It is interesting how much adoption can change your heart and even your opinions about things. I am sure parenting in general or even finding out your wife is pregnant changes your perception of life, but I think adoption does even more in a very different way.
Since the very first moment we started telling people we were adopting, people have asked questions, have congratulated us and have inquired things about our personal life that you usually wouldn’t ask a couple that is pregnant (like “why are you adopting?” or “is everything OK…down there?”), and while we don’t mind sharing our thoughts and story, sometimes it feels that we have to help people “get” adoption, but I even look back at myself before we started this journey and think that maybe I was that person too, the guy who would have questions.
As other adoptive, or future adoptive parents can relate, the process can seem very stressful because there are so many uncertainties as far as what would happen. As my wife perfectly articulated in this blog post when it comes to adoption there usually isn’t a time frame, it is not like when a woman finds out she is pregnant and the couple has time to get ready for baby to arrive, prepare the baby room, have friends throw a baby shower, find out the gender…you know the rest. When you are adopting you don’t know when things will happen, one day you could have your home study done and shortly after you could get a call that a birth mother has chosen you or there is a baby for you to bring home, or it could be a very long period of waiting and more waiting until you get the call. There is no 9 month countdown, and that can be very hard.
On the other hand, that is also a blessing though because we have more time to raise funds, which that is another question we get asked a lot “why would you go through and agency?” or “why does it cost so much to adopt a baby?” and similar questions like that. If you’ve had those questions, I used to think that too as well, I would see posts of Facebook and wonder why people would need to spend so much money to get a baby. These are all valid questions that you shouldn’t feel bad for asking or wondering. Going through an agency is costly, the one we picked specifically is non-profit, which means they are not in the business of “selling babies”, they actively continue to provide services to birth families, and that is something we really liked about that. It does come with a cost, but one that is totally worth it!
In the end, adoption is something foreign to many people, including myself before and the more and more we get deep into the process the more I learn and the more I come to appreciate it. Yes, it is a long process and we have a lot to do still, but when that day finally comes, when we get to meet our son or daughter, all of the anxiety, stress and frustration will completely disappear. I picture what that moment and what that scene will be like in my head often and think that the joy will be like nothing I have ever experienced, I imagine my wife and I meeting our child for the first time crying like we never did before and realizing “we are parents” and just feeling that happiness that we never thought we could experience.
Adopting is not like going down to your local pet store and selecting that perfect animal you want to take home and have as a pet, adopting is something that you don’t know who you will get. We may get a kid that somehow happens to have similar features, or maybe a kid that looks entirely differently than us and shares no common features, who knows. We’ve had even people ask about the “picking” process, or what kind of kid would we want. Let me assure you that we don’t care, we know our future child (or children, as we plan on adopting more than one kid (not right away)) is someone who has already been chosen by God to be ours, even if he or she hasn’t even been conceived yet. We also will always be eternally grateful to the woman who will carry our child in the womb and often pray for her safety, no matter who she is or where she is, as we could never repay her what she will do for us.
Adoption is the right path for us, it is what God has called us to do and what He is preparing our hearts for and what we wouldn’t want any differently. It is something we are happy to share with our family and friends and something that we know will change our lives forever. This is something that we will always share with our future children, we will tell them how perfectly God created them in our hearts and that it doesn’t matter if physically they came from someone else, they were meant to be ours from the very beginning.