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.