To adopt or not to adopt: that is the question.

If you’ve read my about me page or my Loving the Life I Never Wanted post, you know it’s no secret that Plan A for my life included having a family of my own as the foundation for everything else.  That vision always included the idea of adopting children. At the risk of belaboring the point, life didn’t exactly play out the way I thought.  Not news to anyone – good or bad.  Just the way it is.

And while I am coming to terms with my life the way it is. I am kinda sorta content with my life. And yet, I can’t get away from the thought of adopting on my own. It’s been a thought that I’ve entertained on and off for the last 10 years.  At 32 I thought, well if I find myself closer to 40 and still single, then I’ll think about it.  Of course, that deadline has come and gone.  And while nothing is ever permanently settled, my life is as settled as it’s ever been.  Which leaves me asking, if not now, when?  Do I have a real reason not to do this?

If I decide to move forward, I will explore adopting a child from the foster care system first.  Since I’ve been a foster parent before, I at least have some experience with that system.  Beyond the obvious obstacles or questions like finances,  support systems; what are the real issues I need to contend with?

Issues I am thinking/praying through in no particular order:

1.  What would people think.  I hate to admit it but I care.  If I adopt, I don’t want it to be seen as some big statement about what I think about traditional families. I know there are lots of opinions about whether single women should adopt or not.  I have questions myself but I worry that people would project opinions on me that might not be my own.  I realize I can’t control this one bit and probably shouldn’t let it worry me.  But it does.

2. In view of the woman who put her adopted child back on a plane to Russia, I have to ask if I have what it takes to stick it out whatever comes even if there are seriously difficult issues.

3.  Is this more about me needing to be a Mom than it is about a child who needs to be loved because I think any child deserves it to be more about them than it is about me.  Maybe I’m too selfish after all these years of living a life that has mostly been all about me.

4.  Is this me trying to play God? Is this me not wanting to take a ‘no’ from God as the final word.  Is this a lack of faith or patience? What if the reason he didn’t give me the things I’ve prayed decades for is he has a different future in mind and I’m avoiding embracing it by forcing my own stubborn will.

5.  I may be too old to start this.  Some of my friends children have children.  Really?!  Can I be old enough to be a grandmother technically and seriously consider this?

What am I missing?  Is this me over thinking or is it even possible to over think something this monumental?  I’m open for wise counsel but mostly prayer support!

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10 Responses to To adopt or not to adopt: that is the question.

  1. sus says:

    anne…it’s taken me a few days to read this and then reply…because my heart and desires are right there with you! i’ve gotten literature, started reading up, but then i just put on the breaks…is it fear of doing it alone? is it fear of denying God His plans w/ my life? etc. SOOOOO many of the exact same questions! LOVE all of the replies! i love that you were ever comfortable enough to put it out there! i finally shared w/ my parents over thanksgiving that i am considering it! i will pray for you, my friend, as you ponder this as well…exciting + scary! (well, that defines SO MUCH of life, doesn’t it?) LOVE YOU, ANNIE C!

    • amabry says:

      I will pray for you, too. Love that you are considering it. I know the Lord will lead you to His plans and purposes for your life, friend.

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  3. Chris Armes says:

    Wow! is all I can say, Anne. I think that you have much to give to the world that only be multiplied by you being a mother, especially to children that are so eager for and in need of love and stability. You will be able to introduce that child to the ultimate love through your walk with Christ. I think that it shows spiritual maturity athat you are able to examine this issue and your motivations so openly and honestly. I feel priveledged to be in the circle of people (FB friends) with whom you have shared. In my line of work, I see many children who are either in the foster care system or have been in that system. They so need love and it sounds like you have it to give. Please know that I will pray for you as you continue to work through what is God’s will for your life, especially as you reconcile that with your longing. I think that you would be a great mom and I will support you an any decision that you make, starting now by praying for you earnestly. See you soon.

  4. Anne, I love your blog – bravo for your courage in saying it like it is!

    I totally agree with Tyler (and I, too, think questions 1 and 5 are good to think about!). I’d add, that I think that adoption is, in no way, playing “God.” There are so many children on this earth who need a Mom like you! I believe that it’s God who puts ideas like this into your heart in the first place.

    I totally see adoption – whether as a single parent or not – as an amazing act of selflessness. I just love that you’re even considering it. That speaks volumes about you!

    By the way, I don’t think the questions you are asking are all THAT different from the ones I recently heard from a young couple who’s considering having a baby. The “when will I be ready?” question is a tough one!

    I, too, considered adoption a while ago. For me, I realized I simply didn’t have the support system or the financial stability to make me comfortable to move forward. That may be a cop-out, frankly (and some days I think it is!), but it was valid enough in my mind to decide to put my energy elsewhere. Either way you decide I’m sure you will learn a lot about yourself. Trying to find the road God has paved for us — and our place in making a contribution along the way – is sometimes a real challenge!

    Thanks for sharing your experiences of the journey!!

    • amabry says:

      Sharlene thanks for your encouraging words. I agree that many of the questions and emotions are the same whether it’s a single or a couple going through this. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and your own process. I worry about the financial stability and support system question to. That’s a tricky one because I know that financial stability today could be gone tomorrow. But I do know that God will provide because he always has before. I’m sure I’ll have more to question through the process and I’ll probably do the processing ‘out loud’ on my blog. Glad it’s not annoying to everybody!

  5. Shannon Carpino says:

    Anne-

    After reading this, I was so compelled to respond to you. I think it is a wonderful selfless idea to adopt. Selfish has never been a word that has come to my mind when I think of you. It is never selfish to share love with someone, even if it’s because we feel the need to : )

    You helped me out during such a bizarre time in my life, and I don’t know if I truly told you how grateful I was. You were such a blessing to my children, and they still bring you up in conversation every once in a while. It’s funny, it was so long ago, and you made such an impression.

    Girl! You know I’ve been a single mom, and it’s not always easy, but it is so rewarding. I felt such honor that God saw me fit to raise those babies, and I took a lot of satisfaction in the little things. Don’t you worry about what other people think….I have never worried (maybe I should a little more, he, he!) But, the Lord sometimes puts us in situations that the world may not necessarily approve of, but He does. Adoption is such a biblical idea…think of Joseph and baby Jesus……

    Please keep me posted on what you choose to do. I’d love to pray for you in your decision. Of course, you know you have my support. And don’t worry about question #4. If God doesn’t want you to adopt, it just simply won’t happen. But, I think if he has put this desire in you, the rest will come the way it’s supposed to.

    God bless you in your new adventure…whatever you choose to do : )

    Shannon Carpino

    • amabry says:

      Girl, you made me cry. Thanks for your kind and wise words. I think about your sweet kids from time to time too! I love seeing new pics when you post them on facebook. They are growing up! I would be honored if you’d pray for me in the process.

  6. Tyler Clark says:

    I love that you’re thinking about this, Anne!

    A few years ago, we discussed this on a drive back from Atlanta, and I’ve thought about it from time to time. The mere fact that you’re asking such great questions suggests to me that you’re on the right track.

    In my opinion, questions 1 and 5 shouldn’t stop you. They are worth asking, but I they are ultimately superficial reasons.

    Of course there are things to be concerned about, but–based solely on the issues that you addressed about–I don’t think that they trump the need that some child has for a mother to love him (or her).

    In the past few weeks, I’ve befriended an unusual number of single parents. They’re great parents, and they make non-traditional families work beautifully. Just because it isn’t traditional doesn’t mean that it’s less than.

    Obviously, this is a decision that only you can make, but I think that you will be a wonderful mother if you choose to become one.

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