On occasion, I get questions from friends and readers about adoption. I’m always happy to answer them via email, but in case you’ve wondered and never asked, I thought I’d share a few of the most popular questions and answers here.
What agency did you use? We didn’t. At the time, it was fairly easy to do without an agency in Uganda. From my understanding of the situation now, that is no longer the case.
I want to adopt but my spouse isn’t on board. Wait. Adoption is about families, not about one person. Put the matter to prayer, ask for God to change your heart or theirs. But there’s no amount of statistics, preaching, or books that will convince someone who isn’t ready.
I want to adopt but we can’t afford it.
That’s a lie.
I could tell countless stories of God’s provision for families who are brave enough to say “Yes, we’ll adopt.” I could even show you bank statements that would make adoption an actual impossibility. And I can point to their adoptive children and tell you that God is bigger than bank statements.
A few things to keep in mind: there are grants and loans galore available to adoptive families. We received an Abba Fund loan, which is interest free. Furthermore, there is still currently a tax refund for completed adoptions. It takes awhile to see this money, but it comes eventually.
You don’t have to have all the money at once. The expenses come in bits and pieces, a thousand bucks here, another two hundred there. By the time you travel you’ll need a bit more in your pocket, but this is where God often gets a chance to show off. (For proof, refer to our story.)
Strangers and friends alike want to help. Some people care for orphans by adopting, while others stand beside and support with care, money, or prayer. Don’t be afraid to do some fundraising. (P.S. Want to help other adoptive families? Do some shopping on our Home for Christmas list.)
Please hear me: I’m not saying there aren’t legitimate reasons why you can’t adopt. I’m saying money shouldn’t be one of them. And if you can’t adopt, there are so many other ways you can help children find families.
How should we prepare for our adoption?
We found a few other families who were waiting to adopt and formed a small study group. We went through the book “Created to Connect” together. Talking through the book with other families was so helpful because we had a point of reference when we all brought our children back. A simple, “I’m really having a Chapter 8 issue this week” would be enough to let my friends know I needed chocolate STAT.
(The most recent addition to our group arrived on American soil yesterday. Go here to read about it. Take tissue.)
The Created For Care conference I went to this year was great and would have been helpful before we brought Mira home. Just networking with other women on the same journey was very encouraging.
I know many people don’t have access to as many other families who are adopting in their town, but the internet can be used for good! There are facebook groups, blogs, and websites that can connect you to others who can encourage you. I spent hours conversing with people online about Uganda and adoption before we ever filled out a single form. They were able to honestly and lovingly prepare us for the road ahead.
What else do we need to know?
I’ve said it many times but it always bears repeating: Adoption hurts. We need adoption because there is sin in the world. Consequently, the “system” is flawed. It will break your heart. Just because you want to help orphans by bringing home a child doesn’t mean things will go well. In fact, because you care, more than likely, it will feel like everyone and everything is thwarting you.
You will be refined and stretched beyond comfort. There’s no epidural that will get you through the ache of waiting for your child.
The first year after you come home is way harder than you ever imagined. But it isn’t anybody’s fault. It’s simply the by-product of building trust, relationship, and family where there wasn’t any.
Love and hold your children twice as much as you want to. They need it in quadruple.
And then, one day, I promise, you blink and the clouds shift. You don’t feel like an adoptive family any more, you just feel like somebody’s mom, somebody’s dad. All the forms, the plane tickets, the discussions with the embassy, the signatures required… they fade away and all that’s left is family.
And isn’t that the whole point?