Written by: Heather A.
November is National Adoption Month. I know it’s always National Something Month, but this one is near and dear to my heart. November also happens to be the month that I was standing in a Hobby Lobby with my girls and my mom when my phone rang.
“Heather, this is the call you’ve been waiting for. Your family has been matched to a baby boy.”
I know there were words spoken by the county social worker after that moment, but I honestly can’t recall most of them. My heart and mind were focused on what lie ahead. Yes, it signaled the end of a long journey to adopt, but it was also the beginning of forever with our little guy. We also knew it was the beginning of a road that we had not traveled before. We were jumping in with both feet and arms surrendered but I would be lying if I said we were fearless and headstrong. We knew we were called to adoption, but we also knew it wouldn’t be easy.
Our story began before we were even married. While dating, we both admitted that we would love to grow our family through adoption. After we got married, we were blessed to add three girls to our family, biologically. But my third pregnancy was difficult and scary. At my follow up appointment my doctor told me that I needed to count my blessings and be done. Another pregnancy could have a tragic ending, and the risk was not worth it. It was difficult news to hear because I knew my heart was not done yet. My husband and I revisited the idea of adoption and decided that when the time was right, we would pursue it! We started our journey when our youngest daughter was in kindergarten. It took 10 months of paperwork and process, lots of tears and frustration, but in the end, we grew our family through adoption and we wouldn’t change a thing.
That’s not to say that it was easy breezy and not without fear or tribulation. We definitely hit some bumps and roadblocks in our journey to adoption, but with each trial we firmed our resolve to hold on to our faith and love what had been entrusted to us. Isn’t that true with many other things though? Your own story is made of struggles and victories. Without the valleys, we would never appreciate the mountaintops. We’ve learned that adoption begins with brokenness but that love can mend the broken places. We’ve learned that our love can be just as intense and fierce for babies born of our hearts and not of our bodies. We’ve learned that risk and selflessness are often uncomfortable but its okay to walk through the unknown. We’ve learned to expect the unexpected (especially when we got a call years later that our son had a baby sister and we grew our family yet again!).
We’ve been told by many, “I could never do what you’re doing.” Possibly. But why?
Is it financial? Did you know that adopting foster children through the county costs you next to nothing? Children in the foster system often receive funds from the state to help with their care even after they are adopted.
Is it fear? Are you afraid that your heart could be broken if something happens in the process? I would argue that a child is worth the risk.
Is it the unknown? I would urge you to trust.
It’s true, not everyone is called to adopt, but we can all do something. Our something might be different from yours, but no one is called to ignore the need that exists in our backyard. If you can’t adopt, can you support organizations that are doing the difficult work? Can you offer to babysit for a family that is in the process of fostering or adopting or maybe bring that family a meal? Can you donate items that are needed for kids in the foster and adoption system? Maybe you can spend time mentoring the kids that are about to age out, or you could sponsor a child to go to summer camp.
The list of needs is long, but so is the list of those able to help. Adoption changed our lives for the better, and we can only hope that others get to be as blessed as we are!