Today, I’m changing it up around here. Over the last few months, I have received DOZENS of questions related to how I “convinced” my husband to adopt. I have heard from so many women who have such a strong desire to join in caring for orphans, but they just can’t seem to get their husbands on board. The reasons for this include everything from the cost to adopt to concerns about becoming a trans-racial to family to concerns that the love will not come as naturally for the adopted child as it did for biological ones. So, I posed these questions to my husband, and here were his responses…
1) How did you come to the decision that you wanted to grow our family through adoption?
It was a slow process really, by our family’s standards. We are typically very quick to make a decision, but not this time. For quite a while leading up to our final decision, I just couldn’t shake this feeling that something wasn’t complete in my life and in our family. I have always struggled with how I can make a difference, other than just providing for my family, but I wasn’t sure what that meant quite yet. That is when I believe God intervened through our pastor at Hope Fellowship, John McKinzie, through a sermon based on the story of Nehemiah last winter. Part of this sermon really struck a chord with me. To sum it up, he asked us to consider, “What breaks your heart, and what are you going to do about it?” I really wrestled with this question for a few days, but the answer that I ultimately settled on was children without a permanent home break my heart. I shared this with my wife and, ironically enough, she was being tugged in the same direction. After many, many months of discussion, thought, and prayer, the rest is history.
2) What experience did you have with adoption prior to our family beginning the process?
My father was adopted through Gladney as an infant. Had it not been for his Mom and Dad taking that leap of faith, there is no telling how his life would have turned out. Maybe someone else would have adopted him, maybe he would have spent his life being bounced from foster home to foster home, who knows. But I do know that his parents made the selfless decision to adopt him and take him as their child, and that decision forever changed his life and the lives of so many others, myself included.
3) What would you say to someone who believes you won’t be able to love a child that is not your own blood as much as your biological kids?
My belief on that is that blood isn’t a prerequisite for someone to be family. I have friends in my life that I would consider family. Is a step-son or daughter not “family” to the non-blood parent? Absolutely not; they are a family. My dad may not have been born to his parents, but he was completely loved and completely “theirs.”
4) How did you come to terms with the financial obligations of the adoption process?
This one was surprisingly not as hard for me as one would think. Being the sole provider for a family of four, you would think that I would have had a really hard time with trying to come up with $35,000 in about a year’s time. But for some reason that I can’t explain, I have just had this peace that God will provide and we will make it happen. Sure enough, through our saving, selling of various things around the house that we don’t need, fundraising, and the generosity of some friends and family through Paypal donations, we have come a long way in a short time. We still have a ways to go, but I am confident that we will be able to make it happen. We still may have to apply for some adoptions grants and, worst case, an adoption loan to finalize our costs, but we will cross that bridge when we get there. If the finances are the only thing holding you back, don’t let it!
5) What advice would you give couples who are just beginning to discuss this option for their own family?
Make sure you are both on the same page about the process. Understand that it is not going to be easy, but not insurmountable either. Start the process of saving and fundraising as soon as you have made the final decision. Research domestic vs. international, talk to as many people as you can about their adoption experiences, and speak to as many adoption agencies as you can. You are going to be dealing with the agency often, so you want to make sure you are compatible and that they are going to meet your expectations and needs. We researched dozens of agencies, and I think we spoke to at least five or six when we were looking. We are so glad we did because it wasn’t until we interviewed the last agency that we knew we had the right one, Holt International. And lastly, pray! A LOT!
I am so thankful and grateful to my sweet husband for contributing and answering his side of this story, and I am even more grateful to God for bringing us to this decision TOGETHER and in His perfect timing. If I can offer my one little piece of advice to wives feeling alone in their desire to adopt, put it in the hands of someone bigger than yourself. Hand it over to God, pray about it, and if it is in His plan for you to walk this path, you won’t have to arm-twist and nag and plead with your husband to agree to it. Quite frankly, the last thing an orphaned child needs is a home where he or she is not 100% completely and totally wanted by BOTH parents.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Get those stretchy Thanksgiving pants out and FEAST! 🙂