soaking it up

I can’t seem to get enough. I’m like a sponge. I’ll read anything I can get my hands on about adoption. I am addicted to adoption blogs. I read a few every day (okay, a lot!). I am in the middle of Black Baby, White Hands and I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla that I started two years ago back home (they are still at home). I have recently read Weaving A Family and hope to pick up a few books at Powell’s on international adoption when we go home for a visit in just over a week. This decision to adopt will be an informed decision!

I am researching all the different agencies too. That is a whole other thing in itself…there are so many! It can be quite daunting. I want to make just the right decision when choosing an agency. Its so important. International adoption can be tricky and sticky, leaving a lot of room for corruption. We want nothing to do with that. An ethical adoption is so important to us. I want an agency that we trust will do things right, that will communicate with us honestly, and that will support us every step of the way– down to in-country when we go to pick up our child(ren). These are the people that will guide us through the process, make sure everything is correct and in order… whoa, its a lot to consider! I have read enough now to know that this road will have many bumps, highs and lows, and to expect delays. This journey will be LONG and full of risks. Yet, we are jumping in with both feet and excited hearts! We are in for the long haul. :)

We are not yet drawn to a specific country in Africa. In my research, Ethiopia is the popular country of choice in adoptions from Africa. It sort-of feels like “the trend” right now. It is the oldest country in Africa for inter-country adoption with the most stable and predictable process at present. This may change with the rapid increase in numbers over the last three years or so.  So, I am researching all our options, comparing and contrasting, and praying, praying, praying… trusting that God will lead our hearts.

one or two?

I’ve been wrestling with single child adoption versus adopting two siblings. Ever since we first started considering international adoption, we’ve been leaning towards siblings. We strongly feel if we are going to adopt internationally, we will adopt two. Whether it’s at one time or two separate times is the big question. One is just not an option for us. This way they share likeness in culture and heritage with another sibling. He/she isn’t the only family member with black skin. And they have shared experiences/history together and can relate. Cultural identity and belonging is a big deal to them and us, and this would help to foster it.

On the other hand, the wait time is considerably longer for a referral of young siblings. Its still a year away until we will be state-side again to even begin the process. And I already feel like my heart has been waiting a long time. As far as cost, it would be much cheaper to adopt two at the same time rather than repeat the same process a year or so later. Not that its about the money, its just something to consider. Lets be honest, adoption is expensive! Although we wouldn’t, nor could, put a cost to our children. I want to be VERY clear on this one!!

This is a decision that will eventually be made through A LOT of prayer.

ponderings

I’ve been thinking A LOT about adoption these last TWO years. Like what it would mean to be a transracial family. What it looks like to have white parents with black-skinned African children. And how to raise these children to be secure, confident, and proud individuals in a race-conscious world. With of course integrating and honoring the cultural heritage and country of birth. How being a transracial family would rock our world, and shape our family.

The responsibility is overwhelming… terrifying, to be quite honest. I am not naive to know that love is not enough. Nor do I want my children to be the bridge that closes the gap between us and the African-American community. As parents we must take the initiative. This may mean a move for us; moving to a more integrated neighborhood. Or attending an African-American church. Choosing schools where they blend in rather than stick out. Broadening our circle of friends.

This road will not be comfortable. But it will be refining. It will be enriching. It will be our own.

the beginning, sort of :)

Its been OVER A YEAR now since I’ve felt it in my heart the very deep longing to adopt. In fact, God has been laying it on my heart for a couple years now. I distinctively remember the moment I just “knew” that our first child(ren) would come not from my body, but from my heart. Over this past year this desire has intensified. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my child(ren). From Africa. I can’t explain why Africa. I know there is a great need in my own country. I can only say its from God. He has laid Africa on my heart; our hearts. I have fallen in-love with this country, the culture, and her people. I have seen the need here with my own eyes.
For us, the question is not ‘why adoption’ or ‘why Africa’ but rather ‘why not?’ We have the room in our home, family, and hearts. We have so much love to give. There are so many without a mother and a father, without a family to call their own. Yes we will excitedly welcome bio children one day, if the Lord so wills (not something we have tried yet). I still dream of bearing a child someday. But, we believe God’s wants us to grow our family FIRST through adoption. It just makes sense for us. The only way I can even begin to explain this intense desire, is HIM. It is from the Lord.

I have been praying for awhile now that God would break my heart with what breaks His. The orphan breaks His heart. It is breaking mine too. My husband and I’s prayer since the day we became one is Psalm 35:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (written on our wedding program). Over the years I have come to understand what this verse really means. When we are delighting in Christ, seeking His Will, His desires for our life will become ours. They will align. We have been praying this scripture throughout our marriage. We have been open to adoption since the beginning of Us, in fact before we were even engaged (we DID have this conversation :-) ) Years later, I believe He is aligning our desires with his, giving us a heart for adoption.

So, this blog is my journal. A place for me to put into words my heart for the orphan… for our future family, our children, until we are at the place where we can officially start the process. My outlet. So for now, this is me. This is my heart.

The journey to our own.