There are a whole lot of orphans in the world, and there is a big push (especially in the Church) for more parents to adopt. This is a great thing and a worthy cause. But in our passion and desperation to find homes for children, I feel that we often tread closely to manipulation. Look at this happy adoptive family photo! You could do this for a child! Yes you! All they need is a home and a family to love them!
And yes, so many need homes and they all need love, but how often do we gloss over everything else that they need-- an exorbitant amount of patience and a ridiculous amount of grace? They don’t trust adults, they don’t feel worthy of love, they test limits, they tell you they don’t love you or want to be in your family; all to protect their little hearts that have been broken one too many times in their short life.
People just don’t talk much about this part of adoption. It’s not pretty or fun and it is hard to talk about. I know that we all want to protect our children’s privacy and reputation, but I feel like when we don’t talk about the hard, when new parents get there, they feel blindsided. They aren’t prepared. They question their decision to adopt and they question the child’s fit in their family.
This is not right and it’s not fair to anyone in the situation.
One of my goals of this website is to help struggling families know that they are not alone. I am not going to sell my kids out or throw anyone under the bus, but I will be real and vulnerable. It is hard. It gets easier, but takes years, not months. The progress is so slow that sometimes you don’t even notice it. Or you think things are going great and then take two steps back and feel very discouraged.
Infant or toddler adoption sometimes can be less challenging, but do not expect that. I encourage prospective adoptive parents to put on their big boy pants, obey their call to adopt, and expect it to be incredibly hard. It is indescribably rewarding to watch a child grow and blossom into a son or daughter, but it is a rocky road and a bump ride. The videos and photos that people show do not show that. I think they’re afraid if they did no one in their right minds would do it.
We cannot do this alone. It takes a big God, a strong family and a network of people who understand.