Are you considering adoption?

(posted by Carrie)

Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. 1 Chronicles 16:24

Are you considering adoption?

If hearing Charlotte’s plight compelled your heart to learn more about adoption, here are some things to think about:

Are you wondering how adopting just one or two children in literally a sea of millions of orphans will ever make a difference? Here is an alarming statistic:

If just 7% of the church- professing Christians- would adopt just one child, there wouldn’t be an orphan crisis!

That is profound and amazing! I also thought that just adopting one child could hardly make an impact on the tragic situation of how many orphans there are in the world, but the Lord asks us to just do our part- whether that’s one or more children we actually adopt, or whether that’s supporting financially or through prayer organizations who equip families that can. Think about if that ONE child were YOUR child in that situation. That is how the Lord sees each of these precious children- He loves each one uniquely and individually. They aren’t just a multitude to Him. Please take the time to pray about supporting one of these organizations, even if you aren’t able to adopt right now. Our agency, Lifeline is partnered with several orphanages (SuiXi, where Charlotte is, being one of them), so some of our fees and agency payments have gone to help her orphanage from a humanitarian perspective. Lifeline sends a team of doctors from the U.S. there to evaluate each child and trains the nannys to better care for the children, and welcomes donations to support the orphanages themselves. Part of our in-country adoption process involves visiting her orphanage and bringing in donations of whatever the nannies tell us they are in need of there. It’s an amazing program that benefits the child/children who get a home and family and also all the others who are left to grow up in the institution to better have their needs met there. So, in a way, when you adopt, you ARE impacting more than just the child who gets a home.

How will I afford it? Isn’t it really expensive?

YES! But, isn’t it expensive to purchase a vehicle, or a home, or the latest electronic gadget or television set? There are many ways to raise the money- we have seen numerous families who live on meager incomes be able to afford adopting over and over again, and here is how they do it:

Fundraising: Pick up a copy of the book Adopt Without Debt. There are so many great ideas we have seen families do to raise money for their adoptions- yard sales, bake sales, church spaghetti dinners, generous contributions through churches when you share your testimony of adoption , benefit concerts, auctions, using their God-given talents to make and sell their projects, etc, etc.

Grants and matching grants: The matching grants are an opportunity to partner to help both widows and orphans, in some cases. If we are blessed to adopt again, we hope to do one of these projects. Look at Lifesong for Orphans, our own red thread links and here is a good list of adopt without debt grant recommendations, though it’s not an exhaustive list.

Consider adopting domestically through foster-to-adopt programs in your state. There are so many children waiting right here at home! We hope to do this eventually when our children are older. The fact that in the U.S. many of these children are removed from their families due to abusive situations made us shy away from those issues that might affect our children at home. The goal for these children to be reunited with their birth families makes it a bit more uncertain than an outright international closed adoption, but the Lord places on each heart exactly where/when/how/whom each of us should adopt. We felt called to China this time, but we have amazing friends who foster and have adopted this way very successfully, some even getting babies straight out of the hospital to foster, and if you have questions I will put you in touch with them. Each state is different, but there is less of a financial barrier to do a domestic adoption. Seek information on each option.  Don’t be afraid to take the plunge if you are being called to pursue adoption. You won’t be sorry. As the hymn goes, just “trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.”

How do I get started?

Start reading: Adopted for Life, Crazy Love and Radical were the fuel that lit the fire under us. Read your Bible. Pray. Seek the counsel of others who have walked this road before.

Then, you need to choose an agency. The placing agency (the one who matches you with a child) does not have to be in your state of residence. We highly recommend Lifeline! Your home study agency DOES have to be in your state. Your placing agency will help you find a home study agency, or they may do the home study themselves if you are located in the same state. Or, if you have a heart for a certain country, start there and find an agency that does that particular country. We did a lot of internet searching in the beginning to find out the requirements in each country, the number of trips required and time in country, etc, etc. Your agency will hold your hand through every step of the process and the agency payments are very manageable as they are spread out over time. Once your home study is complete you can begin the above fundraising as you look forward to travel, when the bulk of the money is due.

Most importantly, have you been adopted?

Have you joined God’s family through adoption yourself? We are so thankful to call God our Father through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and pray you have found that same peace, too.