8.21.2008

Why we are adopting...

I have been meaning to post this since the beginning of this adoption process, but I wanted to be able to really sit down and express why we are adopting siblings from Ethiopia and how Robert and I came to that decision.

***


How we came to the decision...

Robert and I had talked about adoption in the past (even before we were married) as a possibility that we wanted to consider in the future. Then one day in January, I was thinking to myself, what if we adopted now? "Now" meaning first, before we even consider having biological children. We were at a conference and one of the speakers was simply challenging us to meet a need--that's what triggered the thought. I thought about it for a couple more days and researched it a little on the internet, then I brought it up to Robert. I wanted to find out what the needs are in the world of adoption--my thought was that I want to adopt now if it is truly needed.

Robert was on board with looking into it, so we did. It is amazing how many opinions there are out there on the subject of adoption. There are countless programs and organizations out there! At one point I was completely overwhelmed by them all, frustrated, and ready to give up on the idea. There are so many requirements, it costs a lot of money, there's a ton of paperwork, and there are so many choices. Robert was my encouragement during this time. He helped me to look at the process with optimism again. Knowing that he wanted to do this as much as I did in the beginning gave me new energy to pursue it.

Looking at websites and information packets from agencies got old quick. Everything blended together and started to look the same. It was difficult to see where we fit in the world of adoption. We were leaning toward international adoption (possibly Ethiopia) with one agency, but I needed a recommendation--a more personal look into adoption.

Robert and I were blessed to make contact with a couple who had very recently adopted from Ethiopia using CHSFS. This couple was much like us prior to making the decision to adopt - young, more than likely capable of having biological children, and choosing to adopt now. Hearing their personal story was so helpful. We met them for lunch one day in order to learn from them about their experiences with adoption. They were straightforward about the challenges that they faced throughout the process, the challenges that they still face, and he challenges that they will face in the future. They had books to recommend, a beautiful story to share, and so much encouragement to give!

It was that day, January 24,2008, that we became convinced that we would make the decision to adopt from Ethiopia using CHSFS.

We are not adopting because it is trendy or because we want to rescue a child from whatever situation they are in. We would be honored to be parents of children who need parents. We have found that there truly is a need for people to adopt.


Why are we adopting from Ethiopia?

In the beginning, as we researched international adoption, we were simply drawn to adoption in Ethiopia because we meet the requirements for adoptive parents for that country. Ethiopia has a government that supports international adoption and the agency that we are using has a strong Ethiopia program.

Also, we love Africa! We have been to other countries within the continent of Africa and we plan on spending a significant amount of time in Angola, Africa doing mission work there (as if any of you who have read this blog didn't know). We look forward to being a multicultural family!

I recently read the book There is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene and it opened my eyes to the need for adoption due to things like AIDS and famine leading to a shortage of adults to care for their children. Here is a quote from that book that really touched me:

"'Adoption is a last resort,' I would be told in November 2005 by Haddush Haleform, head of the Children's Commission under Ethiopia's Ministry of Labor, the arbiter of intercountry adoptions, 'Historically, close kinship ties in our country meant that there were very few orphans: orphaned children were raised by their extended families. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has destroyed so many of our families that the possibility no longer exists to absorb all our Ethiopian orphans.
'I am deeply respectful of the families who care for our children," he said. 'But I am very interested in any help that can be given to us to keep the children's first parents alive. Adoption is good, but children, naturally, would prefer not to see their parents die.'"

This book has magnified Ethiopia's present need for adoption for me personally. It also sets the bar high for Robert and me. We are challenged to help keep Ethiopian parents (and adults in general) alive. I have been doing a lot of praying and thinking about this lately. My prayer is that Robert and I help meet Ethiopia's needs alongside our children.

Why are we adopting siblings?

"You're adopting siblings?!" That is what most people say to us when we share our news with them--especially those who do not know exactly how crazy we already are! It is a big step for first time parents to adopt siblings!

We basically feel that if one child is going to rock our world, why not adopt siblings? There is a need for siblings to be adopted, which is the main reason why we made this decision. Another benefit is that in the future I believe that it will be comforting for each of our kids to have a sibling that is experiencing some of the same feelings that he or she is having.

We recognize that siblings will add new challenges to the adoption experience...and it is a little weird to think that if we are adopting siblings under the age of four that at least one of them might have been born before Robert and I were even married!...but we are excited about the adventures before us...whether we are blessed with infants, toddlers, or preschoolers we are looking forward to meeting these children where they are in life



***

We have already overcome many challenges that have come with this Adoption. We recognize that God has already blessed us with an incredible amount of support from friends and family, He has blessed us financially, and our faith continues to increase as he guides us further in this process. We continue to seek God to guide us through the challenges to come.

6 comments:

Sarah Dill said...

Beautiful, beautiful! I am so blessed to know you both!

Holli said...

This is my first stop to your site.... I am so glad I stopped by we are also with CHSFS and adopting siblings! Praying for your process!

Easties and Co. said...

Thank you for sharing. We have a lot in common. We are adopting from ET and we too feel very moved to help keep biological families together in Ethiopia. I hope that over time we will discover where we can meet that need. I would love to hear more ideas that you both have on how to give back to ET. You both are amazing people. Great blog.

Erik Granberg said...

Hey guys, I am so glad that you have made it this far in the process and are very close now. Lisa and I are in the paper process now of collecting all the birth certs., fingerprinting etc. for our adoption from Ethiopia. We will continue to check in on your blog to see the progress. God bless.
Erik Granberg

Erik Granberg said...

Hey guys, I am so glad that you have made it this far in the process and are very close now. Lisa and I are in the paper process now of collecting all the birth certs., fingerprinting etc. for our adoption from Ethiopia. We will continue to check in on your blog to see the progress. God bless.
Erik Granberg

Brooke said...

This is a great post, Teague. Well put! I think I might get to see you this weekend - we are going to Little Rock with the youth group and I think our groups are getting together?