Clearing Up Misconceptions on Our Adoption Plans

Posted: July 16, 2007 in adoption, faith, family, home, hopes, life, Me, misc, my life, personal, separation, wife

Well I wanted to clear the air and post on the adoption plans my wife and I have formed over the last week.

First of all, we are at the very initial stages of this process. We are only one week removed from the realization that we are interested in pursuing adoption (and especially information about adoption). We haven’t contacted a homestudy, nor are we even within a year of adopting a child. We have a lot of stuff in our personal finances to straighten out first.

Furthermore, contrary to what seems to be the presumption, we are not planning to adopt a baby. Nor are we planning to adopt from outside the United States. From the first time we spoke of the opportunity to adopt, we never mentioned adopting a baby. We both felt led that we should adopt a child from North Carolina’s foster care system.

We looked through local and national websites that provided information on foster children currently waiting for adoption. I can understand some of the resentment that folks have against the adoption of babies, but those same problems don’t seem to apply to children in the foster care system.

Most of these children have suffered at the hands of their natural parents. Some have been abused physically, others sexually, and others were the victims of neglect (often due to their parents abuse of drugs and/or alcohol). Their parents caused such severe abuse and neglect that a court had little choice but to terminate parental rights (something most courts are loathe to do).

Many of these children have been shuffled through foster homes for years (some close to a decade or more). Some have been separated from their brothers and sisters- so they currently seek families that will provide a home where they can be reunited. In addition, many suffer mild to severe disabilities (often resulting from their parents abuse and neglect) that scare away countless potential adoptive families.

Seeing the conditions that these children endure, I am not ashamed to admit that I was brought to tears several times. I also felt ashamed that our family has spent so much time complaining of the things we don’t have, when we so much much we are blessed with. And those simple things we have- a home, a backyard, a loving stable family unity, a support structure, unconditional love- are known to these poor children only in their hopes and prayers.

In addition, we have other opportunities and abilities to offer our children. For example, my future employment as a college professor means we could offer our adoptive children the benefit of a college education. Indeed, one of the best perks of a professorship is the opportunity to obtain either free (or severely reduced price) tuition for my children (whether biological or adopted).

At this point it seems we will probably adopt two children (sibling) somewhere between the ages of 8-14. At this point we aren’t ruling out any children based on gender, disabilities, or past abuse (with the one exception of sexual abuse). We will go through the process over the next 6 months to a year and see where the Lord leads us.

I hope this clears up any misunderstandings that originated from my original post on adoption.

  1. lifelemons says:

    Again I say, Good Luck with the whole process! I will pray for you!

  2. Please do. I have no doubt that the process will be hard, there will be many sacrifices, and some pain along the way. But I have faith that in the end we are doing the right thing and everything will work out well.

    I am already anticipating with great joy the thought of our family growing.

  3. Gayle says:

    Good morning, John.

    I commend you and your wife for choosing to adopt older children. So many couples won’t even consider it. I can tell you though, that it will be a real challenge. I know this because my husband and I adopted our own grand-daughter when she was six. She had been terribly abused by her birth mother (not our daughter. Our grand-daughter is our son’s daughter) and sexually abused by one or more of her birth mother’s boyfriends. The birth mother left my son and kidnapped the child, then abandoned her. It was a real challenge but she’s now in college and is doing very well. She calls us “Mom” and “Dad” and is well-adjusted and bright. When she first came to us she was like a child who had been raised by wolves. So, whether you adopt children who have been sexually abused or not, it will probably not be an easy venture, but it will be very rewarding. God bless you both for taking this on. I wish there were more people out there like you!

  4. Thank you Gayle. Hearing how your own experience turned out is very encouraging.

  5. imtina says:

    The older ones are the ones who need steady and loving homes the most. The babies will always get adopted, but it’s the older ones who get passed over. So, kudos to you guys. Sorry I added to the confusion.


  6. No problem, looking back I realize I could have been clearer and more forthcoming. However, at that point my wife and I were still a bit shocked to realize that both of us had individually, and almost simultaneously, arrived at the same conclusion. The Lord works in amazing ways. He put that conviction on both our hearts. And as we move forward we realize more and more that this is something we should be doing.

    Thanks for all your comments and insight.

  7. abarclay12 says:

    If it makes you feel any better, you can adopt me. I talked to my parents about it, and they said it’s fine with them.

  8. That’s awesome, total! I hope that the process works in a way that you always know you are in the will of God. May He bless you and your wife tremendously for opening your hearts and home like this!! 🙂

  9. jarvis says:

    Prayers Abound Bro…He will Guide your household where you need to go.

    Blessings In Christ

  10. Randy says:

    Congratulations. I had a very good friend who lived in Rock Hill, SC that was a fostor parent to several kids over the years. He adopted some (mostly young) and it was impossible to keep track of how many he had at any one time.

    He had a heart as big as the outdoors. I’m sure you do too.

    Congratulations again.

  11. Best of luck to you both. There is a kid who will be unbelievably fortunate to have you adopt her.

  12. Emily says:

    I wish you all the best with your adoption and I think it’s wonderful you are considering older siblings 🙂

  13. writeathome says:

    May the Lord bless you with children to whom you can be a blessing. (Hope this makes sense.)

  14. It makes perfect sense. Thanks.

  15. epatnoe says:

    John, I commend you & your wife’s decision. My wife and I made the same choice 3 years ago. We now have 8 children, 2 are biological. We wanted a sibling group and found a big one. Get all the information you can, be educated on this. It will change your life dramatically.
    Many tears, frustrations, and disappointments are coming your way. Be strong – both of you. Do not think of the opportunities of college for this child or children. Live for the moment. These children are damaged, severely. Many if not most are developmentally delayed. College will most likely be a dream. Again live for the moment and give your child the dream of a future without drugs, abuse, welfare, hunger, jail and violence. Give them the dream of being able to actually care for another human being. Good luck and be strong.
    Eric Patnoe
    Panda Curry

  16. isaacme says:

    Wow, what a great opurtunity to help these kids. I’m sure your aware that it won’t be easy, but if this is truly god’s will then he will bless your endevures. Always walk in God’s will. Way to go bro.

  17. blessedgirl says:

    It really boils down to what God puts on your heart. We were meant to adopt an infant from the US. My brother really had Russia on his heart and I have friends that felt led to china. Many of our friends had a desire to adopt from Foster Care too….I’m glad your are following your heart. I know many of these anti-adoption people are out there and lurking….they can be quiet mean. Learn as much as you can, pray about it and God’s going to lead you in the right direction.

  18. Stiletto says:

    “Seeing the conditions that these children endure, I am not ashamed to admit that I was brought to tears several times. ”

    Wow this post itself makes me cry. Good luck with that. You definitely have a good heart. BTW, may I ask, why won’t you consider adopting a child with sexual abuse issues?

  19. “BTW, may I ask, why won’t you consider adopting a child with sexual abuse issues?”

    At the time I wrote this I worried that sexual abuse issues might cause problem either between my daughter and our adopted children OR it might cause problems between me and the adopted children (as our family is very affectionate).

    After talking to some folks in this field it appears my fears were a bit over-exaggerated. With proper supervision and explanation we shouldn’t have much problem even with a child who suffered sexual abuse. I am not saying it will be easy, but it won’t be as dangerous our bad as I previously thought (assumed).

  20. […] all of you who read this blog know, my wife and I have decided to pursue adoption.   Our choice (and our agreement) resulted from a rather miraculous experience- and I don’t […]

  21. Stiletto says:

    “At the time I wrote this I worried that sexual abuse issues might cause problem either between my daughter and our adopted children OR it might cause problems between me and the adopted children (as our family is very affectionate).”

    Were you in fear that a victim of sexual abuse would act in similar ways towards the other children as they got older?

  22. “Were you in fear that a victim of sexual abuse would act in similar ways towards the other children as they got older?”

    Something along those lines. Thankfully, after talking to some professional, it appears that even fairly bad sexual abuse can be corrected. Although, you have to understand though that for at least one year the child(ren) can’t be left unsupervised with younger children.

    I was also afraid their past abuse would mean I couldn’t be affectionate with my adoptive children in the same way I am affectionate with my daughter. I was afraid this would create a distinction that the children would notice between the affection I lavish on my biological daughter and the guarded and cautious attitude I might take toward my adoptive children- lest any affection be viewed as inappropriate or cause them further harm.

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