We've had lots of questions and interest about this whole adoption thing. Especially now, when it seems like adoption is on everyone's mind (which is AWESOME). Please take time to pray that God continues to bring adoption to the front of the hearts and minds of all of us. I thought it would be helpful for all my readers if I answered a lot of the questions we have been asked and some I know are out there. I'm going to be blunt and honest, because...well I'm honest and blunt!
You have 3 (beautiful and healthy) kids of your own, why adopt more?
Short Answer: Why not?
Longer Answer: God has blessed us with our 3 healthy kids and we thank Him everyday for that. I wholeheartedly believe that Jesus, Son of God came to earth, lived a perfect life, died for me, and rose again and because of His sacrifice I am "adopted" into God' family. (But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-6) I also yearn and pray that my faith is more than just words. That the gospel is lived out in my life and is more than a great story. It's how and why I yearn and try to live the life that I live. I love kids and love Jesus so what better way to live that out but to adopt a baby who can't be taken care of for whatever reason. I'm now part of the family of God and can't wait to show that same love to the next member of our family.
Are you worried about how this will affect Connor, Bryce, and Alexis?
Absolutely not, we're actually excited to see how God uses this to increase the faith and understanding of Jesus' love to our kids. Little kids have this gift that seems to disappear as you get older and older. They see no color, no social economic statistics, sometimes no age, no disabilities. They welcome people into our house wholeheartedly, not letting them leave without a hug. They love because that's what they know. I WANT THEM TO HOLD ONTO THAT FOR AS LONG AS THEY CAN! I want them to see that Mommy's and Daddy's faith is more than just church on Sundays, a Bible on the coffee table, and a veggie tales movie. It's our DNA as a family!! I'm not going to lie, there will be adjustments, but there have been adjustments every time we add another member to our family. And, to be honest, my kids ROCK at transitions! (sometimes)
Why are you adopting through the foster care system and not another way?
I have no idea really. We only know that every time we pray this is the way we're being lead. We still have the intent to adopt internationally, but for now foster care is the way we are going. It's going to be hard, I know that. The possibility that the first baby placed in our house will be our new son or daughter is if-y at best. I know that what we have to look forward to is a year (at least) of court dates, confusion, frustration, grief, and more. But, just like pregnancy and labor, it's all worth it in the end when you are holding your little angel.
A boy or a girl?
Ah, this one is tricky for me, because I'm a planner. I'm just wired that way and will be FOREVER. In my head, 2 boys and 2 girls makes sense. After all, right now we have the boys in one bedroom and then obviously would have the girls in another. Perfect right? Well, I've learned over and over again that my "perfect" can and usually looks a lot different than God's. And guess what? I always end up admitting that God's perfect was better after all. All that to say, we're not going to check the girl box or boy box (yes you can do that). If I got pregnant tomorrow, we wouldn't get to choose and we won't when we adopt either.
A newborn or an older child?
Oooh, they're getting harder!! Another one we've prayed about a lot. And I'll be the first to admit that this answer might change someday. But for now we are going to prepare to foster/adopt 2 and under. We have only one reason why we're going this way and that is because of our family's current birth order. Connor is our oldest and we have prayed over him since he was born. He is the leader of our children and we are teaching him that. Already, I'm beginning to see God work this in his life. We don't feel comfortable throwing in an older boy or girl just yet. Like I said, God's perfect is not always my perfect so I reserve the right to change my answer (that is when or if God changes it first).
One child or siblings?
Again we won't and can't check the box that says ONLY 1 CHILD, because God has His greatest plan already mapped out. Logistically, we're starting with 1 baby, but who knows??!!
Does race matter?
Healthy or special needs?
Adam and I have no experience with special needs children, so we don't feel called yet to check that box. (Told ya I'd be honest) But, I feel weird saying we want a healthy child because we'll be adopting a baby, so only God knows just how "healthy" he or she will be.
Most babies in the foster care system are "drug" babies, are you ready for that?
I really doubt that that is true, but yes it is a possibility we get a premature, physically abused, or drug addicted baby. But, once again that is when I have to trust that God is great and bigger than any statistic. With His strength, I'll be able to stay up all night with a screaming baby, get up and go to the gym, and be Mom to everyone else! (That doesn't seem too unrealistic, right?)
Where are you in the adoption process?
This process is going to be long and hard, which is really annoying because getting pregnant was so easy and well.... FUN! :D We've decided to go through an agency instead of the state and have picked our agency. We have begun taking our 30 hours of classes. We've almost completed our 50 page application (I felt like I was applying for college all over again BUT WORSE). Next, we have certifications to finish, an expensive and very detailed home study to get, and then we WAIT!
How much will this cost?
Again we won't really know until this process is over. I know for sure that we will have to pay for a home study very soon, which can be anywhere from $1200-$2,000. (Yup, we have to pay someone to come into our house watch us parent and decide if we are good enough to adopt.) Then, we have all the lawyer and court fees, and I know that those can pile up really fast. We've heard numbers like $1,200- $5,000.
That's all the questions I can think of right now. I'm sure that there are more and I look forward to answering all of them. I'll continue to keep you updated on our Adoption Journey! I leave you with a shocking and mind numbing statistic. Please pray for families in this process and continue praying for the orphans.
If roughly 6% of the born again Christians in the world adopted, we could care for all the adoptable orphans in the world.