Anyone who knows us, or has kept up with this blog, knows that we have this thing we’re after- adoption. I knew I was going to adopt before I knew if I even wanted to birth kids of my own, and Chris knew that he wanted to adopt since he can remember learning about what adoption is. So yeah, it’s been with us for a while. And over the last couple of years, we have been moving towards bringing an orphan into our home. After considering several options, we decided to try to adopt through our home state of South Carolina, through Social Services and the foster care system.
So as not to get too wordy, I made this to sum up our adoption timeline from start to… about two weeks ago.
In order to keep our home study current, there are periodic home visits and inspections to be done while we wait to be matched with a child (or children). We had one such visit a couple of weeks ago with our case worker. The visit went well, and was a pleasant one. It usually is. But towards the end of it, our caseworker “got real” with us. Basically, she told us because of the age range we are looking for, because we are not looking for a child with severe special needs, and also because we are not foster parents, it could be a very, very, very long time before we would ever be matched with a child, if at all. She said that in all of her years doing what she does, she’s only seen two kids in our age range be placed in a forever home through this route. Then she dropped the names of some people and agencies that do private and international adoptions, saying she’d be happy to release our homestudy to them to help move things along and reduce some costs.
While I can’t say that we were shocked to hear what she had to say, it was still really disheartening. If I’m to be honest, I was crushed. Why couldn’t she have told us this before? It felt like we’ve wasted years of effort, and of hope. In the two years since we first started this process, my heart for kids in the foster care system has grown and grown and grown. And so did my hopes, and silly little plans and dreams. **even though this was just a bump in the road and we have prayed and have a new direction, writing this is making me feel all kinds of emotions again, and I’m sitting here crying.
So, we’ve reached this crossing point. The way we were heading down may lead to us bringing home a child from the foster care system, but I think that is way, way, way down the road. Which I am ok with. I think, deep down, part of me wants to adopt an older kid through DSS, and we just aren’t ready for that right now. So we keep our home study current, and as time passes, maybe we change our criteria and get matched that way. Only God knows, and I am ok with that. But now we have two choices- Domestic, private adoption, where you are matched with a birth mother and adopt a baby, or international adoption. After doing lots of research, talking, and praying, I finally connected with someone who was able to clearly show me what direction we were supposed to turn. This woman basically asked me what our goal in adopting was. Were we trying to grow our family, or give a family to an orphan? And the lightbulbs went on! We have a heart for orphans! I know that the babies born here, in the US, will be placed in families. They will probably never know life without one. And I thank God for that. But at the same time, there are so many orphans all over the world. Orphans. Children who are waiting. And we can help end the wait for someone now.
So we’ve decided to pursue international adoption. SInce we are already a very mixed family, choosing where to adopt from was really a matter of where we met the right guidelines, how long the processes were, and what health/ages of children were available to us. We are fine with any gender or race. We compared the costs of certain countries, but then decided that we shouldn’t make that a deciding factor. If the Lord wants us to bring a child home from somewhere, anywhere, he will provide a way. I trust in His plans. So, after marking up lots of papers with red pens and yellow highlighters, talking, and praying, we have decided to adopt from China.
Even though it kind of feels like we’re starting from square one again, I can smile. I can look forward with a new hope and know that I am walking a road that leads to a missing part of our family. And we are so excited. If you care to walk this road with us, we can use all of the support we can get. Words of encouragement and prayer go a long way. We know this is just a first step, and the road is most likely going to be another long one, but we’re looking forward to it with a sense of adventure, and hope that you will too. Check in for periodic adoption updates right here on our blog. We have also created a fundraising page to help with some of the costs of this endeavor. If you make a donation of any amount there, you will receive periodic updates over there, too.
I bet you hated reading the word “fundraising” as much as I hated typing it. It’s just one of those dreaded things. I know we will come up with the funds we need somehow, and it’s also a good thing that we pay a little bit here, a little bit there, as things move along. It’s a relief to know we don’t have to write a$30-40k check all at once. But still, asking people for money is always uncomfortable – whether it’s a hand out, or for a good cause. Knowing that, I thought I’d make this a little more fun for everyone. Instead of feeling like it’s just a donations page, I want you to feel like a part of our story. So we have decided to create a special, 1,000 piece puzzle. Anyone who donates $15 to our fund will have their name written on the back of a piece of the puzzle. When the puzzle is complete, we will frame it and keep it in our new addition’s bedroom, as a constant reminder of the love poured into our family to help us bring this child home. You’ll be able to say you helped to “build” our family – piece by piece.
Yay! I’m stoked. I just love the puzzle idea, and I love adoption, and I love you! Thanks for reading this terribly long post, and for your support.