Monday, May 24, 2010

Reflections on our Adoption Journey

This is part two of a series of posts about our how we got started on the road to adoption and some things that we've done along the way that I didn't have time to write about at the time because I was swimming in a sea of paperwork.  You can find the other post here.

In September 2008 I had the opportunity to the Women's ministry fall kick off at The Bible Church of Little Rock.  That was the church we attended when we lived in Little Rock.  During the first evening, I got to talk with a friend that had adopted not one, not two, but three little African-American baby girls after she and her husband had grandchildren.  I told her that James and I were considering adoption and asked if she had any advice.  She was happy to hear that we were thinking about it, and had nothing but good things to share about her own experience.  She asked me if James was "on board" with adopting.  I told her that he was.  She told me that she thought we should do it.  She said that God brought us together for a purpose and that He had placed that desire in our hearts.  Those simple words meant so much.  Those words helped alleviate some of my concerns.

Another thing happened around this same time at the church we were attending in St. Louis.  The senior pastor made an announcement about a family he knew who were adopting from Ethiopia.  I didn't even know you could adopt from Ethiopia at this point, and that is when I starting considering it.

January 18, 2009 we attended a Sanctity of Life service at the same church.  There was a representative from Bethany Christian Services there.  I picked up a few brochures and chatted briefly with the representative.  A few days later we went to a informational meeting for prospective adoptive families.  Our parents knew at this point that we had thought about adoption, but that was it.  We wanted to wait until we felt like we had firmer plans in mind before we shared the news with them.  James' mom called his cell phone just before or just after the meeting.  We were standing in the parking lot.  Part of me wanted to tell her what we were doing, but we knew we should wait.  We didn't want to give our parents false hope for a grandchild.  The meeting was helpful, but we still had a lot to think about.  Information was presented on all of Bethany's adoption programs - international, domestic, and embryo.  We got to hear from moms who had adopted their children through each of those programs.  At this point, we were not sure if we wanted to pursue international or domestic adoption.  We took some packets of information home with us and found out that the next step for international adoption would be to submit a preliminary application to see if we meet the agency's criteria to adopt.

More to come. . .

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