When John and I started on our adoption journey, I didn’t have many expectations of the other adoptive parents we would encounter. But I did assume that most of them—like us—would have experienced infertility.
What we discovered was that many couples were in a similar position to ours. But we also met people who simply felt called to adopt. There were couples who had always known they would adopt. There were single women. There were families who had already given birth to children—and some had even already raised those children—who wanted to build their families through adoption.
That was a bit of a surprise to me.
John and I had talked about adoption early in our marriage, but I don’t know that we would have felt the pull to adopt if we had given birth to children first. And that’s humbling. It’s also alarming because these two boys of ours fit so beautifully into our family and enrich our lives in countless ways, and I cannot imagine life without them. We hope we are worthy to be parents to these children we treasure.
Because it is National Adoption Month, my Facebook feed—in between the wearying political posts—has been full of reminders of the children who wait for forever families here in the U.S. and around the world. I’m not going to try to persuade anyone to adopt. It’s an intensely personal decision, and the most important person to consider is the child waiting at the other end.
Only you know whether God is knocking on your heart, nudging you to adopt. And I don’t believe adoption is for everyone—just as marriage is not for everyone and parenthood is not for everyone. All I can tell you is that becoming a parent—and for us that meant adopting—has been the most challenging and most rewarding experience of my life.
Before both of our sons’ adoptions, we had a sense that someone was missing—at meals, at bedtime, even riding around in the car. Not missing in a sense of loss, but a sense of possibility, a feeling that we had more than enough love to share with another family member.
And, if we have the opportunity, John and I would do it all over again. Not because we believe we’re great parents. Not because parenting is easy. But because we know what it means to give a child a forever family. And—setting adoption aside for a moment—we simply love being parents.
Of course, we don’t need to adopt to make a powerful difference in the lives of children who wait for families. We can pray. How fortunate we are to be able to make a difference in the lives of all the children waiting for permanent families—just by telling God they are on our minds and hearts.
Trust me. This will make you smile.