Archive for 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

I'm Too Old (Adoption Fears and Falsehoods Series)

Maybe years ago you talked about adoption but never pursued it. Deep down in your heart, you wish that you had acted back then on that dream. Or maybe you just started wondering about adoption for the first time. But, now? Well, now you're kind of thinking:

But are you, really?

Every country has different laws regarding parental age limits in adoption. Because I'm most familiar with domestic infant adoption, I'll speak to that. In the United States, you will find people adopting domestically up into their forties, fifties, and even some into their sixties. Are you in that age range and healthy? Then legally, you probably aren't "too old" to adopt. Adoption laws aren't holding you back because of your age. So what is? When you think about adoption, are you primarily looking at it from a "practical" perspective or from an eternal one?

"You are not your own, for you were bought with a price." 1 Corinthians 6:19)

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12

In His great love, God has adopted us as His children and He calls us to reflect His heart of love, no matter what age we are! There are children both here and all over the world of all ages who need a loving, safe, forever family. I want you to hear from some actual parents who were over the age of 40 when they adopted their child(ren) as infant(s). What they have to say is powerful and inspiring!

Names: Sue and Brad
Age when pursued adoption: 40 and 41 when they brought their twin baby girls home
Family: Children ages 15, 14, triplet 12 year olds, and twin 1 year olds
"Yes, I'm more tired and I'll be the oldest parent when my kids start school. But isn't it better that these children have an older mom and dad than NO mom and dad? Also, for us, being Christians, we feel that just because we are older doesn't give us an excuse to just stop serving. We really feel that God has called us to live our lives for HIM and not ourselves. For us, this also meant giving up the American Dream of having kids, getting them out of the house, and pursuing retirement. We want to serve until we die, literally. And for us, that means parenting longer than most people. And you know what? It's totally worth it. What could be more important than raising little souls?" -Sue

Names: Stacia and Jobie
Ages when pursued adoption: 43 and 44
Family: Children ages 27, 22, 19, 13, 8 and 7 months and the grandchildren that live with them are 6, 4, 3 and 11 months.
"The benefits FAR outweigh the doubts when it comes to parenting as an older parent! More patience, more of an understanding as to how quickly they do grow in those first months and years and we are more relaxed. If you know that God has placed adoption on your heart, DON'T DOUBT what He can do! Don't hesitate any longer, just do it and SEE what He does with your obedience. Lay your apprehension down, and never look back. It will change you in ways you've never imagined and yes, it's beautiful AND hard, but SO, SO worth it. I see God's promises every day in the sweet little smile on this precious boy's face!" -Stacia

Names: Kym and David
Ages when pursued adoption: 43 and almost 50
Family: Children ages 23, 21, 19, 16, 14, 10, 9, 3, and 3 months.
"There are some "valid" concerns...dying before they are grown, not being fun or energetic enough, (I am more fun, and I have older kids who can chase a two year old if I can't!). We are just ordinary people, who have been blessed in amazing ways by God with these amazing kids! If you are worried about whether you should adopt in your 40's and 50's I would say if the desire is there, it is there for a reason! Adoption isn't really about what we need, it is about being available to be the second best choice for a child. It is a hard joyous path. And David and I are both so glad we took it! And in being available for the child who needed our family, we have been blessed beyond our imagination!" -Kym

Names: Kim and Bruce
Ages when pursued adoption: 42 and 43
Family: Children ages 16, 15, 12, 8 and 20 months
"We are so much more relaxed than we were in our younger years! I think we are really able to enjoy him as we know now how fast time goes and how quickly each stage goes. We realize how much more precious life is...We truly enjoy being older parents so much! Also, we happen to have teenagers, too, and that is an added bonus as they are so helpful. It is also so great to see them love on him." -Kim

Names: Denn and Melinda
Ages when pursued adoption: 44 and 45
Family: Children ages 27, 25, 22, 3, twin 2 year olds (and have 6 grandbabies)
“We are sure we will never have time to be in rockers (except to rock our babies to sleep)…and we cannot imagine our lives without them! We often ask each other 'what on earth would we be doing right now if not this?!' We would be filling our lives with most likely worthless things! Living that lie 'the American dream.' This all has changed our lives so wonderfully!" -Melinda

If you have a desire to adopt but you're wondering if you're too old, please don't assume that it's too late. Go before God and ask Him about it. Don't let your age stand in the way. Maybe He will tell you it's not His plan for your family. But maybe He will lead you into one of the greatest joys of your life.

Check out some other fears/falsehoods to pursuing adoption that have been covered in this series: "I could never afford to adopt," "Is there really a need in the U.S.," "Birthmoms are scary," "My spouse will never agree," "Can I really love a child I didn't give birth to?," and "Do I really have what it takes?"

(For more information on domestic adoption, please contact me at

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Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Don't Have What It Takes (Adoption Fears and Falsehoods Series)

Adoption is a beautiful gift but there are many fears and falsehoods that keep people, even people who are seriously considering adoption, from pursuing it. So far in this series, we've talked about the hindrances "I could never afford to adopt," "Is there really a need in the U.S.," "Birthmoms are scary," "My spouse will never agree," and "Can I really love a child I didn't give birth to?"  Here is another common fear you may be wrestling with:

Being a parent is not for the faint of heart. It's tough and it's tiring and it's complex as much as it is rewarding and joy-giving. Our daily weakness and failures can weigh heavy on our hearts as we consider the enormous responsibility we have been given. We mess up. Every day. And it effects our kids in real ways. So, throw in the difficult complexities of adoption and,'s not surprising that we can fear that we don't have what it takes.

Being an adoptive parent may involve a variety of difficult parenting scenarios. Just to name a few:

  • talking with a child about their first-parents and the circumstances that led to their adoption
  • family members and friends not understanding you and/or discouraging your choice to adopt
  • dealing with insensitive and hurtful comments from others about adoption
  • parenting through tough identity issues as a child grows
  • painful conversations with your child as they suffer the effects of racism
  • patiently building attachment and working hard to bond with a child who has endured trauma
  • working through language and cultural barriers
  • caring for their physical and/or emotional challenges
  • having attention drawn to your family again and again wherever you go.

That stuff is hard-there's no denying it and it's certainly not helpful to ignore it. And while not every adoption is going to involve all of these, every adoption is going to require you to do some hard things as a parent. Despite the myriad of great adoption books and seminars out there, no one can fully prepare you for the tough parenting things that arise in adoption. Maybe we fear these things because, in part, we know it's true: we aren't good enough parents to make our kids "turn out" ok. We don't have what it takes to "make up for" what they've lost. We don't have "enough love" to make everything ok for them. Maybe that's why it's scary to think about parenting at all, let alone parenting through hard things in adoption!

But there is One who is a perfect parent. For every mistake we make, Jesus is able to bring good somehow. For every time we sin, Jesus is able to perfectly forgive us. On our own, we often don't have what it takes to handle all the complex issues in parenting biological children or those who come to us through adoption. We don't have what it takes. But our Father does. And He loves to bring healing to the broken.

Adoption is worth it. Talk about your fears. Pray about them. Work through them. Get equipped! Don't let your fears that you don't have what it takes to become an adoptive parent keep you from the gift of adoption. You will never be a perfect parent, but your Faithful God is.

(For more information on domestic adoption, please contact me at

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Can I love a child I didn't give birth to? (Adoption Fears and Falsehoods Series)

So far in this series, we've covered the following fears and falsehoods that can be hindrances to adoption: "I could never afford it," "Is there really a need in the U.S.?" and "Birthmoms are scary." Let's look at another common fear:

It's something whispered in hushed tones, something few are willing to vocalize even though many considering adoption are thinking the same thing. Amidst the fears and falsehoods hindering people from pursuing adoption, this may be the most paralyzing of all. If you've considered adopting but haven't been able to move past this question, you're not alone.

Why? Why is that such a common fear as people are considering adoption?

  1. In America, we tend to define love primarily by an emotional feeling. We're all about passionate emotions and "love at first sight." We think that love is something that always happens immediately and without any effort. The thought that it may take time to grow in loving someone seems terrifying and wrong (when it fact, it's often the way that love works...even with biological children).
  2. We can very quickly make everything in life about ME. How I feel, how I think, how it effects ME. What if I don't feel an immediate overpowering love for my child? What if it takes time and effort for my love to strengthen and deepen? That would be hard for ME.
  3. We know that the love of parents is highly important for the well-being of children. We feel the weight of that responsibility but that weight can turn into fear, especially because...
  4. We're so self-sufficient that we think our ability to love is dependent upon us and our own strength. We don't want to ever need help from others or from God. We don't believe that He is able to do way more than we can in our own efforts.

Can you love a child that you didn't give birth to? Yes. But the speed and intensity at which that love grows is going to be different for each adoptive family.

For those adopting an infant, it's fairly unusual to lack that "connection" quickly. That doesn't mean those feelings will come immediately for everyone who adopts an infant. For some, they will feel it when they are matched with an expectant mom even before the child is born. For others, the deep love will come the minute they meet their child. For others, the connection may develop after the baby leaves the hospital and comes home. And for others, it may intensify in the days and months to come.

For those adopting an older child, the complexities of connecting and developing attachment and deepening love is often more of a process over time. That is understandable and normal; don't let it scare you away! Again, this looks different for each family. Loving someone often takes time. For many, it will take patience, it will take education and equipping, it may involve counseling or other outside help, and it will definitely take a dependence on the Author of Love Himself. But God is able to tightly wind the attachment an adoptive parent has with their child. (I love how my friend, Kim, poignantly addressed this.)

Can you love a child you didn't give birth to? Yes! If you are willing to accept that God is the author of love and He is more than able to bring it about in His timing, if you can see love as more than just an emotion, if you are willing to believe that not experiencing "love at first sight" doesn't determine the future love you can feel for your child, if you're willing to lay down your own love of ease and self for the sake of a child, if you're willing to do whatever you can to learn and grow and depend wholly on the Lord to deepen your love, then you don't need to be afraid. Don't let fear of your own abilities to love keep you from the beauty of adoption.
*I'd love to hear from you! Scroll down to where it says "Leave a message" if you have any thoughts you want to share.

(For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Birthmoms Are Scary (Adoption Fears & Falsehood Series)

In this series about "Adoption Fears and Falsehoods" we've looked at the falsehoods, "I could never afford to adopt" and"Is there really a need in the U.S.?" as well as, "My Spouse will never agree to adopt." Today I want to look at another very common obstacle for families considering adoption. It's this belief:

It's important to point out from the start that many of our fears surrounding birthmoms are both irrational and inaccurate. The majority of the women who place their child for adoption are not at all like the "boogeymen" that dramatic television has portrayed them as. Let's think about who these women really are and what they are really doing:

  • Countercultural: They are choosing to go through the emotional and physical stress of pregnancy for nine months even though abortion is highly accessible and acceptable in our society.
  • Courageous: The decision these women make is often not supported by members of their family or friends-some have virtually no one encouraging them in their adoption choice. Often they are being pressured on many sides to abort their child.
  • Selfless: These women are looking beyond their own preference or comfort or even their own happiness to do what they feel is best for their baby.
  • Long-suffering: A woman doesn't just have a baby and forget.  These ladies carry the memory of their precious child with them forever.

Birthmothers are incredibly strong women who make the difficult choice to give their child life. We don't need to fear them. I certainly can't explain this as well as an actual birthmom so I contacted one of my favorite adoption bloggers, Amber of "Bumber's Bumblings," for help. Amber is an adoptive mama who has an incredible open adoption with her son's birthmom, Ash. Here's a little picture to introduce you to Amber and Ash:

I'm thankful to be able to re-post with permission this thoughtful, honest explanation from Ash about her personal experience with this "Birthmom Boogeyman" stereotype.  Ash writes the following:
"Unfortunately, there is no amount of words that can portray the torment that surrounds placing your child into the arms of another. The choice to place is one that comes from extreme emotional pain of knowing that the best choice for your child is to live a life that does not need or include you. It is physically reaching deep down into the cavity of your soul, ripping out your heart, and walking away. It is living each day in black and white because the life and color is elsewhere. It is the determination and sheer grit of making sure that the one you love is cared for over and above what you want."     
Does that sound like a woman that you need to fear?  She goes on to say:
"...the Birthmom Boogeyman is actually a fictional character who is the arch-nemesis of Birthmom’s everywhere. We have enough love and conviction for our child to physically and emotionally place them into the care of another, at the expense of our daily emotional torment. At the very least we would have the sense to know our sacrifice must be protected. The family unit around our child must be kept sacred and secure. The last thing on our mind is heading for the border or competing for the role as “Mom.” 
(To read the rest of Ash's post, go here.)
These women are not people we need to fear. They are actually some of the most courageous and selfless women you will ever have the privilege of meeting. Josh and I continue to be so amazed by the strength of Titus's birthmom (and we think you should be, too!).

As a side note, many people are also unaware that there are actual laws in place making the act of birthparents signing over their parental rights irrevocable in domestic adoption. Each state has different laws concerning the amount of time that passes before a birthmom legally signs over her parental rights (for example, in Utah it's 24 hours, in Illinois it's 72 hours, in Rhode Island it's 15 days). But once they do sign over their rights, a birthmom's decision is irrevocable. (There is an exception to this in the unlikely event of a woman's signing being obtained under fraud or coercion. And laws pertaining to Native American adoptions are more complex.) There is a set amount of time that passes (again, varying from state to state) where the adoptive family is visited by their homestudy agency and then the adoption is finalized through court and a new birth certificate is issued. Once an adoption is finalized it is irrevocable. Legally, a birthmother can't "come back" and change her mind. But remember, the majority of these ladies would never dream of "coming back" in the first place.

Don't let the idea that birthmoms are scary keep you from experiencing the joys of adoption. Birthmoms are not boogeymen.  They are brave and beautiful. Without them, adoption would never be possible.

(For further information about domestic adoption, please contact me at

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Friday, November 1, 2013

My Spouse Will Never Agree to Adopt (Adoption Fears and Falsehoods Series)

When you're considering adoption, a variety of fears and falsehoods start popping up in your mind. So far I've shared about the following: "We could never afford to adopt!" and "There's not really a need in the U.S., right?" Today I want to touch on another very common hindrance to pursuing adoption. It's this concept:

Ouch. This is a hard one. I've been there. It's a really difficult spot to be in-ready to pursue adoption while your spouse isn't. It's equally difficult to have your spouse ready to adopt when you aren't in agreement. If this is something you're dealing with, you are not alone. I'm serious. I hear from couple after couple that are encountering this same challenge.

I'm not going to sugar coat this; it may take months or even years to work through your disagreements about adoption. But if the Lord is truly calling you to adopt, He isn't just going to call one of you to it-He's going to lead both of you to happily move in that direction.

So what can you do if you and your spouse aren't agreeing on pursuing adoption?  Here are a couple of suggestions:
  1. Pray. Pray for yourself and your spouse. Ask the Lord to give you a humble, patient, compassionate heart. Ask Him to speak to you and help you see your spouse's side more clearly.
  2. Listen. Without accusing or judging, ask for his or her reasons for not wanting to pursue adoption right now. Listen attentively until you can respectfully and accurately articulate their perspective.
  3. Talk. Share your reasons for why you do want to adopt. Ask them if they are willing to consider your thoughts for a couple weeks or a month. Ask if they could agree to truly go before God to pray about how the Lord would lead.
  4. Involve others. We need each other, especially in situations where we're having trouble agreeing in marriage. Together, ask another couple or your small group leader or your pastor to sit down and listen to both sides of the story. Chances are that having someone else listen, pray for you, and help you work through your thoughts will be tremendously helpful.
  5. Wait with faith. It's rare that God changes someone's thoughts and emotions overnight regarding a big decision. Trust that the Lord loves you and your spouse. Trust that He is working for your good even when it doesn't make sense. Keep praying. Keep waiting. Keep trusting.
  6. Act. Find a way to care for children in need even now. You don't have to sit back and do nothing. Is there another family in the adoption process that you can encourage and support? Is there a crisis pregnancy center in your area that you can volunteer for? Can you sponsor a child? Could you and your spouse become part of the "Safe Families" program? Could you make a meal for a family that's fostering?
Maybe you're someone who is becoming weary in the waiting and you feel like it's just too hard to be patient given the enormity of the need for adoption. I want to encourage you and remind you of what you already know. Take this to heart: We can't deny that God is passionate about caring for children in need. James 1:27 says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." But let's not forget the verses that come before that."Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." (James 1:19,20) God isn't just passionate about adoption; He is also passionate about being glorified in our marriages, even as we work through disagreements about things that really matter. Adoption matters to God. But your marriage matters to Him so much, too!

So you and your spouse don't agree today on adoption? That is far from the end of your story! Don't give up hope; you serve a God that is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-mighty, and is already up to immeasurably more than you could think or ask or imagine.

* Note: with my new blog re-design, the comments section got bumped pretty far down. We're working on that. In the meantime, just keep scrolling down if you want to leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

(For more information about domestic adoption, please contact me at

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Is There Really a Need in the U.S.? (Adoption Fears & Falsehoods Series)

When you're considering something as huge as adoption, there's bound to be some fears and questions that come up. In the first post in this series, I talked about the falsehood that says, "We could never afford to adopt!" Today, I want to focus on another falsehood that almost kept us from pursuing domestic adoption.  It's this:

The thinking goes kind of like this: "There's millions of kids languishing in orphanages all across the globe with no hope of a family. In the U.S. all I ever hear about adoption is the big waiting list and the years and years and years it takes to bring home a child. Surely there is not really a need for domestic adoption."

This much is true: there is a tremendous need for international adoption. According to Unicef's research, there are over 13 million orphans (children who have lost both parents) in the world. The need is astonishing...that's largely why Josh and I originally planned to adopt internationally. When we began considering adoption, we were very skeptical that a need really existed here in the U.S.  But over time we've learned that the great need to adopt internationally doesn't mean there's not a great need to adopt domestically.  

What about those big waiting lists?  Yes, there are some agencies with very large waiting lists. However, this does NOT mean that all agencies/adoption lawyers are overflowing with waiting adoptive families.  In fact, there are many agencies around the U.S. who need more adoptive families.  Many agencies have expectant mothers coming to them, and yet these agencies don't have enough waiting adoptive families willing to be presented to the pregnant mothers' specific situations. What "specific situations" am I referring to?

Justin Taylor re-posted this quote from The Atlantic: 
"[Y]ou want an infant? No problem: less than a month after we adopted our first child, our agency called us asking if we knew anyone at all with a completed home study. They had a healthy baby boy in a hospital and nobody willing to adopt him. (Agency rules didn’t allow us to take him before our first was completed) For our second, the agency tried for days to contact us around Christmas since we were the only people on the list who were willing to take him.
Why was it so hard to place them? Simple: the adoption market is built around healthy white infants. If you’re willing to remove even *one* of those conditions, the waiting list is short to non-existent."

Consider these stories and facts:
  • One adoption lawyer we spoke with said, "We're just lucky if we have one or two interested families to show some of these pregnant women." 
  • Just last week I heard an agency send out word, saying, "We are in desperate need of adoptive families!  So many expectant moms and not enough adoptive families!"
  • One adoption professional Josh and I spoke with last year said that he had a good number of waiting adoptive families, but only a couple of those were open to adopting non-white children.
  • The National Counsel for Adoption states that approximately 22,000 infants are adopted each year domestically...and that's JUST infants.
Yes, there is a need for adoption here. Still not convinced?  You have only to look to the Foster Care system to let all the questions about "need" in the U.S. fall by the wayside.
  • The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute states that 400,540 children here are in foster care.
  • AdoptUSKids in its excellent breakdown of state-specific information says 19,431 children are in foster care in Illinois right now; 3,347 of these children are waiting for adoptive families (the rest are still in reunification processes w/their birth families). These children are very much in need of a family!

There is most certainly a need in the U.S. for adoption. If you've held back from pursuing domestic adoption because you're not convinced that there is actually a need here, please take to heart these statistics and stories.  Don't let this specific falsehood hold you back from missing the gift of adoption!

(Note: I'm not trying to say that anyone that tries can adopt an infant in less than a month. Timing is different for each family. I chose to include that story as an illustration that there is, indeed, a need in the U.S. for adoption.)

(If you have any further questions about domestic adoption, please contact me at

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Monday, October 21, 2013

We Could Never Afford To Adopt (Adoption Fears & Falsehoods Series)

We had many questions and fears when we began considering adoption. We thank God that those obstacles didn't keep us from the gift of our sweet little boy! But those fears and questions matter-they shouldn't be ignored.  That's why I'm excited to share this series about "Adoption Fears and Falsehoods." Over the next couple weeks, I want to take a closer look at some of the main thoughts that can prevent us from actually pursuing adoption.

Money. I had to start with this one because, hands down, it's the most consistent thing I hear from families who desire to adopt but haven't pursued it:

This is pretty understandable.  Adoption is so expensive!  If you've had the idea that you'd like to adopt but feel like there's no possible way you could afford it, you're not alone.  In fact, the majority of adoptive couples have thought that very same thing. Josh and I definitely wondered how we would afford adoption before we started our journey to Titus.

I could tell you all about tons of grants available, interest free adoption loans, adoption fundraisers and other ways to fund adoption. (We received about $13,500 in adoption grants and another $10,000 through an organization where people send tax deductible gifts, thousands more in gifts from friends and family, and thousands more through our own fundraising and savings.) But if your main holdup in adopting is believing that you could never afford it, there's probably something bigger going on than just your financial situation. The heart of this fear/falsehood isn't mainly financial in nature: I think this is often an issue of priorities and faith.
We spend money on what we prioritize.  It's a rare thing for me to hear someone say, "I always wanted to buy a house but I could just never afford one." Or, "I always wanted to go to college, but I could never afford to go." Or, "I wish we could go on vacation but we could never afford to." Or, "I wish I could buy a car but I'll never be able to afford it." These things are expensive, but we don't let that keep us from them.  We find a way to do what matters to us.  We plan, we save, we take out loans, we work an extra job, we ask people for help, we trim our budget, we do whatever we have to do to find a way to fund what we care about. Why would we let fear of how the money will come in keep us from something way more valuable than a house or a car?  Why would we let it keep us from forever changing the life of a child?
I think the answer lies mostly in our view of God and ourselves. We look at the financial expense of adoption and think of it solely in terms of what WE can accomplish. But if you're a Christian then you have a God who owns everything-including all the money in the world. ("The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts." Haggai 2:8) It all belongs to Him and He is in charge of it. You have a Father who loves His children. You have a Creator who gave everything that you might be adopted into His family! ("See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." 1 John 3:1) He loves adoption and He loves to provide for adoption! He will make a way to fund what He calls you to.
We began our homestudy with only a little over a thousand dollars saved.  We stand in awe at God's faithfulness to provide for our own family's adoption! I'm not saying you should jump right in and start the process with not a dime to your name or that God's gonna drop thousands of dollars in your lap the second you move forward. How and when the money comes in differs from family to family but it does come.

If the Lord is stirring your heart to consider adopting, don't stay paralyzed by your fears about finances. Don't let the falsehood that you could never afford adoption keep you from missing one of the most amazing gifts on the planet!  And if you hear someone say, "I'd love to adopt but we could never afford it," please don't just agree. Let's stop looking at what WE can do and starting thinking about what God can do!

(For more information about domestic adoption, please email me at .)

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Things That Hold Us Back From Adopting

Last week, I shared about some of the amazing things we would have missed if God hadn't moved us past our fears and questions about adoption.  In short, we would have missed this little boy:

I know that God's been stirring some of you to consider what you might be missing as well.  I'd love to talk a bit more about some specific fears can hold us back from adoption.  In the next several posts, I'll cover some of the most common hindrances we can get stuck on.  Things like:

- What if I don't really love/connect with a child I didn't give birth to?
-  Birth parents freak me out.
-  Adoption takes forever-aren't there huge waiting lists to adopt in the U.S.?
-  We're too old to adopt.
-  We're not settled enough to adopt.
-  What about pursuing pregnancy first?
-  Our family's too big to adopt.
-  We could never in a million years afford it.
-  I'm scared the child would one day resent me.
-  Are we really equipped to care for a child of a different race?

Are there any other specific fears/hindrances you've heard someone mention or that you'd like me to talk about?  If so, shoot me a comment!  

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What We Would Have Missed

It's been over a year now since our beautiful baby boy was born. He has definitely changed our lives for the better. (Go ahead, you can say it-he is so stinkin' adorable!!!!)  If you catch me on any given day, I'm likely to gush about how amazing my son is and how much we love him.  But there's something else that echoes around in my brain and heart about adoption that won't be silent, something that haunts me when I dwell on it for too long; we could have missed this.  We could have missed being this incredible little guy's parents.

There was a time when we thought about adoption and dreamed about it but that was as far as it went.  Every day of everyone's life is busy and adoption was just on the backburner as a "someday" in our minds.  Then, questions of "How will we ever afford this" or "What if the child grows up and struggles with their identity" (don't we all?!) or "What if it all falls through" or "What if we don't feel connected" accompanied our discussions and muddied our thoughts.  Again, we didn't do anything about it.  This is what haunts me: if we had spun our wheels for years and years around those questions or just kept rolling with the busyness of life, we would have never have become Titus' parents.
We would have never sat in a small hospital room in Florida three hours after this baby was born, holding him and whispering to him and singing to him, letting him know he was not alone.

We would never gotten to gaze into these deep dark eyes, loving so fiercely a little person who doesn't share our genetics.

Three big kids would never have experienced what it's like to make him laugh or to help him learn to walk or to care about his birthmom that they've never met or to have their hearts burst with love each time he flashes his handsome smile at them.
We would have never gotten to watch him squeal with delight every time his daddy enters the room or heard him cry with sorrow each time his daddy heads to work.
We would never have gained the awe and compassion we have now for women who make the courageous and selfless decision to give life to a child they won't raise.

We would never have heard his hilarious giggle or watched him delight in being pushed in a swing or watched him hide his sippy cups in the cupboard.  We would have missed it.  All of it.
Every day we are thankful for our little boy.  Every day we are thankful that God moved us from a place of just thinking about adoption to actually becoming this kid's parents.  Still, it haunts me that we could have missed it all.  And it haunts me that you might miss something equally amazing by letting your busyness or your fears or your questions keep you from the gift of adoption.  Please don't miss this.  

If God's been stirring something in your heart about adoption or foster care, don't just sit on it.  Do something.  Take a step.  Talk to someone who can help you think through your hesitations (Josh and I would absolutely love to talk with you about our journey to Titus and how God used Christian Adoption Consultants to help us.).  You will never regret sharing God's heart for children who need parents.  You will never regret all that you would have missed.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Why You Should be Amazed By Her

This may have been the longest time I've ever gone between blog posts. I have about a hundred posts stored up in my brain that I've never actually written...maybe I never will.  But there's one that I just need to get out there:  I want to tell you a little bit about why you should love Titus' birthmom.

Titus' birthmom placed him for adoption BECAUSE SHE LOVES HIM.
I can't not cry as I think about this. (I cry about this regularly, actually!)  She carried him for nine long months.  She willingly gained weight, lost sleep, felt uncomfortable, etc. for a child she knew she was not going to raise.  Abortion surely made itself readily available to her and she could have ended his life but she chose not to.  She chose not to because she wanted him to have the opportunity at life.  She gave him life because of her selflessness.

Every time I kiss my baby's chubby cheeks-it's because of her sacrifice.  Every time I rock him and hold him close-it's because of her brave choice.  Every time I make him laugh-it's because she put his interests above her own.  Every single day, I think of Titus' beautiful birthmom and I love her so much that I just want to burst.  I want to hug her and tell her over and over and over that her/our little boy is just the most amazing and happy baby I've ever seen.  I want her to know that all of her sacrifices are worth it.  

There was a time, before we decided to adopt domestically, that I was so very scared of birthmoms. I didn't want to walk around fearing she'd come back or feeling like my baby was someone else's baby, too.  I didn't think birthoms were incredible...I judged them and feared them.  So if that's where you are right now, I get that; I really do.  But this side of the adoption, all of that just seems utterly ridiculous.  I wouldn't even be Titus' mom-Titus wouldn't even be alive at all if it were not for her courageous love.  

I mean...I have my baby boy sleeping in the room next to me right now because of her selflessness.  I can't help but be amazed by her.  I think you should be, too.

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