The summer before my senior year of college, I spent five weeks in Romania serving as an intern with Livada Orphan Care. Livada is a faith-based organization in Allen, Texas with private group homes in Romania. (For some background on the history of orphans in Romania click here or here.) My time there gave me a sneak peak of what adoptive parents experience daily. It is
not easy SUPER hard, but it is worth all the pain.
Though my desire to adopt has been with me since high school, I only first heard about the forgotten children of Romania in a class I took my junior year. Heart-wrenching images of babies in soiled clothes, alone in cribs for hours, with brains struggling to understand and show love for lack of physical touch. It was then that I truly understood the magnitude of the need for a family, specifically a loving one.
Fast forward to present day. I’m now a mother of two biological littles, three years and nine months old, but my heart for adoption is the same. We know we want more kiddos but the big questions we are facing now are, well, all of them. Will we have another biological baby while my body is prime for making and carrying them, or will we welcome our next addition via adoption? Will we find our child here or will we search the globe? Do we want a boy? A girl? Do we care? Will we seek out an extra special babe? Do we want another baby? Or maybe a 10-year-old? There are so many questions that we still don’t know the answers to, but one thing we know with 100 percent certainty: Not a day goes by when we don’t daydream about and ache for our future little one.
don’t know are considering . . . .
When: This question gets brought up a lot around the dinner table at our house. My littles are still really little. At this moment, I don’t know that I’m ready for another baby. We’re only just now emerging from the newborn haze. In the same respect, if we want to adopt older, we’re thinking five or older, we do not want to mess up birth order, with our oldest at least. However, the thought of postponing the process for three or more years actually makes my stomach churn.
How: In case you didn’t know, there are literally a million ways to adopt (okay, I don’t know about literally but probably). Currently, my family and I are leaning toward private/direct adoption or foster-to-adopt. I know fostering seems scary, but, according to fosterclub.com, there were 415,129 children in the foster care system in 2014. Clearly, there is a HUGE need for foster families — which immediately draws my attention because I love to be needed. We are even considering private, special needs adoption. Essentially however we decide to adopt we know it will meet a huge need. While that gives us some peace, it hardly give us extra direction.
Where: For years, people have asked me if I prefer international adoption or domestic. Honestly, I have never had a preference. A child is a child. American, African, I’ll take them all. One thing I appreciate about domestic adoption is the opportunity to have a relationship with the birth parents. I get a little giddy thinking about having a relationship with the birth parents of my child(ren). This is simply not an option for international adoptions.
With our questions outweighing our answers, it’s easy to get swept up in the sea of overwhelming options. I try to focus on what we do know. We are itching to adopt, dying, burning up with longing. Our hearts literally ache for adoption. It is not a fad or a trend. Adoption is etched into our souls. It is something that we long for every single day. Just because we don’t have the answers doesn’t mean it’s not the right path for our family.
I trust that we will figure it out one day, hopefully sooner rather than later. But until then, we will surround ourselves with families who have climbed this mountain and made it safely to the top. Until then, we will keep dreaming, keep hoping, keep praying for this sweet one to come home.