Saturday, June 11, 2011

Why adoption?

Why adoption? As long as I have known Justin, he has talked about adoption. It is something that he has felt a passion for for a long time. I can't say that I seirously considered it until I started teaching. Facing the reality of children in the foster care system, made me want to adopt. When we became engaged and begin to discuss what we wanted our family to be, adoption was always in the plan. We thought we would have a biological child and adopt a child, and we weren't clear about the order in which we would do that.

We started trying to get pregnant six months after our wedding. I remember thinking I would get pregnant in August so I could have summer break off. At the same time we began to explore adoption. When we took our first adoption classes, they freaked me out. Justin was calm and confident. I was unsure that I was equipped to handle the issues that come with an adopted child. We decided to focus on fertility.

Fertility treatments didn't work for us. The whole time I was undergoing them, they felt wrong. I had bad reactions to the drugs, insurance wouldn't pay, I kept having to go back. Nothing seemed to work out. I started to read a book entitled Hannah's Hope which spoke about the biblical Hannah and her struggle to have a child.

This book was life changing for me. It reminded of all the women of God who had issues having a child, Sara, Hannah, Rebecca. My struggles were not new ones, and I was not going through this painful expierence alone. This book helped me let go of bitterness and selfishness and begin to strive for God's plan instead of mine.

A chapter on adoption led me to look at an adoption website we had once explored. There was a picture of two boys and I couldn't get them off my mind. I kept thinking about how someone had to give these kids a home. In the stillness God pointed out that I should be one of those people. At the same time, we received notice that our adoption classes were about to expire.

We  talked about it and decided to fill out an application to adopt through the State of Oregon. Justin's confidence in the rightness of decision and his desire to adopt have been a solid foundation for me. He just knows its right. I know it is now, but he always knew. I find his confidence amazing.

Our application and homestudy are complete. We are blessed to have an amazing case worker who has been working at DHS for over 30 years and can answer all of our questions. We are in the hardest part of the journey, the waiting. Every two weeks, we go online and look at kids and send the ones we are interested in to our caseworker. She sends our information to the child's caseworker.  When a child's caseworker picks us, we will go before an adoption board. We could be one of three to five families being considered.

This means that we will probably go for the board more than once. Once the board chooses us, we will have seven days to review the child's file and finally commit. At that point the child will be told and transitions will begin.  We are looking at a year or more of looking and are learning paitence.

Despite all of this, adoption feels right in a way that fertility treatments never did. We have a contentment about it. We both came to the conclusion that we would be open to adopting siblings separately and were relieved to hear the other share the same idea. Our child, or children, are out there and we can't wait to meet them.

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