For years I have heard so many of my friends, family, and random people throw out statements like these.
“We’ve always wanted to adopt.”
“Some day soon we plan to adopt.”
“I have always wanted to adopt, but it’s too expensive.”
Truth is. I said all of those and more myself. Honestly, adoption is one of the most beautiful and scary things you can ever do in your life. Why make the decision to adopt when you can just talk about it some day happening? It doesn’t take any effort to say someday. The real challenge is to start that process. Even if you don’t know if you are completely ready. Because honestly, when are you ever “Ready” to bring a child into your home, biological or adopted. There are always unknowns and fears and doubts. But it is worth pushing through those feelings to begin the beautiful and hard journey of adoption.
Today, two years ago, I was sitting in a gym watching my boys in their gymnastics tumbling class. I had befriended a few other moms there. One in particular was sitting closest to me and our conversation gave me chills as I realized it was time to stop talking and start the journey of adoption.
As always, when people saw my three boys at the time, I got the question if we would be “Trying” for a girl. My response was usually the same. “Oh! We ‘tried’ three times for a girl! I think at this point we would have to adopt to guarantee a girl!” (I blame my husband for all this testosterone! HA!) My fellow gym mom immediately responded, “Oh! You totally should! My Social Worker is begging for adoptive families! There are so many kids who won’t have a family for Christmas right here in Detroit.” She then proceeded to open up to tell me that her daughters were not her biological children. They were her nieces. Two sweet and adorable girls. Full of life and spunk. They had the most horrific start to life. The neglect of parents who put themselves first. And now… Now they are safe. They have a family. This single lady who had no children, bravely opened up her heart and home and fought for these babies. And signed on for life to love and fight for them. And she was about to do it again. Not for a family member this time. But for a complete stranger. She had seen the desperate need. And she couldn’t do nothing.
I had tears in my eyes as I listened to her story.
It was hard. It was emotional. It was beautiful. It was challenging.
I immediately called my husband as soon as I got in the car. Through my tears I repeated the story. And while we both had dreamed about adopting someday…that day we both decided that someday was never coming. Unless we decided to start the journey.
The statistics for foster care and children waiting for adoption in the United States alone was staggering.
415,129 children were in foster care on September 30th, 2014
107,918 children were waiting to be adopted on September 30th, 2014 (*resource)
What about the cost? I discovered that adopting a child from the Foster System costs almost nothing. In most cases, all adoption fees are paid and even reimbursed by the state when adopting from Foster Care. Getting your license to adopt through foster care is free. (The only expense we incurred was $20 for background checks)
All the reasons we were waiting went out the window in a matter of a week. The more I researched, called and asked, and got answers, the more I realized there was no reason to wait. There were 107,918 reasons to take the risk and step out on this journey to adopt. These kids are were waiting for us to stop just talking and do something.
In the next few weeks, I will be sharing the steps I took to get our license to adopt and other things we have learned on this journey. We are a few weeks away from our adoption being finalized. It has been a journey. An adventure. And worth every moment!
If you have been talking about “Some Day” adopting. Why not do something to start the process?
Happy Journey to Adoption,
ps. This post is NOT meant to “guilt” you into adopting. It is meant to challenge you to think about what you can do to help give these kids a permanent home or help in some other way to show them love.
Read more about being a Foster Parent and Adoptive Parent: