PJ and I have both been interested in adoption since before we met. As we dated and looked towards marriage, we both hoped that the Lord would provide the opportunity to adopt at some point in the future. Throughout the last year, it became clear to us that God wanted to add to our family through adoption first, rather than later.
Let's go ahead and answer the number one question we get asked, “why aren’t you just having a baby?” We are certainly open to having biological children; it just hasn’t happened yet. We both felt convicted to not spend large amounts of time and money trying to force a pregnancy (as if we have that power!) when God has provided both a heart for adoption and the means to adopt.
Disclaimer: this is NOT a judgment against those who put great effort into becoming pregnant. I have close friends and family members who are there now or have been there before. I know it can be a long, painful road. And adoption is not for every person at every time, nor is it a “solution” to infertility. Seek the Lord. His goodness and mercies never fail, even when we don’t know what His plans are.
When I started to seriously look into adoption this past summer, all of my efforts were focused on infant adoptions. I LOVE babies, and I assumed that we would want to start our family in the most “normal” way possible—with a baby.
I spent many hours on the websites of several recommended adoption agencies that facilitate infant adoptions. I read story after sweet story of adoptive families who got to bring home precious little ones. I pictured us in an adoption fairy tale, holding our newborn baby and forming a close relationship with the birth mom. I downloaded agency applications. And yet, I never felt comfortable filling out the initial paperwork or contacting any agencies. I assumed that it just wasn’t the right time and that my baby fever would kick in again soon, prompting the start of the process.
We also looked into international adoption. We met with a couple who had recently brought their infant son home from Ethiopia. I was really excited about the opportunity to travel to new places with this type of adoption. However, when we started the process, we found out that both parents had to be 25 to file an initial form with our government. This meant that the approximately eighteen-month adoption process would be an extra year longer for us, leading to a two-and-a-half year minimum. This was a longer process than we wanted to enter into, so we kept waiting and looking for the right path for our family.
Early in the fall semester, PJ told me that one of his professors had adopted children from the state CPS system, and he asked me to look into it. I told him that I wasn’t interested. He asked me again…and again…and again. Finally, I went to the website in an effort to shut him up and prove that this wasn’t for us. After all, I wanted a baby. Instead, God got ahold of my heart and showed me that this really was what He had for us! I read through the basic requirements for adoptive parents and found them to be quite unrestrictive. And then I found the website with pictures and profiles of kiddos ready to be adopted…oh man. I spent over an hour clicking through this site, looking at child after child who needed a family. Umm…can we have all of them? I was sold. (You can visit the Texas site here.)
We attended an informational meeting in September which explained the process and provided a list of agencies in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. After narrowing down the list to those that fit our requirements, I called several. I basically picked our agency based on who called me back and had opportunities to start our required training hours quickly. The agency we chose, Covenant Kids, called me back the next day and had a new training schedule beginning two weeks later.
We have had no doubts that adopting through the foster system is the right way for us to add to our family. It is out of the ordinary and will certainly come with many unique challenges, but we are willing to face what’s ahead and are so excited to get matched with a case!