My Fickle Desire to Adopt

Why can I not just be content? Why can’t I just move on and accept my childless life? I want to so badly, but my heart just keeps showing me the void that it seems only a child could fill.

I’m 90-some-percent sure I’ll never be able to have a child of my own, but since I still have my reproductive organs there is a chance. I have moved on to accept there will most likely never be a person who shares mine and my husband’s genes. It’s not okay…it will never be okay…but I have come to accept it for the most part.

On Sunday we sat behind a couple (who were several years older than us) who had adopted what appeared to be a child of Latino heritage. I heard her talking to someone about it. I don’t know if they had been CNBC, but she stated that her and her husband had been married 30 years and now had adopted 2-1/2-year-old (who is just drop-dead adorable by the way).

That old desire to adopt came crashing back on me. Like I’ve said a million times…church is the emotionally hardest place I go all week. I’m frequently overcome by all the sweet families with children. It’s usually worse when there’s a baby dedication. Well, last Sunday I was crying even before the first strains of music began. Seeing that couple with their adopted child combined with some emotionally tough things I encountered last week was the perfect storm. I somehow managed not to let it descend into sob-fest that necessitated that I leave the sanctuary to compose myself, but it was a very close call indeed.

Well, last night I went and picked up a book by a new author I had just discovered. I didn’t pick the book entirely on the story; however, the story intrigued me a bit. It was about three children who were orphaned after their parents were killed in a tenement fire in the late 1800’s. They first went to an orphanage in New York City, but then were sent to Missouri to be adopted.

The adoption process was disturbingly simple in that time period. Orphans would be shipped by train to requesting towns. They would be ushered into a local church or public hall. They would be numbered and stand before the crowds something akin to slave selling or auctioning. Money wasn’t supposed to change hands, but there were no regulations to speak of. The orphanage representatives were known to take bribes from people who wanted to ensure they got first pick…infants, strong farm-hand-able boys etc.

In this novel the three siblings end up separated…the separation narrated in heart-rending detail. The oldest child vows that she will eventually find her two siblings.

That’s as far as I have read so far.

I don’t know if adoption has been planted in my head this week by coincidental happenstance, or if it is God trying to tell me something. After two near misses with adoption several years ago following arduous years of infertility treatments my heart could take no more. We pursued it no further for my mental well being. Our financial situation was also (still isn’t) favorable for adoption. Whether you do it privately, closed, domestic, or internationally adoption is a costly process at best. You don’t just walk into a church, pick out a kid, and leave with your child the same day.  While I’m glad the process has become more stringent it has crossed the line of being too complicated and costly for the normal middle-class person.  That is unless you go the foster/adopt route which is really the only route to adoption state social services allow anymore…also, not for the faint of heart.

Even if we did come up with the cash for the process we’d need another financial miracle for me to be able to stay home with the child which is what I’d feel I’d owe a child…especially if we adopted one who had been in an orphanage or foster situation for any length of time.

So, here I sit not knowing if my renewed desire is something God breathed or just a “desire” that I harbor because it’s really the only thing left we can do to obtain a child of our own.  Maybe the desire will be gone again tomorrow?

I do believe adoption is a calling and something that you shouldn’t do for primarily selfish reasons. It should be done for the child’s benefit. Any joy or fulfillment that you get as a parent should be seen as collateral benefit.

I guess all I can do is pray. In the past this desire has waxed and waned. If it were to happen God would first have to put my husband and I on the same page, and then He would have to do some major door opening. If I look at it practically it’s certainly a no-go circumstantially, but the side of me that contains the faith of a  mustard seed (and believe me, it’s a very small mustard seed) says I should be open and listen to what my heart is telling me.

My main desire is to be obedient to God. I don’t want to miss His best for me, or the best for a potential child He might place in our life.

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