Tuesday Topic: What Led You to Adopt?

This week’s Tuesday Topic comes from Amy.  I read it and thought hmm…maybe I haven’t asked this simple question.

Amy asked:

“What led you to decide to adopt?” We have rolled this decision around and around in our heads for years now. I pray more often than I can tell you, yet have not gone forward or let it go. I’m curious as to how others came to the understanding that adoption was meant for their family.

This should be a good question for many of you, and if you’ve never responded to a Tuesday Topic, this is your big chance!  Jump in, we’re a generally friendly bunch, and  I would love to hear your stories.

~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Kerrie
    April 13, 2010

    It was God. There's no other explanation. We planned to foster and adopt "someday," but I badly wanted one more biological baby. We just never had one. When my husband suggested we start the licensing process in six months, I thought, meh. Then I started to get excited. We started the process earlier than we planned. Over the months, the desire to have another biological child faded. Then it was gone; and I mean completely. Within six months we had submitted our paperwork. Our license was then expedited (and changed) to accommodate three fabulous girl. Our only placement.

    Reply
  2. Wolfemom
    April 13, 2010

    We knew God was calling us to adopt but had no idea who, how, or any other details. God had made it clear to us as a family. (Let me back up and say, we had felt this call before. Ten years earlier we had pursued adoption and foster care. We went to an introductory class but after decided our children at home were too young and it wasn't the right time.) Now, we began getting daily emails or snail mail about the plight of the orphan. It lasted for weeks until finally I talked to my husband about it. He was supportive but I'm not sure he knew he was being called. For the next few weeks, God revealed the idea to him as well. It was crazy. People would bring up adoption wherever we went, even the check out clerk at the grocery store. The final straw was when my husband took me to the post office to send a package to his mother. He waited in the car and wondered why it was taking me so long. When I came out I told him how the clerk went on and on about adoption… her husband was an orphan, her best friend and her 2 siblings were adopted, etc. I asked my husband what he thought all of this meant to which he replied… I think you need to stay out of the post office! 🙂 Shortly after we contacted an adoption agency. They asked what our interest was… from embryo adoption, to infant, to older child, to domestic, to international… We told them they needed to ask God because we were just following the call but had no idea. We stepped out on faith and very soon God revealed His plan for us. I believe that is how it happens… you say yes before the plan is revealed. I often wish God would show us His plan first, but He has taught us to step out and trust Him first.

    Reply
  3. Julie
    April 13, 2010

    God placed adoption onto my heart as a young girl. After we had 5 bio children I still had the urge to adopt and my husband and I had the desire for more children, however, he was not so sure about adoption. We prayed about it for what seemed like forever, probably around 18 months, and then went forward in faith that this is what God wanted us to do. It was such a strong pull on my heart that my husband knew it must be God's will or he would not have placed it there. His fears had to do with a bad adoption by a family memeber long ago, which he needed to let go of. It was a total faith journey for us. We grew so much during the experience and God blessed us with two of the most beautiful children we have ever seen. Every day little things remind us how these children were placed in our home by God himself. We feel so incredibly blessed.

    Reply
  4. Rachel
    April 13, 2010

    The main reason that we adopted was that we were not able to have children. That did not lead me to the conclusion, though, that we were not to have children. I still knew in my heart that God intended for us to parents and adoption was the obvious next step. In His infinite wisdom, it was God's predetermined plan that our family come into existence this way.

    Reply
  5. Jolene
    April 13, 2010

    Hi Amy,
    I am so glad to hear you are even considering adoption. My answer would take too long to type here but if you check out my blog and read the post, "God's Grace in our Infertility" you will find my answer. However, for us it really only came down to one question. . .

    "How could it not be God's Will to adopt?"
    http://www.jonandjolene.blogspot.com

    I will pray the Lord clearly speaks to you.

    Reply
  6. Ajay
    April 13, 2010

    One of the many reasons is this. I was best friends in High School with a girl who had been adopted at 7 years old along with her two biological sisters from Columbia and her brother from India. I watched her learn English, struggle with some health issues due to malnutrition before she was adopted and we cried many tears together as she shared hard and good memories of her life in Columbia. I was amazed at the person she was and is today! Her whole family was full of so much life and love! I grew up always wanting a family like hers, Over the past few years we've lost touch a little bit due to many miles apart. We've since adopted an infant from Ethiopia and are weeks away from bringing home our 8 year old daughter from Ethiopia. I just saw her at a wedding and was able to tell her what an inspiration she was to us and our decisions to adopt! She suprised me saying that she heard we were adopting and it's inspired her to start the adoption process too rather than trying to get pregnant. Wow! To think we could support the person that first inspired us…I guess the overall message is to lead with our lives and you never know how God will use your example!
    Ajay

    Reply
  7. Kirstine
    April 13, 2010

    I was praying to conceive again. With 9 months of no luck I was feeling very low – I could have had a baby by now but I didn't. At that time I felt God saying one single sentence to me: "I've got something special for you." I had no idea what he was referring to (…twins?) but I stopped worrying.

    A few months later I heard about a young pregnant girl considering her options. As I heard of her situation, I sensed an open adoption might be be a good solution. And then I just couldn't get her off my mind. I told my husband and we prayed and talked. And then we decided to offer ourselves as adoptive parrents in an open adoption. OAs are very rare in our country, but she did decide to place and she did choose us.

    So I did get something special. He is sooo precious. I'd love to have more biological children and I'd love to adopt again. We'll see.

    Reply
  8. Michelle
    April 13, 2010

    I had felt called to adopt for years…literally from 2001. Then one day in 2006 I saw some headline or advertisement or something about adoption and I had a moment where I just realized…I can really do this. So I did. I was single for that adoption…but married my husband soon after my son came home.
    My husband and I knew we would adopt again and we talked about it….but we were in "idle" mode…just as if we were in a little adoption car sitting in our driveway idling…talking about where to go. We found a little book called "considering adoption – a biblical perspective" and it guided our conversation with each other and with ourselves about what our next step should be.
    We are now waiting for visas to bring our 2 new daughters home from Ghana.
    So…I think actually sitting down and talking about it…maybe in a small group with others who have been kicking the idea of adoption around…

    Reply
  9. dorothy
    April 13, 2010

    This one is too fun! In 1974 my family adopted my sweet litle butterball of a brother Josh. Just after he joined our family the last airlifts of orphans landed in Seattle out of war ravaged Vietnam. Because we were homestudy approved we were able to foster a little girl named MaiQui while she went through the process of being adopted here in the states. The impact that going to the airport and watching these exhausted relief workers carrying armload after armload of babies off the plane identified only by the tags on their legs has never left me. The plane we met at SeaTac was one of the last ones – from reading I beleive that many of the flights after it were either shot down or unable to leave at all and the children perished. From there it was easy….one led to two led to eight and once you have more than 10 children there is always room for 'just one more.'

    Reply
  10. Amanda
    April 13, 2010

    When I was six, my family took donations to an orphanage in Mexico. I played with the orphans there and saw how they lived and how happy they were with the little they had. I could not shake the image of barefoot kids living in cinderblock buildings with dirt floors. I begged my parents to adopt. They chose not to. When my husband and I first got married, we talked about adoption and thought about it as something far away in our future, a maybe someday. But then we learned of the need. The staggering number of children without families or homes. Suddenly adoption didn't seem far off at all. We prayed that God would show us the right time, country and children.He broke our hearts for the children of Ethiopia. As we began to see not only the global need for adoption, our eyes were opened to the way in which God adopted us. It was humbling and inspiring. We determined that as long as we have room in our home and family and God's go-ahead, we will stay open to orphans. We passed court for two girls, ages 12 and 7, on April 1st and now are just waiting for an embassy appointment to pick them up.

    Reply
  11. Lori
    April 14, 2010

    We first thought of adoption when we were newly married and having trouble getting pregnant. We didn't really care "how" we got a child, we just knew we wanted to be parents. We tried some fertility medication and it ended up working for us – twice. So the adoption idea got placed on a shelf for later.

    I hear so many comments from people about the expense of adoption and that that reason keeps them from looking into it. I must admit that we had that same worry. We were a one income family just making ends meet and it didn't seem possible. I wish I had known of all the organizations out there willing to help families with grants. I hate to date myself, but at that time the internet was new and we did not have access to information like we do now.

    (to be continued – they said my post was too long!)

    Reply
  12. Lori
    April 14, 2010

    (continued from previous comment)

    We also got caught up in infertility as we tried to have a third child and then along came home schooling, learning disabilities, moving to a new town, etc. Life just intervened and adoption was not thought of. When our son died suddenly at the age of fourteen our lives were forever changed. Suddenly, things that had been put off seemed very urgent. The incidental worries of life didn't seem so important. We knew in our hearts that we needed to pursue adoption. We had love, experience, and time to give children and we knew there were plenty of children out there who needed us.

    My husband and I BOTH knew this was the right time to pursue adoption. The Lord made that clear as we sought His will in prayer. We are so glad we listened!

    Reply
  13. Anita
    April 14, 2010

    We haven't brought our ET son home yet (court day is April 28, just under the new "two trip" policy so hoping it isn't delayed), but we were led to adopt for a very simple reason…we saw so many children out there in the world who needed homes. Our first choice, of course, would be for all children to have good homes and not live in poverty or strife and that there not be a NEED for adoption. Not being magical, we decided to do what we thought we could. We feel so lucky to live in the US and both be born in westernized countries.

    Reply
  14. Anita
    April 14, 2010

    Here's the remainder of my thoughts…first ones were too long!

    We thought we could create a family that might give a child an opportunity to live and thrive. My husband and I have never felt the need to carry on any kind of "blood line" so we didn't even consider bio children. We both felt it would be a bit selfish of us to bring more children into the world for just that reason (not that people having bio children is selfish…we felt that way for us because we didn't have that burning need. We're happy that others have that desire and that is wonderful for their families). We really had to come to a place where we didn't have our egos and expectations for what our family SHOULD look like and come from a place of service to the world. We believe that one way to make this world a better place for all, is to adopt children who are in need.

    Reply
  15. Russ Nordstrom
    April 14, 2010

    As we attended our church's adoption Sunday last November we were struck by the reality that we have so much. That's the thought that kept going through our minds over and over again…."we have so much." It was as if God was speaking to us as the only people in the room. We thought, "but we already have five beautiful kids." But once again were struck…."we have so much." So much love in our house, so much space to share, so much of Christ to give to others, so much room in our hearts. During one Sunday morning last November, God worked a miracle in our hearts and now we journey with GREAT JOY toward adopting a beautiful girl from Ethiopia (dossier and homestudy completed yesterday!). With much support from our church, we journey on, ready to share Christ, ready to share ourselves, because we have so much.

    Reply
  16. Donna
    April 14, 2010

    Adoption is something I have always desired in my life. My husband was always agreeable, but was a lot more nevous about the cost, as he is the lone financial provider in our family.
    We actually started looking into it about 10 years before we actually did adopt.
    After a vasectomy reversal in 2000 we started praying that if this is not what God had planned for us that He would guide and direct in our lives with adoption and we started praying for those children that may even at that point be waiting for us!
    In God's amazing providence we did not concieve, but our wonderful son was concieved that same time on another continent by his birth family!!!
    Four and 1/2 years and many prayers later our son and daughter came into our lives!
    God is faithful!!!

    Reply
  17. Sara
    April 14, 2010

    I look forward to comments from parents who have adopted. I am in Amy's same place – for years we have been talking about adoption, praying about adoption, and searching for God's will for our family.

    Reply
  18. Wendy
    April 15, 2010

    We have three bio kids, and are currently waiting for a referral from Ethiopia. We have three bio kids, but I believe that adoption was a seed God planted in our hearts. That seed was amply watered through blogs, books, and Scripture…orphans are the heart of God, and so He called us to share in that. While there are many ways to care for orphans, we knew that if we DIDN'T adopt, we would clearly be ignoring God's nudging. He generally only gives us enough light for the step we're on, but once you step out in a direction, you'll see Him move mountains. I also prayed fervently for my husband and I to be of the same heart about adopting…and his eagerness to get through the process and be open to what God has for us has been a tad out-of-character for him in regards to something so huge. We couldn't let it go, and it wouldn't let go of us, so we stepped out in faith. Still hanging on tight for the wild ride!

    Reply
  19. Kathrin
    April 15, 2010

    I needed another baby and I knew there was a baby who needed a mami.

    Reply
  20. Julie
    April 20, 2010

    It was a God thing.

    We were done having kids. Three very difficult full-term pregnancies mixed with four miscarriages, and I was DONE. We agreed that if we ever had more kids, it would have to be adoption. After several years, that, too, seemed to be off the table.

    Then God stepped in.

    One day, I had a conversation with a "random" mom who had recently adopted. She was such an advocate for adoption that she answered every fear and insecurity I had before I ever asked a question. I came home that evening, walked into the room where Steve was watching the game and blurted out, "What do you think about adopting a little girl from Russia?" He gave me the "deer in the headlights" look, and proceeded to say, "I've been thinking about it."

    WHAT?!?!?! Okay, this sounds like a God thing.

    So, we prayed about it for quite a few months. Eventually, our hearts were drawn to Guatemala for different reasons, but in the same time frame.

    Every step of the way, when it was God's plan, we reached agreement without "hammering it out".

    God was totally leading us, and He still is. 🙂

    Reply
  21. Jamie
    April 20, 2010

    When I was in school we'd have "Career Day" once a year. We'd dress up as the person we were striving to one day be. I'd dress up as a mom. And I went ALL OUT. I'd have a baby doll, stuff my oversized overalls with a pillow for that perfect preggo belly, scaptula in my pocket, diaper bag over my shoulder, you name it I did it. I usually had the most elaborate costume of the year for as all you mothers know, we seem to have quite a few different job decriptions in our repertoire. My husband and I were so lucky to have our two girls early in our relationship because we both hope for a big family.

    Reply
  22. Vicki
    April 20, 2010

    My best friend in high school was a foster child that was never adopted. She aged out of the system with no family. She has had some rocky times and I see the effect of not having a forever home has had on her.

    I felt God calling me to adopt starting in high school. When I was in my late 20's I started to look into the process, but I worked full time outside the home and couldn't see how I could make it work. I tried again in my mid 30's but my work schedule just wouldn't permit it.

    Two years ago a close friend and great supporter of me adopting offered me a job where I could stay home and work normal, daylight hours. The day I accepted my job I started my homestudy process.

    God had placed adoption on my heart for over two decades and now at age 39 I am finally adopting. My beautiful 6 year old daughter came on March 1st. Being an older, single, full-time working mom has its challenges, but it is absolutely wonderful.

    He called me to adopt so many years ago, and like Abraham had to wait many years to see God's promise fulfilled, I too saw the hand of God answer my prayers.

    Reply
  23. jamie
    April 20, 2010

    Adoption was always an idea we'd talked about from time to time but only in passing conversation. About 11 months ago I started having medical issues and finally after 6 months of testing they discovered large tumors on my ovaries. Can you imagine being 24 years old and being told that you might never be able to have another child. Please don't think me selfish, I LOVE my daughters
    with ALL of my heart and am thankful for them everyday but our family feels…unfinished. Something called to me and I started watching "gotcha day" videos and reading adoption blogs families had posted and my heart melted. I immediately realized that adoption was the road for us. We have
    alot of love to give. We are currently on the waiting list for an Ethiopian adoption. My appointment with the specialist is this Monday, but it won't change the decision thats in our hearts. Sometimes Idream about the child we are destined to meet and I wonder if they're dreaming about us as well.

    Reply
  24. Dana
    April 21, 2010

    We’ve known we wanted to grow our family through adoption now for years. But there were so many questions. Boy or girl? Infant, toddler or older child? Domestic or international? Healthy or special needs? Adoptive parents are called on to make decisions that biological parents never face. Those decisions can be paralyzing.

    We tended to face these decisions, that would alter our destiny (and that of all our children), late at night. There were many groggy, after-midnight conversations. Some options were ruled out. Others reconsidered.

    Mike is a “possibilities” guy. Narrowing down options goes against his very nature. Exasperated, at one point I said, “Honey, there are millions of orphans in this world. If we have to consider each one individually, we’ll never do anything!”

    My heart was drawn to waiting children. A lot of adoptive parents prefer girls – especially when looking at older kids. Our family seemed to be missing a boy.

    We finally took the plunge when we found a six year old Chinese boy that both Mike and I felt drawn to. We hope to bring him home this fall

    Reply
  25. Amy AJ
    April 24, 2010

    THANK YOU for these comments! I read the "Tuesday Topic" to my husband and said, "I wonder if I said that. That sounds like me and if not, this other Amy is speaking the words of my heart."

    We have been "talking" about adoption for several years. As of yet, we just haven't taken that first step of faith. I am encouraged by all these stories. Thanks to all of you for being so open and honest with this personal question (no one ever asks "How did you decide to get pregnant?"!!).

    Reply
    1. OneThankfulmom
      April 24, 2010

      Ajay, I think this was your question!

      Reply

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