Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Three Years After Deciding To Adopt Again

It's been three years now since we decided to add another child to our family through domestic infant adoption. We are still waiting for that child.

Three years is a long time.  A lot has happened to us in those three years. We have lost another baby through miscarriage in those three years.  My sons went from being toddlers to preschoolers to full grown little boys in those three years. My family has moved 500 miles from where we once were in those three years, and our life looks much different now than it did three years ago.  

This month, we will face another Thanksgiving Day, three years after the Thanksgiving Day when we announced to our family that we would be adopting again.  How excited they were!  Now, I can't remember the last time any of them have said anything to us about our adoption journey.  It's just me and my husband and two precious little boys waiting now;  it feels like everyone else has forgotten and moved on.

Three years ago, I was still what people like to call "of child-bearing age". Having a child at my age then was uncommon, but certainly not unheard of. Adoption agencies still accepted couples of our age.  Three years later now, many adoption agencies won't.  We are considered too old and are beyond the age when most people have children.  Having a baby now, even an adopted one, for many people, would just be considered strange.

Three years ago, I wanted to have a child who would be close in age to his or her brothers. I imagined them going to high school and college together.  Playing on sports teams together, sharing the same hobbies together. Now, they will be five years apart, maybe more, and those dreams are gone.

Three years ago, I really believed in adoption.  I believed that adoption was a calling placed on my heart and the heart of a birthmother, and that God would lead us to each other.  I believed that adoption agencies that called themselves "Christian" would live up to that name.  I believed that all birthmothers chose adoption because they wanted what was best for their babies. I believed adoption had God's hands all over it.  I still want to believe all of that, but it is getting harder.  

A year ago this month, I was frantically trying to gather the necessary documents to complete another home study. I felt the clock was ticking and I couldn't get the paperwork done fast enough.  After two years of waiting, I had convinced myself that the child we were meant to adopt would be coming to us just as soon as we could get the paperwork in order.  After all, we'd already been waiting to adopt again for two years, right?  God wouldn't make us wait much longer, right?

But just to be sure, in case God wasn't quite paying attention to our prayers, we decided to pay an adoption consulting firm to help us out.  And not just any adoption consulting firm, but one that had a reputation of placing babies within just a few months, sometimes weeks, of being home-study approved. They had great reviews, and other adoptive couples raved about how quickly they were matched.  We became excited and we sent in our check with the reassurance that we would likely be matched soon. Our wait would end before our third year was up.  We were sure of it.

But soon after, we were living the cliche'.  What seemed too good to be true really was, and there is always a catch. Although our consultant sent birthmother situations to us almost weekly, not once did we offer to show our profile. Baby after baby went to other waiting couples because we didn't want to let go of what we had come to believe adoption should be.  We lost one chance after another at having the baby we dreamed of because we stood on principle and did not want to (quite literally) buy into the system that had been created.     

Meanwhile, during this past year, our agency placed five babies.  Four of those babies were placed by birthmothers who wouldn't consider an adoptive family that had other children.  Only one birthmother even considered us, and she chose another family.  At the moment, our agency has approximately ten couples waiting for a baby.  Our odds are not good.

So here we are, three years and another home study update later.  Another October and November spent gathering documents, scheduling fingerprinting, requesting background checks, asking for references, completing physicals. We are doing the paperwork again, sending in our fees again, and waiting again. How much longer, only God knows.  The desire for another adopted child in our family is as strong as ever, even though the dream has changed.

It's hard to be excited about completing an adoption home study when it's the fourth time you've done so and you know that each year, your chances of being chosen get lower.  There will be no fanfare when we complete our home study update this month.  We will simply put it in a manila envelope and send it off, with another prayer.   God still sees us.  In that, I believe.

Were we living in another time, a time when babies available for domestic adoption were not a commodity in a supply-and-demand system, things would be different.  But these are the times we live in; this is the world we've created for ourselves.  A world where most of the babies who could be adopted instead go to heaven, and to be blessed with even one on earth is a miracle. 

  




4 comments:

  1. When I read the title of your post I so hoped that you had gotten a placement. I can only imagine what the waiting must be like. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.

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    1. Thank you, Donna. That is very comforting.

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  2. Oh, Lynda, I didn't know some of these behind-the-scenes aspects of adoption. I'm keeping you in my prayers in a special way. As well, I pray for birthmothers - that their eyes (and hearts) will be opened. I've known more adoptees and families with adopted children than I can think of off the top of my head .... lives enriched beyond measure because of adoption. {{hugs}}

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    1. Colleen, thank you for the prayers for us and especially birthmothers. It is a very soul-searching journey for both sides and often filled with temptations. But when God is allowed to lead, adoption is beautiful.

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