adoption, but if you search for it there are a lot of organizations that provide financial help such as grants and low interest loans for people to adopt. Different agencies may approach adoption differently. The agency we selected gives support to the birth-mother as well and helps to make sure the baby is healthy when born.
The birth-mother actually had to choose us.
Once we applied we had to make a profile of ourselves and wait for a birth-mother to pick us as the family she wanted her child to be with.
This waiting was filled with excitement but also unwanted fears such as,
“Will someone pick us? And what if we have to wait a long time again?”
We were so excited that it only took a few weeks before we were chosen.
It was a boy!
We could have paid more to get the gender we wanted but we decided to let God decide and see what happens. I actually wanted a boy!
When we were chosen it was as if we ourselves were pregnant!
We knew the due date and had to start preparing for the big day to come. We even got a chance to talk to the birth-mother by phone and she sent us her ultrasound photos. When she was in labor, she called us and we drove to the hospital to meet her and the baby for the first time! She also allowed us to pick a name for our child and we had that figured out years ago. She wanted an open adoption, meaning that we will send her updates on how her son is doing and photos. I have heard that open adoption is the best way to go for the child and the family as a whole.
One desire of my heart was that we had a child that looks like us. You can’t make that happen if you don’t see the child before you pick him or her. I also thought that this couldn’t happen unless we had our own child. But God saw the desires of my heart. Many people say that our new son looks like us. In fact, many people would never guess he was adopted.
This is National Adoption Month.
November 23rd is National Adoption Day.
Maybe you are considering adoption or have never thought about it.
The reality is that many children need a home and sadly some never get one. Consider the joy you could bring by giving a home to a child. Sure there may be challenges as well as joys, but God’s grace can carry you through. Even with biological children, there are challenges. It’s good to learn all you can before adopting so you know what adoption options are available to you and what you feel most comfortable with. I am new at this but I can testify that my son has brought so much joy to my life and I’m so glad we found each other!