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Yep, you read that correctly. After 11 years of marriage, Paul and I are in the process of being approved as adoptive parents!
Adoption has always been on our hearts. I was deeply impacted by several precious foster children that I encountered while serving in various ministries in my early 20’s. We went into our marriage knowing that it would be unlikely for us to have biological children and always kept our hearts open to the possibility of adoption.
This summer the Lord made His will abundantly clear and gave us the desire to share our home with a child through adoption. Adoption (as well as foster care) is near and dear to our hearts, as this is the avenue through which the Lord brought my sister’s twin boys into our family!
We’ve seen first hand the blessing that it brought to our extended family. We know there is grief, heartache and difficulty in adoption, but there is also immeasurable love and joy.
This might raise a few questions in your mind – so here is a Q&A that may help:
I thought you didn’t want kids?
We have always been really happy as a family of two! It will be a major adjustment for both of us, but we are excited to invite a child to join our happy (although imperfect) family. Paul is great with kids and has a unique ability to connect with people. I love being an Auntie, which has been a major factor in opening our hearts to adoption.
Adoption day for my nephews!
This post goes live on our 11th anniversary. One of the songs we chose to be sung at our wedding says this, “God chose to make a family of you and me, so we could be a light to the world.” For us, adoption is more about the gospel and how God’s Word has changed our hearts than it is about our desires for our lives.
Paul with our nephews this summer
Are you adopting a baby?
We believe the Lord wants us to bring an older child into our home, so we have applied to adopt a child between 8-14 years old. We are also open to siblings!
Are you using an adoption agency?
We are adopting through our state’s Department of Social Services (DSS), which means we will adopt a child who is currently in the foster care system. DSS looks for the best family for each child who is eligible for adoption and will match us to a child.
Is it expensive to adopt through DSS?
Not necessarily. Most adoptions from foster care only require paying court fees. The costs associated with our type of adoption are mostly related to things we have to purchase for our home inspection (fire extinguisher, specific smoke detectors, first aid kit, etc.) and then the things our child will need when they join our family.
What’s the difference between foster care and adoption?
Foster care is a temporary placement where the ultimate goal is for the child to be reunified with their birth parents. Adoption is permanent – the child will legally become a member of our family. We will adopt a child who is currently in foster care but who doesn’t have the ability to be reunified with their birth parents.
How do children end up in foster care?
Children are in foster care through no fault of their own. Their birth parents were unable and/or unwilling to take the steps necessary to safely reunify with their children, causing their parental rights to be terminated. Sometimes the birth parents surrender their rights voluntarily, realizing that is the best choice for their child.
Do foster children have lots of issues?
Adoption always includes loss, grief and pain. There is an element of risk in adoption – we don’t know the trauma or heartache they have previously endured. It’s important to remember that there’s no guarantee that any child, biological or adopted, will turn out a certain way.
We are not their savior, but we can point them to the Savior. We all need Him. “What better way to share the good news of Christ than that the unwanted are placed in homes where they will hear the gospel?” (Russell Moore, Adopted For Life)
Will you need special training to know how to help your child?
DSS requires many hours of what is called “pre-service training.” We participated in several Zoom trainings where we learned about foster care, trauma, and many other factors that may affect our child. We plan to continue educating ourselves as much as possible once we know more about their specific situation and needs.
All set up for a day of pre-service training
How long does the adoption process take?
Adoption from foster care usually takes 9 months to a year. We began our application process in July 2021 and are praying that we’ll have a child in our home by the spring of 2022.
What’s the next step in your process?
We have completed all the paperwork and all the training, and we passed our first home inspection last week! Now we are waiting for our adoption investigation interviews to be scheduled. It’s a follow up and wait game right now.
How can we help?
Please pray! Pray for the DSS workers who handle our paperwork, for the inspectors who come into our home, for us as we wait and prepare, and for the child or children that God will place in our family. We don’t want to wait until it’s all said and done to give God praise for this. He is worthy to be trusted and He is worthy to be praised!
As I said in the beginning – we are in the process of being approved as adoptive parents. It’s certainly not a done deal. Please pray with us that our hearts will continue to be in tune with God’s will for our family. Our prayer has been that we could adopt “so that your way may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” (Psalm 67:2).
“When we adopt, we are a picture of something that is true about our God. We look at the Father and we do what He is doing. And what He is doing is fighting for orphans, making them sons and daughters.
The decision making process regarding adoption has to recognize the goodness of God’s purposes, both over the universe in general and in your life in particular. God is at work writing a big story centered on Christ Jesus. If you’re in Christ, God is at work directing your little story to fit into the plot of His big story. God may be preparing you to be the kind of people who can display Christ to a younger generation.” (Adopted For Life)
Following others like Crystal Paine and Courtney Collingsworth Metz in their adoption and foster care journeys has influenced the way we think about adoption. I want to do the same for you! Feel free to ask questions – I’ll do my best to answer them. I will share updates as things progress!