Sunday, June 19, 2011

Surprise Adoptions

While you've surely heard of "surprise pregnancies" (meaning the pregnant mom wasn't hoping and dreaming of having a baby when she found out she was pregnant), you might not have heard of a surprise adoption. So, how can an adoption be a surprise?

Adoptions take planning

The spring of 2005 found us with four adoptions behind us with four children of various backgrounds to show for it.

Each of those adoptions involved much dreaming and planning. We had known we wanted a child. But, where would we find that child? What kind of child? What kind of special needs might that child have? How long would the process take until we got our child? How much travel time would be involved? How much would it cost?

So, we dreamed, searched, and planned.

Adoptions take money

Each of our adoptions had involved much money, too. Unless you adopt through the state system (which we had not done), you will most likely find yourself spending loads of money. While it is possible to have an inexpensive adoption, most adoptions cost several thousands of dollars.

So, we'd not been dreaming of another child (although unbeknownst to my husband, I'd been praying and asking God couldn't I have another baby?) or planning for it (meaning saving money month after month), how could we afford to adopt?

Surprise adoption #1

It was warm and sunny on that April afternoon in 2005 when the phone rang. Annsley, from the adoption agency we'd used for our last adoption, was calling to tell us about a baby that needed a home. this baby was considered very hard to place (well, in the minds of many people).

This was our introduction to our fifth child, Lydia. Lydia was born to Guatemalan parents who were living in Florida. she was born a triple amputee and was missing her lower jawbone. Already being parents of an amputee and knowing other amputees, the missing limbs were not an issue. The missing lower jawbone would certainly present some challenges, butnot enough for us to turn our backs on her.

The process to update our homestudy was begun!

Surprise adoption #1 came home to us when the hospital released her into our arms when she was six-weeks-old.

Surprise adoption #1 was fully funded by God through gifts from His people.

Surprise Adoption #2

Less than one year later on a cool winter day, a phone call (why did these type of calls come while Ed was at work?) informed me of an unborn baby in danger of abortion. The birthmother had found out that the baby she was carrying had multiple special needs.

That was our introduction to our 6th child and our second surprise adoption.

Our baby was to be born with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and bilateral clubbed feet. We knew we'd have to help him with challenges, but it wasn't enough to make us turn our backs on him.

The process to update our homestudy was begun, again!

Jacob was born three months later to a local birthmother. We were at the hospital when he was born and were allowed to start signing for his care right away.

Surprise adoption #2 came home to us when he was two-weeks-old.

Surprise adoption #2 was funded by us in just three months and was the least expensive of all our adoptions.

Good surprise or bad surprise?

Whenever I hear of someone's "surprise pregnancy", I get the feeling that while they seems to be happy for another child (now that they've had some time to adjust to the idea), they wouldn't have chosen to be pregnant again.

Adoptions are different from pregnancies in that it's impossible to adopt without makinig a conscience choice to do so.

Given that, both of our surprise adoptions were joyous from the beginning!

We didn't grieve that our new babies had "imperfect" bodies. Instead, we knew that they were both "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) and had been designed that way "so that the work of God might be displayed" in their lives (John 9:3).

Good surprise or bad surprise? They were both terrific surprises!

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