For those of you who have spoken to us recently, you’ve probably heard that we’re starting the process of fostering to adopt. The response we get the most is “Why?” Some people ask if we are having infertility problems, others think that something went wrong with my last cesarean, and some just can’t fathom wanting someone else’s kid when you can have your own.
For me, adoption has been on my heart since I was a young girl. I’ve always wanted to be a mom and I didn’t care who I’d get to be a mom to. Jacob, on the other hand, took a little longer to get there. He was even hesitant adopting our dog, Dexter, because he was afraid he didn’t have the capacity to love any other dog like he did his childhood dog. As his wife, I sometimes know him better than he knows himself and chose to adopt Dexter disregarding his reluctance because I knew his capacity to love was much more extravagant than he realized (within days, Jacob’s love for Dexter was obvious). The congruity needed in adopting a child, though, is much more crucial and it was not something I was going to force Jacob into. If Jacob someday expressed a interest in adoption, I wanted that inclination to come from God and God alone so, I purposed in myself that I would not plead my case with him but that I was only going to pray that God made adoption a desire of his heart. On August 26, 2015 at 2:00am, I went into labor with our second child, and about 10 hours into my labor, Jacob, out of nowhere, says “Let’s adopt our next baby.”
I waited a while before jumping in 1.) because I had a newborn and 2.) I wanted to make sure Jacob didn’t just say that in the moment while I was in labor because he didn’t want to see me in pain anymore. On November 20, 2015, after many conversations between the two of us, we had lunch with Raul & Amelia Blanco, who were friends/mentors of ours and had fostered & adopted their first and their fourth kid. We wanted to hear from Godly people who had walked the road we were about to venture down and seek wisdom and insight that they have knowing the process and knowing us. Leaving their home that day, we felt confident that this was what God wanted for us. We got home and immediately started calling adoption agencies.
One thing you should know about my husband is that in 2007, Jacob was charged for possession of a controlled substance- cocaine (less than 1 gram)- and evading arrest in a vehicle, and in August of 2008, was sentence to 6 months of incarceration. Knowing that his felony was going to be an obstacle, the first question I asked any potential agency was “Do you allow parents with a nonviolent, nonsexual felony to adopt?” Most said they’d have to review the situation before making a decision, which was what I had expected and all I could hope for. After calling multiple agencies, we decided on Casa de Esperanza, the agency the Blancos recommended.
On December 16, 2015 we went to an orientation at Casa and drove home anxious, knowing that our first hurdle would be getting past the background check. We sent in our background check applications a few weeks later, being completely transparent about what they were going to find on it.
That brings us to today. I get a call from Bonnie, the coordinator of foster care recruitment & training, telling me she submitted our background checks but she didn’t seem optimistic. She said once she received the official background information, she’d bring it to the directors and hope that our transparency and our reference from the Blanco’s outweighed Jacob’s record.
My mood was quiet gloomy after receiving that phone call. After moping around the house all morning and having lunch with my Mom, I really started to think back to our “why”. Why did we want to adopt? Yes, selfishly, we wanted to add another member to our family but the bigger “why” was bringing glory to God. A few days ago, I binge-read a blog written by Rachel Camp documenting her & her husband’s adoption story and she presented these two questions that they asked themselves when considering whether to adopt their son:
- Will this situation drive us closer to God and each other, or further away?
- Will this open doors for us to share Christ through our story?
That second question impacted me so deeply that it was the inspiration to start this blog. This blog is an absolute leap of faith for me. It’s me saying, “God, I trust that you’ll give us a story worth telling.” I’m not going to wait to see what the finish line looks like before I start telling it because I know my God and He is ALWAYS good. So, there’s my “why”. It is Gospel driven. Adoption, for us, is not only another way to add to our family but it’s another way for us to share His grace and His redemption and to shout out God’s goodness! I want every person who hears our story to see Jesus, our God, our King, and how great His love is for us.
Romans 8:23-25 “…we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”