Sunday, July 23, 2006

Time to talk about adoption.

Our Adoption Adventure - Part One

Pastormac and I have always planned on adopting. We first talked about it 17 years ago during the summer we after we got engaged. We talked about waiting a few years, then having kids (we planned on 5 even then) and then adopting to complete our family. He explained to me how to him adoption is the perfect picture of how Christ made us members of His family. He chose us from the foundations of the earth to be His sons and daughters.

Our last baby was born in the Spring of 2002 and when he turned two, we started to entertain the thought that we should begin the adoption process. For a while we considered adopting a child given up for adoption by an unwed mother. An opportunity presented itself and we made ourselves available but the birth mother went with a family that was out-of-state. We felt good about her decision.

We then began considering international adoption. I was thinking China - perhaps a child with a correctable defect (cleft palate) We went so far as to send away for some information from several agencies. When the material arrived we realized that adopting from China or Korea wouldn’t be possible because of our family size and our income. In one of these packets, I don’t remember which one, was information on adopting from Sierra Leone, West Africa. Hmm, we thought. Maybe this was the place for us.

Pastormac was born in Sierra Leone. His parents were medical missionaries there for a of couple years before moving to Thailand. His aunt was active in ministry there until she retired and still remains involved in women’s and children’s issues. It seemed like a divine connection until we started to really look into adopting from there. We learned that God had most likely saved us from a world of hurt by not letting us get started in an adoption process from Sierra Leone before then. Adoptions had ground to a halt and there were many families who had adopted children in Sierra Leone but couldn’t get visas for them to bring them back to the US. My heart breaks for these families.

At this time, there were a number of other families in our church who were pursuing adoption. We began an adoption support group. It’s a terrific group which is very diverse in adoption options: the S. family, who was adopting internationally from China, the D. family, who was adopting an infant at birth through a local agency, the L. family, who was preparing to foster-adopt via CYFD and us. (Today, our China baby has come home and also the infant-adopt) There is a lot of love and support in this group. At one of our monthly meetings, we expressed our frustration with the situation in Sierra Leone; that we wouldn’t be adopting from there and would have to pursue other options.

We started to look elsewhere but still felt a connection to Africa, so we turned our attention to other African countries with adoption programs that were running ethically & smoothly. Liberia and Ethiopia became our options. After hearing stories from families who had adopted children who had been orphaned by civil war, that didn’t seem the road we wanted to take, ruling out Libera. We heard that adoptions from Ethiopia were running smoothly and upon further investigation discovered the crushing numbers of orphans there needing homes. Honestly though, I was having doubts about whether this adopting thing was really something for us. We were getting too old? Was our family big enough already?

Coming soon....Our Adoption Adventure Part Two

6 comments:

shannon @ rocks in my dryer said...

Can't wait to hear part 2!

pastormac said...

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.

Overwhelmed! said...

Oh, I love hearing other's adoption stories! I'll be back to check for Part 2.

I wrote a 10 part series on our adoption journey (entitled "It wasn't supposed to work this way"). Feel free to stop by and browse through it if you have some time.

Faith said...

I'll be back to hear part two!!! I have a new blog also, it is concerning domestic adoption mostly but as it moves along (it's very new) you might be intersted in some of the stories as told by adoptive parents who will be guest bloggers. The link ishttp://faithfulmommy.typepad.com/child_of_mine/

Renee said...

Wow, we had a very similar path. We initally thought we would adopt from China we were in process with Sierra Leone for 2 1/2 years and lost three children there and ended up in Ethiopia. I can't wait to read more of your story!

Michelle said...

I'll be back to read part 2! I get drawn in by people's adoption stories :)