Wednesday, October 6, 2010

some answers

Thank you for your kind words about our recent announcement- adoption!  I wanted to try to answer some questions I've been getting here and elsewhere.  Here's something I'm learning pretty quickly about adoption- the more answers I get, the more questions I have.  We have just resolved to be okay with lots of unknowns for the time being.

So, YES!, we are adopting!  We have chosen to adopt domestically, from an agency in East Texas.  The agency we are working with primarily places newborns.  When we began sorting through all of the options for adoption (there are many), we decided that for where we are right now, and for the personalities that already reside in this home- bringing home a baby would be best.  We actually discovered that because of the size of our home and the fact that our children, of opposite sexes, share a bedroom, that we couldn't adopt over the age of 2 (through the state).  

Our road to adoption has been a long one.  Being one that tends to go on a bit about things, I will do my best to keep it short here.

My first recollection at wanting to adopt is when I was in high school.  I was so moved by the plight of girls in Indian and Chinese orphanages that I was sure that one day I would simply bring them all home to live with me.  It would be that easy!  

After marrying, adoption was on and off of my radar.  John and I would talk about it...but in no way were we even moving towards it.  John knew it was a desire of my heart to "one day" adopt.  That's it.  

Fast forward.

About a year and a half ago my heart began feeling convicted by the scripture:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27

After discussing my conviction with John, we decided that we would consistently be in prayer about what God wanted us to about caring for the orphan and the widow.   Somewhere during this time I became pregnant- after trying for about two years.  We were ecstatic, but that didn't change our prayers.  After we lost our baby through miscarriage, my heart was broken.  As was my obsessed desire with getting pregnant.  I didn't want to be pregnant with another baby.  I was scared and honestly, I just wanted my baby back.  After a few months of healing, I returned to this prayer for the orphan, and what our role as a family was to be in orphan care.  My desire to adopt was very real at this point.  But I felt as though it was coming from a selfish place.  A place that said "me, me, me- I want a baby."  Ugh.  Ever gross yourself out by your own selfishness and depravity?  Well, I was pretty sick of myself by this point.  So to my prayer for the orphan was added a prayer for God to sanctify me.  To reveal to me these stanky ol' places in my heart that screamed "ME!!!" and replace it with what He wanted for me.  As I began working through my own junk, the conversation about adoption stopped around our house.  And let me tell you, when I allowed God to break through and clean out the selfish places in my heart, I saw a shift in John too.  He began bringing up adoption.  Reading articles.  Seeking out other dads that have adopted.  Whoa!  This was new!  The more my desire for adoption was coming out of a self-less place, the more excited about adoption my husband was becoming.  

While we were on our big road trip this summer, we were talking about adoption.  I was sharing with John the work the Lord was doing in my heart.  That He was changing my desire for adoption from being just about getting a baby, to be more about caring for the orphan in need.  That I wasn't fooled anymore into thinking that adoption was only about getting a baby.  That I knew now that it was a beautiful, tangible picture of our adoption as sons and daughters to God almighty.  That our offering our home to a child that needs one was less about us, and more about offering hope and family to one that had neither.

On the way home John told me that he wanted to start paperwork as soon as we returned.

So that is where we are now.  We have chosen the agency (which was harder than I thought).  We have found one that cares for the birth mother in such beautiful, real ways.  She and her child are their first priority.  Their real goal is orphan prevention, and we love that.  Because of the mission of this agency, they place very few children.  We are okay with that.

We have been accepted by the agency.

We are now filling out our packet of paperwork.

There is no real timeline.  It could take 6 weeks.  It could take 2 years.

The mother that chooses us, could then change her mind after her baby is born.

There are so many unknowns.   

Adoption is hard and good and messy,
 and it is now our story.


cally said...

You are wonderful. Your closeness to the Lord is inspiring. I'm so excited for your family!

Stacy said...

You know our story....and have a wonderful mentor to follow. I pray that your family is blessed!!! Adoption is so amazing.

Aleesa said...

Awesome! My heart is so incredibly full of joy for your family!!!

kathy gail said...

You describe the process of turning it over so beautifully. That process is so hard for being so easy, right? Thanks so much for sharing yourself. It's people sharing the beauty of turning things over that will remind the rest of us to continue to trust. When we quit fighting over the rudder and set about maintaining the boat, it sails a lot smoother. Love you, girl.

Rosie_Kate said...

Congrats! I hope this journey brings you great joy!

After my miscarriage and similar struggle (for years) with my selfish self, adoption certainly crossed my mind. But God made it very clear that it was not an option for us. And you know what happened later. :-)

He always has wonderful plans for His children.

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

Wonderful. Both Mike and I have cousins who are adopted as well as friends who have adopted. You two are truly amazing. Coincidentally, Lala has picked out several books on adoption from the library lately. She loves books about babies and these fell into that category for her. So many good ones out there.
Wishing you joy in this journey.

Anonymous said...

Newborns are usually taken from coerced women tho.

-Truthful Nacho

mandi said...

Dear Anonymous (or truthful nacho),

You are right. Sometimes women and young girls have very little options when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy and they are placed in very vulnerable positions. It breaks my heart to think that any woman, regardless of age or financial background would feel coerced into placing her child into adoptive care. But I know that it happens. I am so thankful that we were able to find an agency that makes these young women their first priority. Most of them choose to mother because of the support and counseling they receive through them. Thanks for taking the time to comment!