It has been almost a year since we first announced to the world that we were hoping to adopt. We went at it alone, without the use of an agency, ready to put the power of social media to use to help us find our little girl. We built an online adoption profile explaining our desires to adopt and introducing our family to anyone who would take the time to click on our page. Our profile has seen more than 6,200 visits from people in more than twenty countries. Clearly, our efforts have been blessed.
Navigating this journey to find our little girl has required a lot of faith and trust. Our first leap of faith was trusting the feeling that it was time to grow our family through adoption. Prior to this step, my husband and I thought we were done having kids. The youngest of our children was potty-trained, we were out of diapers, we were done with car seats. To sign up for an adoption journey was to switch gears completely, but the moment we signed on – the blessings poured in. We felt the support of friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers who welcomed us into the adoption community. I saw this support as positive reinforcement that we were on the right path.
Looking at the possible costs of adoption, another leap of faith was required. A year ago, my husband was still in dental school and we were living off of financial aid. We started our fundraising efforts with a yard sale and were overwhelmed by the generosity of those around us. We quickly raised the funds needed to pay for our home study. Our boys wanted to get involved with the fundraising efforts and they are now selling t-shirts to help cover adoption fees. Again, we are feeling blessed by the support of those around us.
As we travel this journey with faith and trust packed in our carry-ons, we are occasionally jostled by doubt. While I am sure that we are taking the steps necessary to find the right little girl for our family, it is difficult to transfer that knowledge to others. How should we respond when someone asks, “you don’t feel guilty for taking someone’s baby?” I don’t always know how to explain why we feel that a newborn is going to join our family when there are so many wonderful children waiting for homes in foster care. It was especially difficult to turn down an adoption opportunity in Haiti, just because it didn’t feel right for our family. Trusting in our own inspiration is fairly easy; explaining it to others is much more arduous.
The truth is that everyone’s adoption journey is unique. We have the possibility of an adoption opportunity on the horizon for us; it is merely a possibility at this point, and the risk of heartbreak is substantial. This particular situation may involve court disputes over custody. We might have a beautiful open adoption or we might have a birth mother whose rights were taken away from her. The road down this particular path is extremely bumpy and full of risks.
“So, why even go down this road?” some ask. Again, we try to explain that we feel inspired to do so. There is no compass for those on the path to adoption; we follow our hearts and rely on our faith. I cannot speak about any experience but my own, but I imagine that everyone’s journey to adoption (or one’s journey to parenthood of any kind) requires some trusting in what their heart tells them. A very wise man once said, “doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”
For now, we strap on the armor of courage and try to build enough strength to guard our hearts against the storm ahead of us. The best counsel that I have received from those who have sought to share their wisdom was this: “be all in! Whatever you do, be all in.” There may be hurdles or even mountains to overcome on our path to adoption, but we are certainly not turning around at the first sign of cloudy skies. We are not tip-toeing towards this destination – we are running full steam ahead towards the little girl that will someday be ours.