Monday, November 25, 2013

in response to a friend expressing trepidation about the difficulties of adopting

Adoption can definitely be slow, expensive, and heart breaking in varying degrees depending on the route (international, state/foster, or domestic infant), and other individual circumstances.
 the question is -what is your motivation? what is it that you want and how much do you want it? is it about/for you? or is the paramount agenda is to provide a family for a child/children? what i've learned on MY adoption path is very much applicable to those on the receiving end; it isn't about me. i can put the well being of another above my own. i can do hard things and i'm better for it. when you are on the Lord's errand (the commandment to care for the orphan and fatherless) He does not leave us hangin, He qualifies and magnifies us, covers our inadequacies and makes us equal to the task, He provides the resources for our success, He compensates for our hurts and losses, He teaches and refines us through them.
" Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God....And if it so be that you should labor all your days.... and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him..." "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." "When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?....Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." these children are our brothers and sisters and we are charged to be our brother's keeper and "the Lord giveth no commandment save he shall prepare a way". "never take counsel from your fears".
i was lucky, i didn't have the option to have the bitter cup that i was served pass from me. i would have missed the sweetest deserts. whatever we put on the alter the Lord remembers and He somehow makes us grateful for what we never thought we could be. we look back and realize that even inspite of the suffering and the cost, we were blessed and wouldn't have it any other way. "whosoever will lose his life shall find it".
being a parent at all, even a sister, aunt, etc can be expensive and heartbreaking. mortality is expensive, slow, and heartbreaking. but it is also full of joy, love, help, learning, etc. "blessed are they that mourn", "for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet". i love convenience and ease but i know it's a waste of mortality if we hang out there too long. we have to remember eternal perspective in these things. the end result is worth any cost. to wait yrs, to be disappointed along the way, and to spend our earthly money... it's nothing to providing the covenant, a family, the gospel, hope, and a future to one of our brothers or sisters in addition to the advantage to us to expand our family.
but honestly in many cases, it is a fairy-tale and a joy filled riot. whatever it is, it's good for us. "all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.", "be not a weary in b well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great", "let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance... for his arm to be revealed.

international typically takes the longest and costs the most which is such a shame and largely the result of greed and corruption. i think it is also the most needed. there are an estimated 153 million orphans worldwide. when they age out at 15, as far too many do, the incidences of suicide, prostitution, and criminal behavior are terrifying. depending on the country and institution where they are housed, most are subjected to some degree of abuse or atleast neglect. obviously children adopted internationally often have challenges as a result. state/foster adoption is the cheapest route. the state generally covers all costs and often will even continue some support after finalization. circumstances vary so widely in this type of adoption in regard to age, wait time, and any issues the child may have. there are now and always in every state children available for foster-adoption. obviously the young ones go fast and the old ones wait. thousands are in group hoes or institutions because no home is available. each year, over 27,000 kids “age out” of foster care, the majority of which will face homelessness, unemployment, criminal activity, substance abuse, and government dependence. having been removed from their first homes due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment and 55% experiencing 3 or more placements previous to being adopted, these children may have varying degrees of issues. most couples who have limited or no ability to conceive (the numbers continue to climb) pursue domestic infant adoption as their main motivation may be a parent (which is also a righteous desire) and not necessarily to rescue a child. 11% of women in the US have impaired or no ability to conceive yet less than 1% of unwed pregnancies result in an adoption. this is why the wait. i've seen couples selected within a couple months of approval and i've seen some wait 11 yrs. this is on top of the time and grief most go through previously in fertility treatments. cost varies between 15,000-30,000 depending on whether you go agency or private and what agency or lawyer you chose. children adopted within the first 6 months of life, barring any abuse or neglect do as well as their peers in every area and do better than children of single parents. particularly now that 95% of adoptions are open in some form and adoptive parents are so well screened and prepared. one increasing difficulty with this route is adoption scammers who pretend to be pregnant or really are but play several families. also even with a legitimate birthmom, there's no guarantee that once selected and before relinquishment she won't change her mind. there is vulnerability and uncertainty to be sure.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


when i carried and delivered Debbie's son, i did for her what she couldn't do for herself.
when Debbie gave to him all of her preparation, the sealing covenant, and a good father, she gave him what i couldn't.
now, i find that a stroke has taken her personality and much of her mental function.
she can't tell him how amazing and good and handsome he is. she can't counsel and comfort him.
i'm once again heart broken and scared to death. because once again it's my turn.
i am always here for her boy. i ask the Lord to hear my pleas for him on her behalf as well.
i hope when we reach the other side, she is as pleased with what i did with my part as i am with what she has done with hers.
i am intimidated. i know i can never fill her shoes and i would never try. he is hers forever. but i will love him for her as she loved him for me.