Now, that we’ve chosen the agency the next step is to start filling out an application to see if the agency accepts us. The agency we chose is a Christian agency, so they want to be sure that we are a Christian couple. Denomination does not matter and we all know that no one is perfect and a walk with Christ is a life long process , but they want to be sure that we believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God.
The most awkward part in this whole process is filling out the application. They ask you a variety of questions that you never thought you would ever answer in planning for a family. The first major shock is agencies charge different amounts for different races (there are debates about if this is moral or not…but I am just telling you what we learned). We had to really examine how we saw our family and the challenges and triumphs that would come from raising a child from a different culture. Interesting, but relevant conversation. We chose Caucasian with a possibility of a Hispanic mix (since I am half Hispanic it wouldn’t be fair to exclude that race). Culture is something that you really have to pray about and accept the responsibity in raising a child. Many parents choose International adoption for this very reason. Some families have a heart for children of a certain country or for saving a child from a life in an orphanage.
I am still praying about this, but there are times I feel selfish in my adoption. I’ve read many books and have had many people talk about God’s calling to take care of the orphans, but I don’t see that in my situation. I am not adopting a special needs child that is unwanted, I am not adopting an older child that was abandoned, I don’t have kids of my own and want to give another child a better life…we are unable to get pregnant and we are growing our family through adoption. I have been praying about God to speak to my heart about this so I ask for your prayers as well.
Back to my original topic, so after identifying the racial criteria of your adoption you go next to the special circumstances of your adoption. This is the crazy part. You place a check next to each circumstance that you are willing to accept. Would you accept: a father in jail, a mother in jail, known mental disorders, marijuana use, cocaine use, heroine use, smoking while pregnant, drinking while pregnant, history of abuse etc. Very strange to place checks or leave off checks for those circumstances, but the more open you are to the fact that not all pregnancies are planned and perfect the more likely an adoption will work for you.
At the end of the day, you have to accept that the birthmom may or may not know who the father is and the father may or may not be involved in her life. You hope she is honest about her past and histories, but there are no guarantees and you have to accept that fact. Ideally, she came to the agency early and is receiving prenatal care, but not always. You may get a long detailed list of both sides medical histories or you may get nothing. In this situation, you have to put your hope and trust in God and accept that her situation is not perfect, but she would not be here if it was. The ideal is to get to know the birth mom and as you grow in your relationship then you grow in your trust. The trust will bring her to share details that she may not have shared otherwise.
So, Step Two filling out the application was a very surreal process, but it forced us to be real with what we are doing in choosing to adopt a child. In short, your being is not made up of the mistakes you have made and we have all made some mistakes or done some things we wished we had not. Same goes for these women. Life happens and we must accept it and not define them by it, but know it may influence the life of the child they are carrying. We can only hope that they are brave enough to be honest even though on paper it may not be pretty.
The good news is: writing this portion of the blog has really forced me to pray about what God is teaching me through this. My first inclination was to call my girlfriends and get their advice, but then I felt the calling to tell Him about it and pray for wisdom. This whole process has been about God’s will and God’s wisdom and if at any time we are not following Him obediently to stop the process immediately. Thoughts like today give me cold feet: are we using the right agency, should we keep trying to get pregnant, are we paying too much, should we just accept we won’t have kids, etc….but, these thoughts also bring me closer to God as I pray to Him for revelation and guidance.