oday we welcome new contributor Dara to the blog.
A year after I had a miscarriage, I received an email from one of the adoption agencies we had recently applied with. There were details in the email about an expectant mother who wanted to make an adoption plan for her baby girl who would be born soon, and the agency asked if we wanted to present our profile book to her. Both my husband and I felt drawn to present our profile book to this expectant mom, and we felt our little saint in heaven helping us with this decision. After we told the agency we wanted to proceed, we went about our busy lives, but we were both anxious to hear if we would be chosen.
My husband and I had talked about adoption before marriage (I highly recommend every couple explore their thoughts and feelings on this subject before their wedding). We both agreed that we were very open to it. We could love and raise a child who did not share our genes. When we struggled to conceive for years and then had a miscarriage, we knew that God was leading us to domestic infant adoption.
When we started the process, it was like a weight was lifted off of our shoulders. Infertility and miscarriage were very painful. We felt tremendous hope again as we began to plan for a baby to join our family. We also took time to research about adoption ethics. We wanted to make sure that we worked with agencies and attorneys who treated expectant moms and dads with respect and dignity and offered them resources if they decided they wanted to parent.
A few weeks after we presented our profile book, right before Christmas, we got a call that changed our lives – we were chosen! It was the best Christmas gift. We got to talk on the phone with the expectant mom and her family, and it was wonderful to get to know them a bit. While we were excited, we also knew that this decision was not a final one. After the birth, the expectant mom would have time to think about and process her decision again. If she changed her mind, she had every right to do that. We were simply an option until the signing of paperwork was completed a few days after birth.
When we received the call that the baby was going to be arriving soon, we drove to the airport and flew several states away to get to the hospital. When we finally arrived after midnight, seeing the baby, who was about to become our daughter, as she was brought into the hospital room was an incredible, life-changing moment. From the moment my husband and I saw her, we were ready to hug and kiss her, feed her, change her diapers, comfort her, and parent her with a fierce and protective love. This is adoption, and adoption is love!
We honor our daughter’s birth mom every day for the incredible sacrifice, bravery and love she showed in putting her child’s needs ahead of her own. We know it was a very painful and difficult choice that she made out of love. We enjoy sending her updates, and she greatly appreciates receiving them (Most adoptions are open now at the birth mother’s request, as opposed to closed as they were in the past). My daughter has many family members all over who love and care about her, and she will grow up knowing that.
Although not everyone who experiences infertility will be called to adopt, if you have adoption on your heart as a possible way to parenthood, start by being open to exploring, learning, and seeing where God leads you. Counseling can be helpful if you are still processing the wounds of infertility and exploring your thoughts about adoption. Adoption is its own calling, and it has its own unique challenges. It is true that in a perfect world, infertility and adoption would not exist. Every married couple who desires children would have them, and mothers and fathers would raise their biological children. But out of the brokenness of this world, God works in our lives when we allow Him to, and good can come out of difficult situations.
I recommend that you read books on adoption, take online courses, join support groups, and best of all – talk to others who have adopted or who are adoptees themselves! When you start the process, you want to be “all in” for your future child! There are several avenues you can explore such as:
- International adoption
- Domestic infant adoption (either through self-matching or using a consultant and/or agency or an attorney)
- Adoption of an older child in foster care whose parental rights have or will be terminated upon an adoptive family being selected
It is true that adoption is not an easy path to pursue (which is why hearing “You should just adopt!” during infertility is so painful). Wait times can be long, it can be costly, adoption plans can fail after the birth, and children can have struggles as they grow. But the decision to adopt changed our lives forever in the most beautiful way, and we wouldn’t change a thing. Every day our daughter makes us smile, and we are so happy she is with us. We made her an adoption book with her story, and she loves to look through it. She is a smart, caring little girl who is growing so fast, and we are very proud of her!
If you have experienced the pain of infertility and miscarriage and are now discerning adoption, please know my prayers are with you. I wish you God’s peace in your decisions. Always remember: “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).
Dara lives in the Northeast with her husband of five years and one year old daughter.