As for me, I know of nothing else but miracles. - Walt Whitman

Monday, August 23, 2010

Adoption Lessons Learned:

1. Adopting is a lot harder than being pregnant. Granted, I had really great pregnancies, but with each one, I had a due date. I knew a basic time frame of when we would get to meet the child. I knew how old the child would be and knew I would get to experience all of the "firsts." First smile, first tooth, first steps. I knew where the baby was at all times (obviously, as the child was a part of me!), and felt every jump, kick and hiccup. I knew that the child was healthy and was getting enough to eat. I even had regular checkups where I learned the baby's estimated size and heart rate, and was assured that all was going well. With adoption, I know none of those things. But what an exciting journey it is!

2. Adoption love is an interesting and amazing thing. I never before knew it was possible to love an unknown person so much. I have no idea what our child will look like, whether it will be a boy or a girl (or two boys, two girls, or one of each!), how old it will be, where it is right now, what the child's background is, or when we will get to meet him/her/them, but I do know that it is very possible to love someone with your whole heart even though you know absolutely nothing about them. I pray every day that God will take care of them, and give them enough food, clothing, shelter and love. I pray that He will be an ever-present Father to them, and that they will trust in Him completely.

3. Adoption takes a lot of faith, trust, and perseverance. We have some friends who have adopted several children. When we told them we were going to adopt, they encouraged us to remain strong and rely on God throughout the process. They told us that when they were going through it, there were times when they needed to get out of the boat and walk on water when all they really wanted to do was curl up in the bottom of the boat and go to sleep. Later on, I learned exactly what they meant by that. I was tired, so tired of paperwork, obstacles, and silly little mistakes that had to be corrected, but knew I had to press on anyway. Satan did his best to discourage me, even tried to make the goal seem impossible, but God was right there beside us every step of the way. All things (yes, even stacks and mountains of paperwork!) are possible with God.

4. Patience really is a virtue, and a good one to have. I was extremely impatient as I waited for our homestudy to be written. After all, I had worked desperately to get our portion of the paperwork complete, and all of a sudden I was waiting on someone else. It seemed to take forever, and was out of my control. As long as I could be doing something to help the process along, I was fine. But waiting on other people? Not my strong point. However, now that our homestudy and dossier are turned in, our USCIS appointment is over, we have our FDL, and all we're waiting on is our referral, I feel completely relaxed about the whole thing. There's nothing more I can do. It's amazing how far a little patience can go. So yes, I'm still anxious, but am trusting that God's timing is perfect. Waiting is never easy, but lately I have been encouraged by these verses from "The Time of Waiting", a song in one of our hymnals at church. It says:

"Few fruits ripen from the spring-time sunshine;
Not till autumn is abundance shown;
Without waiting we never feel the rapture
Of a precious, bounteous harvest grown.

God often gave beyond all expectation
More than heart has wished for to behold;
Should not this give us new inspiration
To await what His word has foretold?

Never a word of God was uttered vainly,
Although its fulfillment seemed afar;
Noble things take time, though promised plainly;
And the very best we find in God."

5. There are a lot of wonderful people out there who are going through this with us. In the beginning of our adoption, it was really important to me to go with a Christian adoption agency. So we chose All God's Children International. They are WONDERFUL to work with, and they also have a website where all of us adoptive parents can get together to share news, prayers and encouragement. It is really a great group of people, and I have learned a lot from them. Some of their individual blogs are listed in my sidebar over there.

6. It is awesome having a sister who has been through this before. My sister Larisa and her husband David adopted a child from Ethiopia about a year ago. (To see their blog, click here.) When she was going through the process, she would give me updates and talk about things like homestudies and dossiers and USCIS and I never really fully understood what she was talking about. Now I completely understand. And she also became one of my case managers as we were going through the paperwork stage. If I had a question, I would call her up and she knew just what to do. I must have seemed really smart to my AGCI case manager, because every time she called to ask if I had any questions or needed help with anything, I said, "No, I don't think so!" Because of Larisa, I already had my questions answered! = ) Now, David and Larisa are going through the process for their second child, and it is so great to have someone who understands exactly what we're going through. We talk on the phone just about every day, and are each other's adoption sounding boards.

There are more lessons I could share, but this post is getting long! And there are no pictures to keep it interesting, so I better sign off! Hope you all have a great day!


  1. all of these are so so true! (well i don't have a sister, but i imagine that's true too!) it's SO crazy how much i love our kiddo and yet i have no clue who he is yet! this being our first child, we're really hopeful that we'll have a young infant b/c like you said, i really hope to experience many of those "firsts" but we also know we have an equal chance of having an older infant... but i do know this: either way, we are already in LOVE and cannot wait to parent this miracle child! best wishes in your wait!

  2. great post...i'm having to work on the home study patience right now...everything else is ready to go!! :)