Adoption is intimidating

This is the fourth blog in the series “Adoption Is” for National Adoption Month 2019. Read the entire series.

When you get a cough and an itch at the same time, the last thing you are supposed to do is Google it, right? When you’re thinking about adopting, what is the first thing you do? Google it.

And if you don’t run screaming into the night by all of the web sites, you’re no doubt going to feel at least a little trepidation about even coming near this whole adoption thing. Even before you start, adoption is intimidating.

When my now adopted children first came into my home as foster children, they explored the house, carefully, cautiously, meticulously. They had just met us, removed from everything they knew that very morning. They had been “handed over” in a sterile office building and sent home with us in the middle of a horrendous thunderstorm.

They were four and five… can you even imagine?

Adoption is intimidating.

You have the call of adoption on your heart. You know domestic adoption is the best fit for your family. You interview several agencies. They give you the hard sell. And, then you see the fees. $20,000 maybe $30,000 maybe even more to provide an infant a home after a mother has made an excruciatingly difficult choice. How in the world can it be that expensive? How can you afford anything like that?

Adoption is intimidating.

Ten to 12 weeks. That’s how long you’ll have to separate from your family to bring home a child from overseas. You’ve done the fundraising, you’ve trained and trained and learned about culture and trauma. Months of background checks, months of preparation and now its time to say goodbye at the airport. The in-country requirement is tough. Oh, and you’re not a hundred percent sure if you’ll have a job waiting for you upon your return.

Adoption is intimidating.

When the social worker hands you a stack of no less than 50 papers for you to read and sign or you see the first outburst of trauma that they warn you about, you’re going to feel wholly inadequate. And you are. But, you are called to it, you can endure it.

My eldest has faced obstacle after obstacle in his dozen years. Coming into our home and transitioning from shy, scared little guy to confident, smart capable young man has been an incredible experience to witness.

Last Spring, our family got to head to the mountains for a getaway retreat. He stood on top of this mountain and looked straight up at a formidable rock wall and said, “I’m going to do this.” He gave it all his might yet never reached the top. When he came down, he said, “it’s ok… at least I tried and I wasn’t afraid.”

He went on about his weekend and when the crazy adults got the idea to zip line into the 34-degree pond he wanted in so bad. And he conquered it. And when we get past our fears and intimidation about the adoption process, we’ll put our first foot on the wall. We’ll lift our feet and hurl off the balcony.

But yes, indeed, adoption is intimidating.

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