Monday, April 1, 2013

A Beginner's Guide to Adoptive Families

An evening snapshot of Seattle, WA while we were there for
a missions fundraising dinner last month
So close.  This whole referral thing feels soooo close.   Some days I am simply done waiting.  I know God’s timing will be perfect, though, and I do trust Him.  After we receive our referrals, we’ll wait about another 8 months until the kiddos are home.  There has recently been a new slowdown in the process (surprise surprise...)- this time after the referrals.  I need to keep....  waiting, and trusting.

My adoption art show (click here for pics!) is going well, by the way.  Thank you for asking about it!  Wednesday, I have an interview with a local newspaper about the show.  Maybe I’ll be able to get the community involved and raise adoption-awareness there!

I stopped by a local fruit stand last week and asked to put up a flier for the art show.  After hearing my spiel, the younger guy behind the counter was immediately positive and expressed interest in adopting someday.  In contrast, his co-worker defensively covered her stomach and said “Well, my husband and I want to create our own children.”  Uh, ok?! Good for you?  People’s responses, while usually positive, are so interesting!

The sis-n-law Julianna with her artwork
When you encounter an adoptive family:

Please understand that reasons for adopting are wildly varied.  Some adopt because it is their only way to have a family.  Others adopt because they have compassion, see a need, and want to help.  Others choose adoption to start a family regardless of their ability to have birth kids.  There are a myriad of reasons.  Please don’t pre-judge a family’s motives based on your past experience.

Please understand that families in process have thought and prayed very hard about their decision. We have discussed what “color” our kids will be and how that will affect us.  We have discussed the implications of bringing a child with a complex background into our home.  We have very prayerfully weighed how much to “play God” and choose ages, gender, health status, etc, and how much to leave that in His perfect control.  These are not new issues for us.  Rather, we have lost some precious sleep over them!

 Julianna and me-- opening evening of the art show.
She's afraid I'm going to tickle her in this picture :)
Please understand it’s ok to ask questions and share thoughts, but not with an agenda.  Most adoptive families welcome honest questions and concerns that come from a kind heart and an open mind.  It does not bother me to share with a curious person the amount of our adoption fees, though I may preface my remarks by stating that “our children are priceless”. How are you to learn more about adoption if you don’t ask?  I appreciate loving concerns about the process and our children.  It does bother me to have someone enter a conversation with a soap box or an opinion they are hell-bent to share with me.  Please leave critical attitudes and racism at home.  

Please understand that my children will be as much mine as your children are yours.  My children will be my “real” kids, “our own,” just as though I had given birth to them.  (Blast, this is a long pregnancy!)

Please don’t assume I’m super human and adopting is something that is out of the reach of the average human being.  I think this is the #1 fallacy that I run across.  Yes, it’s a lot of work, expensive and it takes time.  The process is not, however, designed to be impossible.  Adoption agencies are there to help (with numbered checklists and color-coded file folders, by the way!).  I may have superpowers, but they are limited to making pie and harassing my younger brothers.  In the realm of paperwork, I simply have the ability to do as I’m told.  My guess is that you are similarly human.
Philip with our friend's 9 month old daughter, Rylea,
at the opening evening of my art show

Thank you for bearing with me.  I wish I had progress to share with you.  Please keep us in your prayers, and thank you for your love and encouragement! :)

1 comment:

  1. Amen!!!!!
    And I'm sorry your wait has been so grueling. Ugh and double ugh! Wish I could make it go faster for you. :-( Did that lady (from that Ethiopia blog) get back to you? I lost her link and everything... was it a worthwhile project she was working on?