"I'd like to adopt some day." I told him. "Yeah, I'd like that too." he said. This was a conversation between a young couple in the throes of love, shortly after realizing that we wanted to live life together. As many conversations do, this one fell away and we didn't think about it again until much later...
We'd had our first child and he was almost 3. We'd been trying to have another for what felt like a very long time. We still weren't pregnant. Just as lots of couples in the midst of infertility do we began to discuss the idea of adoption again. Shortly thereafter we found out we were pregnant with our second. Very shortly after having our second we were pregnant with our third.
When our third little one was about 18 months old we enrolled in Foster Care classes. We were inspired. I have a couple friends who foster and watching their stories unfold moved me. It wasn't so much about adoption anymore. We knew that this wasn't very often a route to adoption. More than likely any child we were to be placed with would end up back with their birth parents. However, in the case that a child needed a home we hoped that we would be able to provide it. Enter fourth pregnancy.
With three children at home and a fourth on the way we decided that we had better put fostering on hold for the time being. We felt that our kids were just too young and needed us too much to add another child into the mix that would most certainly need a lot of the focus to be on them.
Soon after having our fourth baby - and I don't even know how exactly to describe it, I again began to get that familiar feeling. I began to pray about it, because at this point with four kids I didn't know if it was just me being, to put it bluntly nutty as fruitcake, or if God was trying to tell me something. I kept thinking, "This is just crazy. Why do I keep feeling like this?" I started to pray for some sort of direction.
That's when I stumbled across the book Orphan Justice. I read the description and I knew I needed to read it. I was looking for information on taking care of orphans, but not necessarily by way of adopting.
I've heard before that if every Christian family adopted one child the orphan crisis would be over. This is true. Not everyone feels led to adopt, though. I'm not of the mind that adopting is something everybody is required to do. I do however think that God has called us to care for the less fortunate and this includes the widows and orphans. Isaiah 1:17.
Orphan Justice spelled out the issues that orphans face in no uncertain terms. It was good, really good. The book discusses the bigger issues that come in to play with regards to orphans such as racism, poverty, and trafficking among other things. It made me that much more convinced that God was really taking aim and hitting me right in the bulls eye.
I'm not going to say that I know exactly what the plan is, because I don't. I do know that my husband and I still have the desire to adopt and/or help. I'm not sure in what way this will take form. There is always the likelihood that we could get pregnant again - which we would of course welcome. However, at this point I don't believe that this feeling I've had is merely a left over issue I'm thinking about due to a premarital conversation or the fact that we struggled with getting pregnant a couple times. We know that in the future we see ourselves in some way shape or form doing something regarding this problem, because that's what it is - a problem. There are millions of children out there who need all of us to help.