So much has happened since I wrote my last blog about adopting while living overseas. At that time, it looked like adoption wasn’t going to happen for us until we PCSed back to the states. However, I can tell you with great joy that this past December a small miracle happened and opened the door to us adopting. Since December 21, our adoption journey has been moving at an Olympic sprint pace. We just wrapped up our home study and we are well on the way to adopting our little one. I am extremely open about our process and the challenges that have come with it. So if you are thinking of adopting, I can definitely share what led us to adopt and help answer the most common questions we get. While everyone that adopts, or is thinking of adopting, has a different answer to these questions, here are some questions to consider along your journey.
“Why are you adopting?” and “How did you know adoption was right for you?”
My husband and I felt a calling to adopt. We knew we wanted to be parents one day, but having biological children wasn’t important to us. It doesn’t take much poking around the Internet to discover that there are countless children around our country, and the world, that need a loving, stable home. We both thought, “Why not us?” We can easily accept a child that isn’t genetically linked to us into our home and love him or her with all that we have.
“Have you thought about what it will be like to have a transracial family?”
This question always makes me laugh. OF COURSE we have thought about that! However, we feel that racial tensions of the past are not nearly as present as they were even 10 years ago. America is such a melting pot, and anywhere you go, there are transracial families. Yes, our little one will come from a different heritage than we do, but we are excited to incorporate his or her heritage into our lives. We aren’t wearing rose colored glasses thinking that this is just going to be one big giant utopia; we know there will be challenges, and that our child may face racism because he or she doesn’t look like my husband and me. All we can do is teach our child what is right and that color doesn’t matter by equipping him or her with the tools needed to overcome this adversity. A transracial adoption may not be right for everyone, but for us it is just a blip on the radar.
“Why international adoption? Why not a U.S. domestic adoption?”
Everyone who is adopting either internationally or domestically will have a different answer to this. We chose international for personal reasons. Mostly we feel that the country we chose is where OUR child is. If you are thinking of adopting, be prepared for people to offer their opinion on your decision. If they disagree with you, simply take a deep breath, smile and move on. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks; it is your family and your choice.
“Have you tried (insert any random procedure, old wives’ tale, etc.) to have a biological child? Aren’t you sad you will miss out on having a biological child instead?”
Not everyone that chooses adoption does so because they are unable to have their own biological child. Those that have tried every procedure under the sun may be hurt by this question. I would like to point out that for those that choose adoption, adoption isn’t the LAST choice; it is the BEST choice for their family.
Sure, by adopting we will miss out on ever knowing what traits a biological child would get from us. Like would our baby have my ginger-colored hair, or perhaps my husband’s smile? While it is fun to think about, in the end we will have OUR child regardless of sharing any physical traits. Our hope is that we can instill a good heart, a hardworking attitude and the thirst for adventure that we both have into our child. If I am lucky, he or she might even enjoy joining me in singing and dancing around the house with careless abandon! These are the traits we want most in our child—more than sharing physical similarities.
In the end, you and your spouse will know in your hearts if adoption is right for you. If you have questions, ask someone that has been there! Anyone that has adopted is generally open to answering any questions you have…even if you think they are silly! I know firsthand because I asked A LOT of questions! The adoption community is full of people willing to share their story and help others along the path to becoming a family.