In support of National Adoption Month, we are honored to be sharing adoption stories and perspectives from moms in our community, as well as advice and insight from a Wichita attorney on how to handle the adoption process. Click here for more on our National Adoption Month series.
I would describe the last few years of my life as a roller-coaster of emotions. Since making the decision to foster/adopt around four years ago, our life has been anything but ordinary. We have provided respite for parents and foster families, we have fostered, and (a year and a half ago), we adopted our daughter out of foster care. The road is bumpy and long, filled with many ups, downs, frustrations, and joys – but it is totally worth it.
In all honesty, adoption is the only option for us: we are infertile.
It’s a subject that feels taboo, and people just don’t talk about it – it’s embarrassing, harsh, and uncomfortable. But let me just tell you, kind reader, I am a very open person. I believe that speaking your truth and getting your story out is not only powerful but healthy…so here it is: I am infertile. Truthfully, I have wanted to adopt since I was sixteen years old. I am a Christ-follower and have felt the burden for orphan care the majority of my life. For our family, this decision just made sense.
We tried infertility treatments, but it was the most stressful and time-consuming experience of my life – not to mention painful! At the end of it all, I realized that there are millions of orphans in the world, and that my husband and I wanted to spend our energy and resources on them. I am grateful that infertility became a springboard for adoption. We dove right in, starting with respite care: providing childcare for a specified time so the original foster family can have a short break. Our heart was for adoption, and our time as foster parents only served to grow our desire to adopt. We became licensed foster parents, and fell in love with a baby girl. We were not her foster parents, but I spent time watching her during my days off for her foster parents who worked. While her case progressed, another foster opportunity presented itself. We had no idea where it would lead, we just said yes, and trusted the process.
We welcomed an infant girl into our home and became her family for the majority of a year. In all ways, she was our child. We loved her like a daughter and in our hearts we were committed to be her family forever. Sadly, that was not how her story would unfold. We stepped in and became family to her in her most vulnerable state. She was failure to thrive, and taking care of her was exhausting, but also a joy. Visits with family, visits with workers, medical appointments, court appearances…my life was busy, but it was fulfilling. When the decision was made for her to move in with her biological family, it rocked our world. It was one of the hardest seasons of our life. I describe it as a death in the family. But today I am thankful for her family for saying yes, when so many families say no.
As for the first little girl…the road to her adoption was messy, but fighting for her has been the greatest joy in our life and now we call her our daughter.
There are millions of orphans in the world, and thousands of orphans in our own city and surrounding areas. Most days, the numbers and statistics overwhelm me. In the past year alone, foster care has been in the local news numerous times, and the reasons are rarely good. This absolutely breaks my heart and should break yours. Kansas is in great need of stable, loving families unafraid of brokenness and the heartache of saying goodbye – willing to come alongside vulnerable children.
The month of November is National Adoption Month. For one month, the spotlight shines on adoption. If there is anything I hope to leave you with, it’s that these children need you, they need family. One month is set aside, but the plight of orphans and children in need should be at the forefront of our minds every minute of every day.
If we will not say yes to them, who will?
We need to stop using excuses that we are frightened, or that we aren’t wired this way. We must have courage to act. The children who are in need of help did not plan this; they did not ask for this. The road of foster care/adoption is a difficult one, but my eyes have been opened to the need, and I simply cannot turn my back. We have the chance to step in to a broken story and slowly rebuild.
For more information, check out some of these organizations:
adopting through foster care
Abbey grew up in Wichita and currently resides in Derby. She received an undergraduate degree in youth ministry from Friends University as well as a Masters in Family Ministry. She worked in youth ministry for 10 years, and is currently a stay at home mom to her spunky daughter. She and her husband are licensed foster parents and are active in volunteering throughout the city. She has a love for the outdoors, specifically the beach, and a passion for animals, especially 3 legged dogs named Buck.