When Jeremy and I made the decision to grow our family through adoption, we never much considered the reactions we might receive from others. We figured that some of our family members would probably be cautious in their feelings about it at first, but in the end they would support us 100 percent and even be excited about it. That has proved to be the case, I would say. We also assumed that our closest friends would be totally jazzed, and that's been true as well. But the reactions from others, though mostly positive, has been a little more of a mixed bag than we would have thought.
First, there are some people who simply cannot hide their lack of enthusiasm on the subject. The ugly truth is that a few people out there just don't understand why anyone would choose to adopt unless it is a last-ditch solution to infertility, or if the adoption is for the children of a deceased relative or something. We don't get a negative reaction often, but we do get it. Most of the time, people who know that they would never choose adoption for themselves are still happy and interested when they learn that we are adopting a child. But we've still had a few who act mad or annoyed with us or something.
On the other end of the spectrum, we've had a few people tell us what wonderful, big-hearted people we are and that Lakey is "the luckiest little girl in the world." Obviously this sentiment is a little easier on the ears, but it's not really how we see things either.
When someone learns that we are adopting, the first question is almost always,
"What made you guys decide to adopt?"
As I've said before, Jeremy and I talked about adoption waaaay back in the beginning - before we were married. We didn't talk about it a lot - it was literally a ten minute conversation probably. I don't even remember all that much about it except that one of us asked the question, "So would you ever consider adopting a child," and before I knew it we were both saying yes. It made sense to us. There were orphans in the world, and neither of us felt that loving a child not born to us would ever be an issue. The decision was literally that simple. There was no climatic event or story that we heard of that pointed us in this direction. It was simply a matter of recognizing that God gave both of us an open spirit, and remarkably, a lack of fear toward adopting a child. In our eight years (almost) of marriage, the question has never been Will we adopt? It has always been, When will we adopt?
Jeremy and I live by a very simple faith really. We believe that God has given us the desires in our hearts - the good, bad, AND the ugly. Ultimately, all is out of Him (Romans 11:36). We do our best to put our emotions and desires up against Scripture - some prove to be good and worthy of building upon. Making choices that would build upon others would be missing the mark entirely (and we do this anyway more times than I care to admit). Nevertheless, all of it is according to the long term plan of God which is ultimately for our good! Growing our family through adoption is a desire that we have had since the beginning of our marriage, and our choice to follow through and actually adopt a child is one we think our Father would endorse. We don't view ourselves as two parents sweeping in on a white horse to "save" this little girl. Nor do we see ourselves as a family with giant hearts, loving the unlovable. Instead, we are two parents being true to who God has made us to be. To some He gives the desire to adopt. To others He doesn't. Both are okay in my view.
Does this mean, then, that we never considered the gravity of adopting a child with an unknown background, unknown family medical history, unknown family emotional history, etc.? Have we considered how difficult this could be? What if she has more health problems than we were led to believe? What if she has emotional issues?
Of course, we've thought about all these things.
But we saw this little girl. We read her file. And we loved her.
So we will handle whatever struggles and joys may come her way - together with her.
Just like we do with these two sweetie peas.