This was a big week for us in telling people our "news". We had several really good talks with close family and friends, and made it a little more public knowledge at church (with only a small group present, but still.) The word is out (for the most part.) And again, most of the feedback we've gotten has been really positive. It made my heart glad to hear someone close to me use the word "excited."
For those of you that are following this because you're interested in doing this one day, here are some of the questions we've gotten and our answers to them.
1. Why do you want to adopt?
The biggest reason is because "the Bible tells me so." God commands Christians to care for widows and orphans. It's pretty clear. Now, do I think that means that every Christian should adopt? No. But all Christians should be CARING for orphans. Praying, supporting, encouraging, giving monetarily towards orphan care and adoption, and so on. We want to adopt because we feel called to do so.
2. How do you know you're "called"? Or what makes you think that you're "called"?
Through much prayer, years of discussion amongst ourselves and those close to us, we see God's direction in this. We feel very strongly that God has laid this upon our hearts and put us on this path. Could we be wrong? Of course we could. But if we are, then God will direct us and change our plans.
3. How long have you been talking about this? And why NOW?
We have talked about adopting since we were dating. I don't know which of us brought it up, but we both agreed that we could see ourselves adopting at some point. We both thought that point would be later in our marriage and family, but our plans and ideas changed. We want more kids. We don't think our quiver is full. We feel that God has given us the ability to love, care, and train many children. Part of it IS not wanting to be pregnant again, but part of it us just plain faith. We want to do it now because we want any children we adopt to be a part of this family. And this family has kids close in age. I don't want any more reasons for an adopted child to feel different, there will be enough already.
4. How will you care for and provide for them?
By the grace of God. How do you do anything? If we are waiting to be 100% financially confident before we add to our family then we would never add to our family. We would never have had children to begin with. You can't be truly ready for something until it's necessary and in your lap. We trust that God will provide for us as He always has. We trust that God will give us the grace, patience, understanding, wisdom, and peace to handle whatever children He has ordained for our family. And we trust that faithfulness to Him will be rewarded.
5. You already have 5 little kids...how can you even think of taking on more?
People with one or two children are busy. People with 5 (or more) aren't really any busier. Life is busy. There's always laundry, and cooking, and cleaning, and grocery shopping. Doing it for 7 people may take a little more time, but it's not exponential. Shopping for 8 doesn't take twice the time as shopping for 4. And feeding 8 doesn't cost twice as much. We already hand everything down. Handing down even more just makes it a better value!
6. Aren't you afraid of getting a kid with special needs?
Each one of my five children is different. They are who they are because God made them that way and He put them in our family. Adopting is no different. God will place children in our family and equip us to handle whatever needs they have. We don't treat all of our children the same way anyway. Some are better at one thing, some are worse at another. We treat them according to age and ability. And we will do the same with any adopted children. Does that mean we are seeking out a child with severe special needs? No. With 5 other children already in our home, we don't think it wise to jump into caring for a child who can't care for themselves at all. But the reality is that many children in CPS custody will have some form of "special need". Some form of therapy will likely be needed. And we will cross that bridge when we get to it. Adoption is no different than pregnancy in this way. I could just as easily give birth to a child with a wide array of special needs. I've always refused the triple screen test for one reason. It wouldn't change anything. Me knowing that my child was going to be born with down syndrome wouldn't change the fact that it's my child and that he is made in the image of God. And if I gave birth to that child, God would equip me to handle all that it entails. And likewise with adoption. If anything, we will be more prepared.
I'll answer more questions later. But for now suffice it to say that we are taking a leap of faith. A BIG leap of faith. We have made this decision. We are following our faith in this. We are trusting the Lord for our family. God doesn't call us to do what's easy. He calls us to follow Him. From where we sit and from the view we've got, we are following Him. We pray that He will direct our path and lead us in righteousness.
Tonight we are meeting with a lady from Buckner, a Christian foster care and adoption agency. Please pray that our meeting would go well and that we would have a clear path to follow.