Why did you choose to pursue international adoption?
We have been asked this question a few times since starting our adoption journey several months ago. I anticipate that we will be asked this question, and many more like it, throughout our adoption process and after we bring our son home.
When I was a Freshman in College, I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Belize. I had never been on a mission trip before. I was excited for the opportunity, but I had no idea what to expect. When I tell people I have gone to Belize, most exclaim “It’s so beautiful there! I would love to go!”
Here is the thing.
I didn’t go to Belize on vacation. I didn’t go to the tourist attraction. I went to the actual Belize where people live. There were orphans on the streets. Some without clothes. I was told that many stayed with extended family members, others didn’t have any family. Most were poor. With barely anything to call their own and nothing to their name. No parents to love them. No family to encourage them and help them. It broke my heart. These beautiful babies. Children the Lord had created for a purpose and a reason, with nothing. I wanted to bring them all home. It was then that God planted a seed in my heart to adopt.
Why choose internationally?
My husband and I looked into adopting from the US. We looked into fostering to adopt. However, the Lord is not calling us to adopt domestically. Not right now anyway. To be honest both Ben and I have a heart for children from poorer countries. Ones that do not have the same opportunities children in America have. I know you may argue that, that’s not fair. Children in the US need homes too. You’re right they do need homes. So do children all over the world. We shouldn’t forget the children in every corner of the world, simply because there are children near us that need help as well. Every life is important, no matter where they are at.
When we started our adoption journey, we prayed long and hard for what the Lord desired of us. To give ourselves to a child that we didn’t know, one whose life started with a tremendous loss. We surrendered wholeheartedly to God and he has blessed our steps thus far, every step of the way. I had talked to several agencies, friends who have adopted, family who had adopted and we prayed. We prayed continuously that the Lord would guide our direction.
We still do.
One day a few months ago I received an email from Rainbow Kids. They send emails out to subscribers who want to know more about waiting children. I glanced at it and I saw him. This little boy caught my eye and tugged at my heart. I clicked on his file and felt a connection right away. This little one was born at 26.5 weeks. He was around the same age as my youngest daughter. I decided to look him up on the agency he was listed with.
The requirements for his adoption were the same as China, it said.
My heart fell. China is the only country we don’t qualify for at this stage in our lives. I texted my mom and told him how I felt a pull towards this little one. “There’s probably no chance.” I said. “Inquire about him anyway.” she replied to me. So I did. The agency was quick to get back to me. “He is from Vietnam, the requirements are much different than China.” they replied.
Really? I thought to myself. This is amazing. We met every one of the requirements. I decided to show him to Ben. Ben, being the man he is, needed to pray about it. And he did. For a month. As impatient as I was feeling, I resolved myself not to mention the little boy unless Ben brought him up. I knew what I felt the Lord tugging on my heart, God would put on his as well. and He did.
About a month later, Ben asked me, “are you ready?” “Ready for what?” I asked. “To pursue this adoption, of this little boy?” Yes, absolutely. I was emailing the agency the next day. They sent me the required paper work. We went through the questions, the applications, the interview. A few days ago we were officially matched with our son!
This little boy, the one who tugged at my heart so profusely, was born at 26.5 weeks. He was left at the hospital by his biological mother. No other circumstances are known. We have no idea why she chose or had to leave. We may never know. He has been in the orphanage since he left the hospital. The travel to bring him home will most likely be a year from now, but we are praying for so much sooner.The process is long, the process will not and has not been easy.
So why choose adoption?
Because God loves the orphans.
Because these babies start life off with a tremendous loss.
Because everyone deserves a chance.
Because life is not truly about us.
Because if not us then who?
Honestly, adopting isn’t even about growing our family. Yes we want to. However, it is mainly about the child. It’s about what that little boy, and every orphan, deserves. We cannot live life as though it is about us. Because it isn’t. Life is about the least of these. Isn’t that what Jesus taught us?
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’- Matthew 25:40