Friday, September 2, 2011

A whole lot to process

Bright and early this morning Jeremy and I headed to meet with our adoption worker at the agency. After almost two hours of talking through the process, and more details about the adoption situations we are open to considering. This led to more conversation about the leap of faith adoptive parents take any time they bring a drug exposed infant home. There can be minimal long-term effects or severe ones, and there is not a way to tell. Infants can often experience withdrawal symptoms which take extra time, effort and care to keep comfortable as their little bodies clean the drugs out.

This will (most likely) be our reality. This is our truth. It's a harsh one. And one that may slow our process for a while. We want a family but we are still working to surrender to the less than perfect reality that we face through adoption.

We truly believe that God has a plan, and more specifically, God has a child in mind for us. Our agency can tell us that the majority of the children they place have some exposure to drugs or alcohol, but perhaps we will be matched with a child that has not. Or perhaps our child will not come to us through our agency. Perhaps it will be a connection made from friends or family in another location who connect us with someone they know who is wanting to make an adoption plan. Perhaps we would actually conceive and have a successful pregnancy? Perhaps letting my thoughts linger on all the 'what-if's' allows me the freedom not to face this present reality.

We could be fortunate and be blessed with a child through adoption that has no medical issues but a part of me keeps thinking, "why should we be so lucky?" Clearly there are many babies coming into the world struggling with drug withdrawal, and many couples wanting to have children. Why should we get a healthy baby? We have resources that perhaps make us more equipped in some ways to care for a child who will have physical or emotional struggles, in the short term, or even long term.

I just don't want to.

I know that even if we had a baby of our own they could have issues that we have no control over. But usually the people offering that comfort are people who have had biological children that have not been born with any special needs or struggles. So yes, I know that there are no guarantees, but it seems easier to get my head around caring for a child that we have created who has a struggle that we could have done nothing to prevent than to knowingly open ourselves up to a child that had been exposed to drugs and could suffer lifelong consequences because of that. It's selfish I know. But I want the chance to raise a healthy child. I know that many people who adopt children have just that. But the wait for a healthy baby could leave us childless for many years to come.

My heart is heavy with this decision. The peace and confidence I had felt when we started this journey is fading, and I want it back. I need Jesus to reach down and squeeze my hand, to tell me he is here, to reveal what we should do next. I hope that if God was asking us to take on a child with special needs we would be obedient. It would be a hard. But when you have than sense of God's calling and God's purpose coming to be it can be easier to step out in faith. Right now I am just afraid. I do not feel as though we sense God's specific call or direction in our adoption. So where do we go from here? I am afraid to take the next step, but equally afraid to stay put.

Do we abandon our dream of having an infant for the dream of having a healthy child through international adoption? Or do we move forward in our domestic infant adoption and accept that our child may not be healthy or do we wait and and hope that we get chosen by a women who has taken good care of herself and her child during pregnancy? Would I feel blessed by that last outcome, or feel guilty that another couple would lose that chance? It would be a mixed blessing for sure.

This whole adoption process is dragging my faith across the coals. Its pulling the very core of who I though I was along with it.

My sense of entitlement is glaring, my idealism and desire for control becoming clearer through every conversation. I don't like this, I don't like who I am in the midst of this process. I hope that God continues to refine me, my hopes, my dreams and my heart to be all that he desires. Because I know that as I draw closer to Him he will give me the desires of my heart. (Psalm 37:4) I know that his plans are to give me a future and a hope, not to destroy me.(Jeremiah 29:11)

I just want so much to be on the other side of all of this. To have my family, to have our children in our arms to know the little ones we will love and care for and not just be thinking of them as a set of criteria. I want to be on the other side looking back. I want to be telling the story of how it all happened, not living it. It hurts.

To God be the glory, great things he has done.

Lord, please give me your grace. I really, really need it.


  1. Its a hard reality isnt it, scary even? The little one we are trying to adopt went through many of the things you talk about in this post and more. The first year of his life was rough, but he is determined and such a happy baby, even with everything he has gone through. Luckily he had an amazing foster mom that cared for him.

  2. It frustrates me to no end when people say "why don't you just adopt?" Adoption is a big leap and a scary one and full of tough decisions and very unique difficulties. I hope you're able to find peace in whatever you decide and I know it will all be worth it when you have your precious little one.

  3. I can relate. By far, the most difficult part of our home study process was having to determine which types of situations we would be open to, and which ones we wouldn't. It is very difficult to discern the right path. You are right that if you had a biological child, there are many complications that could come into play, and many special needs that a child could have. That is true in any situation. But some situations, especially those involving drugs and alcohol, are riskier than others.

    As we have navigated these muddy waters, I have concluded that it's okay to say that some situations are for us and some aren't. Maybe there are challenges we're not equipped or willing to face.

    We ended up leaving things pretty open with our agency. There are certain types of situations we are comfortable with and others where we would like them to contact us to explain the details before we make a decision about being shown.

    Wishing you peace in your journey. You are not a bad or weak person for struggling with these questions. They are very difficult, and it is only natural that you want the best possible outcome for your family.



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