Adoption Passion?!?

I received an email the other day asking if I would share where my passion for adoption has come from…

I haven’t posted the answer yet, because well, honestly I’ve been pondering it.  I guess I ‘ve never really thought about my being passionate about adoption.  It’s just part of who we are. 

Just in case you haven’t noticed, I am a very passionate person.  There is very little gray area with me… black or white please and thank you very much.  

I imagine that’s why adoption is a passion for me, at least part of the reason.  As for where it came from… I honestly don’t know.   I guess it developed over the years.  I have a degree in social work, so those kind of things have always interested me.  At one point I even considered applying for a position at social services, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it… it would tear me apart to see all those precious children in homes that weren’t theirs, sleeping in strange beds, away from all that was familiar to them.  I would want to take all of them home and "make it better" for them. 

I’ve always loved children.  Always wanted to be a wife and mom.  I remember a cute little 2-3ish year old redheaded girl when I was working at a day when I was in my late teens early 20’s.  I felt so sorry for her.  She spent hours and hours at that day care.  They were open from early in the morning into the wee hours of the night. Sometimes she’d be there from early morning, until the day care closed at midnight or later.   Her mom was an "exotic dancer" at one of the clubs down the road.  Every day when I left, I wanted to take her home with me.  Hopefully she’s grown up now.  I think of her from time to time and wonder what has become of her.  I pray that she didn’t follow in her mother’s footsteps, but I’m fearful that she did.

When Shane and I were courting, I told him that I didn’t think I would ever birth a baby.  I didn’t know why.  I had just had that feeling for several years.  We talked about adopting as an option if we couldn’t have biological children.  Shane, being the man that he is,  never batted an eye.  He accepted  me for what I was.  And today, he accepts me for who I am, and we continue life.  I live with the consequences of my former life nearly every day.  I believe that not having biological children is one of the consequences of that life.   But God has blessed us with fabulous children.  Even if I could birth "my own" I wouldn’t trade these precious blessings for anything in the world.   

I almost think that if you are an adoptive parent; especially if you have no biological children, you have to be passionate about it.  Especially with our family– it’s fairly obvious that our children are adopted.   People ask questions.  Some people are really just curious.  Some people are interested in adopting and quite honestly, some people are just plain ole nosey.  We are very open people, what you see is generally what you get.  Even today my daughter told me she admired that "I say it like it is."  If you ask, I’ll tell ya what I think.   Sometimes you may not like what I think.  If that’s the case, then you might not want to ask.  Oh, I’ll try to be gentle about it, but I’m not one to hide under the table either.

So when people ask questions about adoption, we answer.  (Well most of the time anyway…sometimes they are EXTREMELY personal questions) Although I will say that since the last 2 or 3 came along, those questions aren’t asked nearly as often now. 

I guess another reason is that it is something tangible that a pro-life couple can do.  I was on the board of region wide Right to Life in our state several years ago.  We met once a month and discussed many things to educate people about abortion.  We also talked about ways to raise money to pay the salary of the office worker, etc.  That is good and needed.  I appreciate the work that Right to Life does.  I always appreciate seeing the booths at the local fairs, and have enjoyed working those booths in the past years.  But since adopting children, I feel that we are really doing something to live it out.  In a way, we are telling moms considering abortion that there is someone out there that is willing to adopt your child if you are unable to care for him/her and we’re not only telling them that, but we’re living it out right in front of them.

I LOVE my family.  Oftentimes we are told what "wonderful people we are" and how "blessed our children are"   I tell them that we are no different from their family in that respect we the family that God has put together and then I tell them that the blessings flow both ways.  We are extremely blessed to have the children we have.  To be trusted especially by the birth families of the 3 that came to us by way of relinquishment and not state’s custody.  Two of those 3 chose us specifically.  They wanted  us to be their child’s parents. 

We have a wide variety of experience in adoption, at this point, we have adopted privately, through the state and internationally.  How many people do you know that have experienced all 3 types of adoptions?  I can’t think of anyone else we know right now that have.  We have an open adoption, semi-open adoptions and a closed adoption.  We know people that are foster parents.  We know people that have adopted through the foster care system.  We know children that have been in the system for many years, and have been moved from home to home to home, before they are legally free for adoption.  We know children that have never been placed in permanent homes and have been raised by the system.  So I observe and learn from all of these experiences and then I share with others…

So I guess that’s why I’m passionate about adoption.