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Thursday, June 09, 2005

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Well, I'm glad for you. Given what you say about your early desires for a family, it sounds to me like adoption at this point would be a very good choice for you. Perhaps someday I will stand in the place you are now, but it may take a few years. From the time I was 11 years old I have felt a deep-seated longing for the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, and if my desire is denied it may take me a while to grieve the loss. I've always said that if I couldn't have biological children I would adopt, and that is still our plan, but at the moment when I consider adoption all I feel is sorrow, loss and bitterness. Fortunately, we'll have a while to get used to the idea if need be (we haven't even been TTC for a year yet). Hopefully God will change my heart if it turns out that adoption is the way we are meant to build our family.

By the way, when I was very young, about 6 years old, I had a "best friend" who was black, and I didn't have any awareness of her race until years later either. :-)

I have always thought a family of all colors was a truly awesome thing. What is even cooler is that God seems to be providing similar guidance to both you and Michael. It's always amazing to me to recognize when he is "whispering" to us. I can't wait to see what his plan has in store for you both.

I just wanted to drop a note to encourage you to seriously consider domestic adoption if you're considering adopting other-than-caucasian children. I just read an article in People Magazine (will have to go find the mag again to see if it's available online) about Canadians and Europeans who are coming to the US to adopt African-American babies. According to the article, it's difficult to place African-American babies here in the US but there are lots of them out there.
On the flip-side, though, I've also been told (by someone whose sister did it four times) that it can sometimes be difficult to *find* an African-American baby to adopt here. Personally, I think a lot depends on the area of the country where you live and/or look.

Like Sarah, I'm "not there yet" on adoption either - what I tell people who ask me (I'm pretty frank about our IF when people ask me if we have kids: "No, not for lack of trying, though - we've been trying for about 5 years") about adoption is that I have a LOT of anger to work through before I can submit myself to that long complicated process. The month-to-month rollercoaster is hard enough.

I always felt the same way about race. I wonder if it's because our generation grew up watching The Jeffersons and The Cosby Show and all that. I just never saw them as being different in that way. And my parents never cared what color the guy was that I married. They just wanted him to be a good man/husband/father. And I ended up marrying a Mexican-American. I'm perfectly happy with that. And when I was in nursing school and did a rotation in post-partum I held and cared for babies of all races. I learned that you can put any child in my arms and I absolutely wont care what color they are, just that they need me.

If God is calling you to adoption, I'll pray for you. Adoption is just such a beautiful gift for everyone. I'm excited just reading your post! :-)

Elizabeth, whatever you and your husbad decide, I know it will be wise decision because you are a very smart woman who has a firm head on her shoulders. Good luck with everything!

God is "showing me that however our children come to us, I will love them with my whole heart." That is the core of what gets me through this whole IF journey- the belief that when I finally have a complete family (I've got one and am TTC #2), I'll be so in love with those children because of who they are as individuals, it won't matter how long it took to get them or where they came from, because if I hadn't struggled I wouldn't have the specific kids who became my children. Maybe I didn't intend to wait through 4.5 years of marriage to finally have my first kid and be almost 9 years into marriage with no 2nd child in sight, but if I'd gotten my kids earlier than I wouldn't have the little boy I have now and I wouldn't have whatever children I'm meant to have in the future (either by pregnancy or adoption).

I'm in awe re: your willingness to accept adoption before medical intervention- I have a friend who adopted her son from korea because infertility treatment made her feel "broken" (her words, not mine) whereas adoption made her feel as if she was accomplishing a goal. My "issues" around international or non-caucasian adoption are around privacy and that I don't want to be walking down the street with my kids and have people know a part of my life story. Its my own hang-up and I'd never project it onto other people, but its a hang-up nonetheless.

I hope that you find a path that gets you on the road to parenthood quickly, because there is a baby out there (either through pregnancy or adoption) who's meant to be your child.

I have to say both "Congratulations!" and "Wow" - holding out completely against the medical hook is really, really hard. I'm really glad you've both gotten the go-ahead signal, so to speak; that has to be exciting to start figuring out which countries and agencies and so forth. Really looking forward to hearing what turns up - it's a neat thought that your son or daughter may already be out there somewhere, even if very very tiny :).

Amy - I've heard conflicting things about Af-Am adoption. I know some people who adopted a mixed-race infant domestically and they had to wait quite a long time, even though they were open to any colour imaginable. I've heard that it may not be so much an issue of mixed/black children being available as being available *at birth*, as opposed to later through the foster-care system, which is a whole different adoptive can of worms. But I haven't got any stats on that or anything, just rumour ;).

I'm so happy for you that God seems to be speaking clearly to both you and Michael. I know a couple that was led toward adoption at the same fork in the road -- they had always considered interracial adoption, and had much more peace with adoption that with fertility treatments. When their (adopted) daughter was two years old, they had a biological child. The husband shared with me that a lot of people remarked that they thought they "couldn't have children" but that the reality of it was, they knew that they probably could conceive, maybe not, but were fine waiting on God and letting Him lead their family. It's a powerful witness.

Oh, Elizabeth, this is awesome. I'm so excited for you guys. It's amazing the way God works sometimes, with leading you both (separately) in the same direction.

Praise God! What a beautiful thought. I have had similar ones and though it will not be for some time (not married!) I would love to adopt or even be a foster mother (realizing how incredibly hard that would be) as well as having my own if God wills it.

A teacher I had for Social Work once said, "You pro-lifers always say 'Adoption is an option' and I have news for you: Black babies don't get adopted." I have volunteered a bit at a maternity/infant home here in DC, and I must say this statement seems to be true. There are so many little children there, so beautiful, and so in need of a family. I think one of the hardest things is how they go year by year growing up there, with the knowledge that they will probably have no other place. Especially as they grow older, their chances of being adopted go down further. I know that couples spend a lot of money going to other countries, and I do not doubt that their hearts are in the right place. But I would encourage you, who are so open to having a child who doesn't necessarily look like you, to look around domestically. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

Rainbow colored adoptive families are a wonderful thing. We adopted our daughter, who is black, and we ourselves are not.

Don't think that a mixed adoptive and biological family would be a bad thing, though if it happened that way someday. I know of many families like that and it has worked out fine. It was said once of someone ... she gave birth to two of her children and adopted two, but forgot which ones.

It will be a long journey and I wish you well.

This is wonderful news. Congratulations!

Hi Elizabeth!
I am sorry to make kind of a different comment after all these good ones, but I have a blog now!
Also, is having a part-bilogical, part-adopted family bad?
Look at the Persons!

Adoption is such a beautiful picture of what God has done for us, as marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ's union with the church. I'm so happy for you that you and Michael are feeling happiness and peace over adoption--what a blessing that you're on the same page. I'm so impressed with your wisdom and maturity.

I've had the same fear about loving my bio kids more (should I opt to adopt one day), but I have to say that this does not seem to be an issue for the families I know who have children both from adoption and biologically. I do, however, think that it can create doubt in the mind of the adopted child and that it must be loved away (and perhaps addressed in a family counseling session or two--or more...I'm a big fan of Christian counseling).

Hi, I recently found your blog. My husband and I adopted two children. Our son was a domestic adoption. He came to us at 5 months and has Down Syndrome. Our daughter came home at 6 months and was born in Korea. They are 14 and 8 years old now. I have to smile at the worries about loving biological children more. It's crossed my mind that if I ever did get pregnant I'm afraid I'd love my first two more!
Blessings,
Beth

PS Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you. Our son came from a program that places handicapped children. Our daughter from an agency dealing with overseas adoptions.

Coming late to this party but the really strange thing is "The Family That Nobody Wanted" was one of my favorite books when I was growing up. I haven't thought of it for years and years. Just the other day it popped into my head ... then I read this post and had to go check Amazon to see if that was the same book. Of course, it was. Good luck with all of it. I can only imagine how excited you must be to finally feel "motion" coming from all your prayers and hopes.

Re: domestic adoption

I think it depends on the area and the people involved, but I've heard that it can be difficult to adopt interracially in this area because there is a philosophy on the part of the social workers that black children ought to grow up in black families if at all possible, so that they don't lose their cultural identity. It can be easier to get an older child who is already harder to place.

Of course, private adoption doesn't have the same difficulties, and international adoption is something else entirely.

That said, I am very excited to hear you and Michael are looking into adoption! Please keep us updated!

We adopted our first child, then gave birth to two, then adopted our last child. Honestly, this isn't lip service, I don't love them any differently. A baby or child placed in your arms becomes yours no matter whose body they came out of. I am so grateful for our infertility, because it brought adoption into our lives. It is a wonderful experience, and I have beautiful, wonderful, interesting, smart children who I otherwise would have never shared a life with. Listen to your heart and your gut instinct, it sounds like it is leading you in the right direction.

You are going to make such a wonderful mother. And I'm so proud of you for letting God lead your decision making process. There's just no way you can go wrong when you do that, even if things aren't always easy.

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break."
Ancient Chinese belief
This saying makes me weep. At one point I felt sure there was a red thread for me. Now - I know it's not the time (I have my own two), but I can't shake the feeling that maybe in the future, or in some other way I can't completely see...

I know several families that have adopted daughters from Asian countries. And I'm not sure I've counted them all because, well, who really notices? There are many families in my area currently adopting children (not babies!) from Russia. The children come over and are hosted and then usually the family adopts - our pastor's family adopted a girl and my oral surgeon adopted three at once!

I just wanted to share an experience that I had this past Sunday. I volunteer at the local zoo on the weekends, and this man always brings his daughter. she is about a year and a half, just the most adorable thing ever. Well It happened to be Father's day, so I went out on a limb, and wished him a happy day, if she was indeed his daughter.

He replied: "Thank you very much, and actually, I have been fostering her, and the adoption papers just went through on Thursday, so now she really is my daughter and it's my first father's day!"

I was so touched, and said congratulations! I told him how lucky they both were, and said what a doll his little girl was. Then he said "Thanks, I couldn't have done it better if I tried"

This almost brought tears to my eyes, it was so sweet. Any time I ever hear about an adoption story, I will remember those words, and the look of pride and joy on his face.

You have both made a decision that will not only change your life and your lucky children but those around you. My husband and I (both caucacian) adopted an African American child 3 years ago. He has been the light in our lives. Ours was a domestic adoption which has led us to become foster parents. There are many children that need homes and families of all races, sizes and shapes. Unfortunatley, their are not more people in this country to take care of OUR children. My husband and I have adopted our son and fostered two others in the last 3 years. One being a 17 year old and the other 4. From experience, no matter where a child comes from, how old or what color they are there is love for all. We are so fortunate to have helped these children and now our son at 5 yrs old wants to know when we could help another child. There are plenty of children here that can complete your family. You can search through your local community or go through other states department of children and families. We adopted our son in 8 months and he was able to live with us as a foster child before the adoption. Good Luck to you both.

You have both made a decision that will not only change your life and your lucky children but those around you. My husband and I (both caucacian) adopted an African American child 3 years ago. He has been the light in our lives. Ours was a domestic adoption which has led us to become foster parents. There are many children that need homes and families of all races, sizes and shapes. Unfortunatley, their are not more people in this country to take care of OUR children. My husband and I have adopted our son and fostered two others in the last 3 years. One being a 17 year old and the other 4. From experience, no matter where a child comes from, how old or what color they are there is love for all. We are so fortunate to have helped these children and now our son at 5 yrs old wants to know when we could help another child. There are plenty of children here that can complete your family. You can search through your local community or go through other states department of children and families. We adopted our son in 8 months and he was able to live with us as a foster child before the adoption. Good Luck to you both.

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