Why I Chose to Adopt
For first-time parents or parents who want to grow their family, adoption is a great option.
When I met my wife, she was a single parent to a rowdy, rambunctious 7-year-old boy. A year later we were married and had a daughter who was born 3 and a half months prematurely (who, thankfully, grew up to be healthy).
Medical complications resulted in my wife and me being unable to have any more natural children. Between raising a preemie and dealing with health issues, the early years of our family were a stressful and emotionally trying time, but we made it through, all of us, and built a good, happy life together.
My wife and I talked a lot over the ensuing years about what we wish might have been, and we agreed that having one more child, a younger brother or sister for our daughter, would have been nice.
This led us to look at the various processes for adoption, which in turn put us in touch with our local department of social services and their foster parent program. In 2007 we began our foster parenting journey, and over 5 years we opened our home to a handful of children who needed a stable and caring home.
The last two children we fostered were sisters, 6 months and 3 years old when we first met them. In mid-2012 we all got dressed up, drove down to the county courthouse, and adopted the girls into our family. My stepson had just graduated high school, our oldest daughter was getting ready to start junior high, and the sisters were 3 and 5. It was one of the happiest days of my life.
Why did I choose adoption?
I grew to love our foster children.
I cared greatly for the first four foster children we had in our home, particularly for our very first, a 6-month-old boy. Their biological families maintained an active role throughout their time in the foster system, however, and in most cases, the children’s grandparents ended up becoming their guardians.
The sisters did not have that kind of family network, and their birth parents were not dedicated enough to do what they had to do in order to regain custody of their children. Over the two-plus years we fostered the sisters, they truly became members of our family and were accepted by our other children, our parents, and friends. To me, they were essentially “my” children from very early on, and that is how I treated them.
Was this a foregone conclusion? Was this going to happen no matter what? I don’t think so. In another universe, maybe wy wife and I never fostered these sisters, and instead were assigned other children.
Circumstances may have been very different. We might have continued fostering until 2016 or 2017 but never have found children who were in a position to be adopted. I definitely consider myself lucky that I found the ones I did. I love my adopted girls as much as I love my biological daughter and my stepson.
I wanted a bigger family.
As I mentioned above, my wife and I were always in agreement that we desired more children, or, at least, one more child. We ended up getting a two-for-one deal! For me, now that my stepson has been out of the house and living independently for several years, it is a great feeling to come home to my three daughters and wife.
Ours is a home full of love and joy that I couldn’t imagine being without.
Yes, children bring with them a set of limitations and problems that those living a single or childless couple lifestyle do not have to worry about. There is nothing wrong with wanting to maintain that lifestyle.
I often hear that there are two kinds of people: those who want children and those who don’t. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, though. The same person can change their basic desires at any point in their lives, based on a variety of factors. So far, I’ve always been a pro-child person. It seems to be hardwired into me.
Why might someone else choose adoption?
There are many reasons to consider adoption. Parents might consider adoption for religious reasons, such as the Christian orphan ministry or affirming the sanctity of human life over the option of abortion. Many women choose to adopt rather than subject their bodies to the dangers and rigors of pregnancy. Someone might feel a moral obligation to provide a good home for children in need.
One very important thing for anyone looking into adoption to realize is that there are always more children that need adoption than there are parents who are willing to adopt them. This is because most parents want to adopt babies, while most children available for adoption are ages 2–17.
Please seriously consider adopting older children, especially if you are an older parent when doing so (40’s +). Teens need the stability and love of a home just as much as younger children, and your generosity and care can still make a huge positive impact on an older child’s life no matter what point you come into it.
Not every potential adoptive parent chooses the foster care path, and that’s perfectly fine. There are hundreds of thousands of children worldwide, every year, who need adoptive families.
Adopting, whether it is through foreign agencies, the foster care system, or via independent adoption, is a good thing so long as you are able to provide a healthy, loving environment and can be sure all of your children, biological and/or adopted, have access to proper education and healthcare.
Thank you for reading and sharing!