We’re adopting because we would really love to raise another child.
We’re often asked what led us to adopt, and this is the honest, short answer. Of course, there is also a long answer – one that we’re happy to share with anyone who is curious.
There’s so much we could say about our “journey” (forgive the adoption speak). In the almost two years we’ve been in the adoption process, we’ve kept a pretty private circle of communication with our closest family and friends, giving them updates every few months. Much of the time we are just assuring them that there is snailed progress happening in every stage (as it is with this kind of family planning).
Each of us has also had several spontaneous and upfront conversations with individuals in the last couple of years who ask, “So, what made you decide to adopt?” Both of us love the opportunities to give an answer – even if it’s just the short one. It’s true, though, that the heart of the matter is sometimes hard to boil down to a sentence or two, and for us, the real reasons can get muddled by all of that adoption speak.
If you have time to sit for a spell, here is that long answer:
1) We want another child. That’s how most couples decide to have another baby, right? 😉 We’re ready to add on to our family, and we want a child to love.
2) We are okay with not being that child’s birth parents. We’re so glad we got to have Luke “the old fashioned way,” but we’re every bit as thrilled to welcome our second child. After first looking into domestic adoption, we decided to pursue an international one. We researched agencies, placed phone calls to coordinators, and scrutinized program requirements (some we didn’t meet). Once we processed through some of these obvious first stops, the matters of financing and completing an adoption seemed really minor and certainly not enough to keep us from seeking an already-born child. So, we decided to apply to America World’s Ethiopian program.
3) We do believe in adoption. Before we were even engaged, Nathan spent a month in Guatemala working at an orphanage. His experience led us to these insights: adoption is a need; it is good; it is right for us. We didn’t come back to this decision until about a year after Luke was born. I had been staying at home, and our general plan was to have our children close together. Our first adoption conversations came with the mental kid tallying: one more? two more? Who knows? How can we say? If we were serious about that adoption thing, maybe we should just go for it now.
This dialogue started just after the earthquake in Haiti, and we saw yet another overwhelming example of so many misplaced children. It’s important to note that this was just a springboard back to our initial decision – not the reason we’re adopting. When it comes to poverty, to parentless children, to so many issues that are huge and heartbreaking, there is no easy fix, is there?
We can credit this process to making us so much more sensitive to these issues, but the first reason is still the first reason: we want another child. We’re trying to be sensitive to just how God wants us to make that happen, and we will consider ourselves blessed to be parents to a second child.
It’s fascinating to hear other adoption tales: Our friend Lisa told us once that her son has done more for her than she could ever expect to give to him; Jim and Stephanie walked us through their crazy fast adoption of their older boys and were so helpful in answering our questions at the start; we’ve met many other families who have shared their highs and lows in the process. Adoption is a wild process. It’s reamed with all kinds of issues and questions, legalities and emotions, some of which are downright terrifying (kind of like parenthood, huh?). It seems that every couple or individual comes to this big decision a bit differently.
Thanks so much for taking in the short and the long of ours.