August 1, 2016

The More Painful Side of Adoption

We have seen God move in tremendous ways over the past year as we began preparing our hearts and lives for the arrival of Baby Dykema. Dave and I saved about half of the $21,000 we need for our adoption. And the rest has been coming in through various fundraisers and out-of-the-blue gifts from friends and family. We only have about $1,300 left to raise. Praise God! As I reflect on this year, there’s so much to be grateful for!

At the same time, honestly, this road hasn’t been all roses and butterflies. There have been plenty of tears and pangs of heartache, too …

  • There are nights I sit alone in my rocking chair in our silent house, aching to hold my baby … longing to rock and sing him/her to sleep. 
  • When we get information about an expectant birth mother, trying not to get too excited … reminding ourselves that even though there’s a chance she could pick us, many couples wait a year or more before having a baby placed with them.
  • Seeing Dave make silly faces and sit right on the ground to play with kids at family events. Thinking about how amazing it’s going to be when he gets to be a dad and how excited I am to parent with him.
  • Sometimes, when I open Facebook to pictures of friends’ babies … I feel a pang wondering how long it will be until our baby comes home.

And while many people are excited about our journey of adoption, not everyone is. I have been pretty blown away by how many people … even near-strangers … will offer up their opinions about how you are “supposed” to build your family. Most of the time, we are able to shrug off these comments, but they do sting. We know these people usually mean well. And we try to be helpful and gracious, understanding that not everyone shares our heart for adoption.

I thought it might be good to share some of the common questions we are getting and how we answer them, so I have listed some of them below: 

“Well, there’s just nothing like having one of your own.” AND “Having a baby who looks like you is so special. Why wouldn’t you want that?” 
RESPONSE: Yes, we know that many couples’ first choice is to have biological kids. Maybe we will someday … maybe not. We both strongly feel God’s call on our lives to adopt, and we are so excited about this method of building our family. Ridiculously excited! It’s not important to us to have kids that look like us or share our DNA.

“So, what’s the problem? Are you struggling with infertility?”
RESPONSE: This is probably the #1 question I have been asked over the past year. What bothers me about this question is that many people assume that adoption is a “second choice” ... something that you pursue only if you can’t have biological kids. This is not the case for us. We have determined that adoption is our first choice … something that we are more interested in doing than having biological kids. And you know, that is a tremendously special thing to be able to share with our adopted child someday!

“It’s wrong to use any kind of birth control. Have you prayed to God about this?”
RESPONSE: Everyone is entitled to their opinion about birth control. But please don’t try to make us feel guilty about choosing to grow our family through adoption, even if it’s not how you would choose to do things yourself. (And yes, over the years, we have been praying hard about God's direction for our family, and God has put the passion to adopt a baby in both our hearts.)

“Why would you want to go through the expensive process of adopting an infant? You know there are so many kids in the foster care system who are just waiting for families! And that’s free!”
RESPONSE: This is something Dave and I have had a LOT of conversations about. Adopting from foster care is certainly much less expensive. But because we will be first-time parents, we thought it would be wonderful to start out with a baby. (We have no parenting experience … and we figured starting with a newborn would be a good way to get that! That’s how most people get parenting experience, right?)  :)

“Why on earth would you choose to do an open adoption? Aren’t you afraid that the birth mother might try to take him/her back?!”
RESPONSE: Believe it or not, there are very few closed adoptions these days. Research shows that it’s healthier for kids to have some connection with their biological family, and we would love to be able to provide that to our kiddo. It might be through letters and pictures … or in-person visits. Either way, whatever is best for our son or daughter is definitely what we want to do. PLUS, just think about how easy it is to get an abortion these days! This birth mom is making a tremendously self-sacrificial and loving choice. First, in giving birth to her baby. And second, in creating an adoption plan for a little one that she is not prepared to parent at this time. Dave and I have a huge respect and love for birth parents, and if possible, we want them to know their son or daughter. (This doesn’t mean they co-parent or something like that … and they cannot take the baby away from us. It’s just more people to love on our child, and who doesn’t want that?!)

I hope this is helpful and shows you a different side of our adoption process. As always, we appreciate your prayers for us … as well as our baby and any of his/her biological family that may be involved in the process. We are so excited to see what God does this year … and hoping that this is the year that brings Baby Dykema into our lives!

Much love to you all,

Laurel

4 comments:

  1. We had some of the same comments too. Choosing adoption first was a heartbeat of ours. Our bio-son wanted to have been adopted so he could tell others that he came on a plane. :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing your heart. I find your desires to be very more thoughtful of others, and many do not understand that selfless way of thinking

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    1. Thanks for your encouragement and kind words. :-)

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