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Why we are "still" adopting

Since announcing my pregnancy, there have been many questions that I thought could come, and I had prepared answers to these, ready to give a well thought out answer.  Thankfully, no one was so bold or curious as to ask.  Yet still, in case anyone is wondering, I thought I would answer one question.  Why are you still adopting?  Some people did come close to asking. Or, at least, they gave indications that, in their opinion, it would be best if we didn't.  And, I think if this were our first adoption, I may have been more nervous to proceed.  And, if our sole purpose to adopt was simply to fill a desire to have more children, then we would probably have stopped the adoption.  But, that is simply not the case.  Although we love our children and are happy to have more, we were pretty content with our three boys.  But, we knew God was calling us to adoption.  There was more behind our yes to adoption than just simply wanting to have more children (that more will be covered in a moment).

So, why are we still adopting?

Here is my answer:

(Before I get to the actual numbered reasons, I want to clarify something.  We love TJ as if he were our son, 100% , already.  And when you love your child, you want what is best for him/her; even if it is painful or hurts you.  We want what is best for TJ; even if that means we are not what is best for him.  And after we found out we were having a baby, we prayed, and talked, and prayed and talked some more about what is best for TJ.  Was our family still what was best for him?  And, our answer, again, and again, was yes. We still firmly believe that our family is what is best for TJ, even with a little sister coming right after him.  The reasons below, are my answers after answering the most important question . . . . What is best for TJ?)


1.  He is our son. Period.

I am going to let you in on a little secret.  Do you know what my first thought was as I held the positive pregnancy test in my hand?  I cannot leave Thomas Joseph in China!  And those were the first words I said to Pete when I told him we were having a baby (I didn't exactly get the "best way to share the news with your spouse" award on this one).  I was panicked that we would lose Thomas.  That I would lose my son.  I know families who have adopted get this.  You see a photo and you just know that you are looking at the face of your child.  God has shown up again and again in our process to adopt Thomas and it is hard to refute that he is our son.  God set something in motion on October 30, 2014; the day I met TJ.  It was like He whispered in my ear a promise, yet that promise was not fully revealed until 6 months later.

And because he is our son, I would fight for him (and already have too).  The change in our family does not change the fact that he is our son.  And so, we still work to get him home.

2.  We feel God is calling us to adopt Thomas Joseph

No explanation necessary on this one.

3. 147 Million Oprhans

You can find different numbers for this, as no one can really know truly how many orphans there are in the world, but there are anywhere from 147-163 million orphans around the word.  China reports that there are 576,000 orphans in their care in the social welfare system alone.  These children need families.

Children need families.

Thomas needs a family.

Adoption is hard and broken and beautiful all at the same time.  Pete and I are far from perfect.  We are far from perfect parents and fail our children more than we would like.  But, that is all a part of parenting and being a family.  We are not better suited for this journey than you are.  But, we feel called and I believe that God has given us the grace to walk this beautiful and broken road.  We are walking it with Felicity, we will walk it again with Thomas.  And I would gladly say yes to adopting again, if called.

I often say a short phrase to my boys, "See a need. Fill it."  I started using this phrase with them when they were complaining that I was asking them to do chores that weren't their "normal" chores.  But, we have also had long discussions about this idea and how we should look for ways to help others too.  Adoption is a need that God has opened our eyes to and we are filling it.  I do not mind days at clinics, researching doctors who are best suited for our children's special needs.  I do not mind working at different therapies with the kiddos.  There are moments that I get the sense that God is equipping us with all we need to walk these roads with our special needs kiddos.  And, in a way, I like it.  Getting a first row seat to transformation, to redemption is pretty powerful and special.  And with this in mind . . .


4.  You get far more than you give.  

We may give a lot, sacrifice a lot to adopt and parent an adopted child.  But, the reward is far more precious.  We do not do it because of that, but it is a beautiful side benefit.  It is found in the little moments.  The boys, holding Felicity's hand, guiding her.  It is when she kisses us good night or begs for her brother to read to her before bed.  It is her screaming "Yaya" (Her version of Dada) when Pete comes home and running into his arms as the door opens.  These moments are so special and the blessings of them are indescribable.

5. There is no "line" waiting to adopt children like Thomas.

Thomas is a boy with a heart condition.  Those are two strikes.  And the older her gets, the closer he gets to getting his third strike.  Truthfully, we were not even open to adopting a child like him when we adopted Felicity.  But, God opened our eyes and heart.  Upon reading his file the first time, my initial reaction was NO.  But, after seeking several doctors' advice, we know that right now he is healthy and doing really well.  We are aware that he may need surgery in the future.  We have discussed the fact that although he could live a healthy, happy, long life, we know that he may not.  We know we could outlive him.  But, for the years we have with him, we want to him to experience the joys of being a part of a family.  

6. There is always room for more

I LOVE my kids.  Each is a special gift and I cannot imagine not having each and every one of them.  We live in a small house.  A house that feels smaller with each addition and as the boys grow.  But there is always room for more.  More love. More laughter.  We may not fit in our van any more, and we may feel maxed out in our home when TJ and the baby arrive, but somehow, if God calls us, I think we would gladly make room for more. 

Finally, I have worried about how Felicity and Thomas will handle a baby in the home.  I have worried they will feel replaced somehow or feel threatened.  And I guess that may even be something families worry about when they have another biological child too.  But, when I have prayed about all of this, I also get a sense of hope.  Hope, that in some way, being able to witness, first hand,  a baby coming into a family and being welcomed into a family, will be healing for them.  Maybe I am wrong, but I pray that for them.  I pray that being a witness to how the birth of a baby should be if our world weren't so broken, will be healing to a child who was born and then abandoned.

We welcome Thomas into our family with joy.  We cannot wait for him to come home and become a son, a little brother and a big brother all in a short time!  

So, if you were wondering why in the world we would still adopt with a baby on the way, this is why.


Comments

  1. I had no doubt that you would continue to adopt TJ. My only curiosity is that I'm guessing while you are open to having more kids, the actual new pregnancy caught you way off guard and surprised. I'm excited to hear that story and how you told your husband and kids. I agree with you on how Felicity and TJ will react to a new baby. I'm certain it will be healing for them as well. Have you picked out a name for the new baby? I remember your posts about coming up with Felicity's and TJ"s names.

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