Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why Adoption?

I've been thinking about this post for a very long time. I think in the back of my mind I've been waiting for the time when it would do me the most good to put this in words. If you've been reading me over the past couple of weeks, it should come as no surprised to you that time is now. If you haven't, see here and here. You with me? Okay, here we go.

In our family, I think it always just was. 

Do you ever have those moments where you look at your partner and you just know without any words that you share the same vision of some big important thing in life? That's exactly how adoption came to be part of our family plan. There was no big discussion about the "why" (although many discussions have since happened about the "how"). We just both knew that one of our children would come to us through adoption.

Equipping ourselves with an explanation was almost out of necessity. Because "why" is literally the first question we are asked, and it usually begins a whole string of other questions. And 'what do you mean why? We just know' was not an answer that satisfied the askers. It left the impression that we hadn't thought about it seriously, which was not true. What we actually meant was: 'we have fully discussed all of the steps, costs, potential pitfalls, and all possible outcomes, and are still certain of this.'

Wanna know when I decided I had to be sure about my ability to articulate the "why"? When I broke the news to my best friend. Aside from my husband, she may love me more than anyone else on this earth. But when I told her our plan, it went something like this:
Me:   Guess what? We've officially started the adoption process!!!
Her:   <<Crickets>>
Me:   Hello?
Her:  Why? Why would you put yourself through that? Why would you go asking for heartache? It's expensive! So much can go wrong!! You can have babies so why wouldn't you just have more babies???
Whoosh. It was hard to hear, but I know it came from a strong desire to protect me. And she's since come around (it's what best friends do, right?). When she realized this wasn't a whim, that this was a carefully and prayerfully made decision for our family, she hopped on the adoption supporter train.

It was a good trial run, though, because it prepared me to hear the same questions from other people. Sometimes more diplomatically, sometimes less. And sometimes the questions came from people very excited and happy for us. However presented, it all boiled down to people wanting to know what we were thinking; why we are doing what we are doing. From what I've learned talking to other adoptive families, the answer is always a very personal one. Ours comes down to our faith.

The tricky part is, we really do just know. It's funny, but we both came to our marriage each knowing the same three things, and I guess the best place to start is by articulating those: 
(1) we know that love, not genetics, makes families; 
(2) we know the impact of adoption (we've seen it in our own families); and 
(3) we believe that people who have the ability (actual ability and emotional ability; both are important) to adopt, should adopt. 
I guess you could say, we feel called to adoption. And our faith, the belief that one way God cares for orphans is by giving them parents like us, makes us certain of our path.

But the funny thing about certainty is, sometimes you're wrong. Sometimes you think you've figured out what God wants for you only to find out you were totally wrong. And once you're already on that road, it's really hard to turn around. Our instinct is to push forward, far beyond reason.

Jake and I didn't want to find ourselves miles down the wrong path. So we made a deal that we would take the adoption path prayerfully, and if we found ourselves with some insurmountable obstacle in our way, we would take it as a message to stop.

A year and a half later, the process has been really tough, but it has only made us more certain. Every challenge we have faced has affirmed our decision:
  • When we needed follow up information on a short deadline and our case worker was out of office, we still managed to get everything finished in time, and we're now on the Approved Families list.
I tell Jake often that he's my greatest proof of providence, but let me tell you, this adoption process is coming in a close second. 

Now, we are turning our attention to renewal paperwork over the next sixty days (an annual requirement). It's a process I will have to go through without Jake because he is in Afghanistan, and that makes me a little nervous. The good news is, if the average Philippine adoption time frame holds, we will only have to do this once more, and then I will really know what I'm doing. 

Please keep us in your prayers as we continue down this path. Every step brings us closer to being the adoptive parents we 'just know' we are meant to be.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” – I Samuel 1:27


  1. Glad to have you in the fold. Couldn't agree more. Everything works out in the end, and years later the ordeal of the adoption process will seem trifling in light of the gratitude you feel for having the opportunity to parent this child. All the best,

    Yvette & liwen

  2. Lots of prayers for you guy's...

  3. Hi Reda,
    We did our updated home study in June for the Philippines. I found that lots of the paperwork was the same. I sat down one Saturday morning and took five straight hours to do it and got it done! If you have all your previous forms it makes it a little easier. Today we just got our fingerprints taken again by immigration as we filed our first extension to our 1800A earlier in September. 10 months and waiting for us, thinking of you during this time!

  4. My comments never show up! GRR ARGH! Anyways, I love you. I am happy that my honesty has not damaged (too much) our friendship. I am here for you no matter what decisions you make. And to that end we are ecstatic about the thought of meeting this new baby and being a part of the process. Will there ever be crickets again, sure thing, but at least we can talk it out!