Thursday, May 14, 2009

To Give You an Idea of the Journey Ahead

The idea of adopting has never been a foreign one for us. Brian is adopted, and my father was adopted. My closest family friends growing up had an adopted son, and one of my cousins is adopted. Basically, adoption was always viewed as a good thing and was considered something pretty normal in the families in which we were raised.

As a teenager, when I would dream about the family I would one day have, I would envision adopted children as part of it. When Brian was in his early 30s, the mistreatment of street children he witnessed in Romania made him want to adopt

When we were dating and getting to know one another, we were both delighted to learn that the other was interested in adopting children. After we married, we began talking more seriously about adopting, but we didn't have a clear direction. Even after attending an adoption seminar at a local church in Southern California, we still didn't know if foster-to-adopt, domestic adoption, or international adoption was for us. If we had to choose an order for those three options, international adoption was at the end of the list (for me).

I had read a blog post several years earlier written by a woman who was adopted from Korea, and she really grieved being removed from the culture into which she was born. "I don't want to do that to someone," I thought. And then I really never gave it a second thought.

This past January, Brian and I went with some friends to see Slumdog Millionaire. Seeing the way orphaned children were exploited was more than I could handle. At one point in the movie, Brian leaned over to me and whispered in my ear, "This is why we're adopting." At one point, I was so overwhelmed by the way they were exploited by greedy adults, I had to get up during the movie and go to the bathroom and weep. Through my tears, I asked God, "How can I be part of the solution to this awful problem?" Even though I was still uneasy about the idea of international adoption, something in me began to open to the idea.

After the movie, we talked with our friends (one of whom works for World Relief) over coffee about the plight of orphans in different parts of the world. In the days and weeks that followed, I couldn't get international adoption off my mind. I began to do internet research about it.

Some of our friends had adopted two children from Ethiopia. I began to learn about the 4 million orphans there who need families, and my heart caught fire for Ethiopia. Finally, I had a real sense of direction about adoption--I felt called to adopt from Ethiopia.

Seeing the Bottomly family meet their baby for the first time was so moving and beautiful.  Brian and I had to pause this adoption video to get kleenex because it touched our hearts so much.  These families made international adoption part of their story, and in the process changed the story of these beautiful children who needed the love of a family. As the stories of the adoptive parents and their adopted children have merged, new chapters of hope and blessing are being written. 

Oh, that the pages of our story will be so blessed!


Autumn's Mom said...

Everyone's adoption story is different. I hope your children's story will be one of happiness and love that they received from the two of you.

J at said...

What a moving post. You have surely been called to a cause here, for the greater good. And a greater good for your family.

Wishing you an easy and quick journey. And if it isn't, then at least a journey that brings your baby (babies) to your arms.

wordnerd said...

that movie...and your post...just made me work!

Ted and Lori said...

I wanted to live in Timusaura after I met a woman from there during the years I lived in Slovakia. I never made it that way, one of my regrets from during that time.
Bless you guys on this journey! So are you in SoCal?