Thursday, February 16, 2012

Out of Control!

We (meaning adoptive parents and/or potential adoptive parents) often complain/vent about the difficulties that come with the adoption process… the lengthy home study process, the cost of adoption, the ‘unknowns’ that come with ‘the wait’, the emotional rollercoasters, the uncertainties of our future, and the ups and downs of it all. We like to discuss the lack of control we have over the adoption process…. from infertility issues all the way to bringing our baby home.

Why don’t we talk about all of the control we DO have?

AP’s~ You know what I’m talking about… not the financials, not the background check and fingerprints, not the home visit or physicals, not the reference letters or tax forms…

For those of you who haven’t gone through the home study process or for those of you who haven’t worked with an agency and completed family intake forms,  allow me to explain;

I’m referring to the following questions that we have all answered at one point or another in our adoption journey… the questions that are not options to answer but give us options as parents;

·         What races are you open to?
o   Caucasian, African American, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, or a combination of races.

·         What age child are you open to?
·         Boy, girl, or both? Which would you prefer?
·         Would you consider adopting a sibling group?
·         Are you open to twins, triplets, etc?

·         Would you like an open, semi-open, or closed adoption?

·         What special needs are you open to?

o   Blood disorders (in baby or family history)
o   HIV or AIDS (in biological parents or in baby)
o   Psychological disorders (in family history); Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar, Depression, suicidal tendencies, addiction, physical abuse tendencies,  
o   Mental Retardation
o   Limb deformation or missing limbs
o   Deafness
o   Blindness
o   Family history of Cancer
o   Spina Bifida
o   Short life expectancy
o   Alcohol/drug use or smoking during pregnancy
o   Down Syndrome
o   Cerebral Palsy
o   Learning disabilities (in family history)
o   Heart defects
o   Premature baby (low Apgar scores)
o   And the list goes on……

I cringe every time we have to answer these questions. All I can think is…

How DARE we place limits on our children? How DARE we assume the role of deciding what our family will look like? How DARE we?!

But we do. Every. Single. Time.

Our friends have a precious new baby boy… he’s perfect, beautiful, ‘normal’… and he has Downs.

They didn’t get to choose. They didn’t have a checklist of what they were ‘open’ to when it came to the health future of their children.

Friends of some friends of our’s;  their son was born with a genetic heart defect that would surely shorten his life. He passed away at the age of 3…. Because he fell off of a play set and hit his head.

They accepted the plan for his life.. they embraced it. They prepared themselves and their family to lose him one day but to savor every single moment that they were allowed to have him.

And he died from something they never could have planned for.

They didn’t get to choose. They didn’t have a checklist of what they were ‘open’ to when it came to the health and safety of their children.

Every student I taught for 2 years… healthy kids, happy, well-adjusted, loved, smart. They all had Autism. Their parents took home perfectly healthy, ‘normal’ babies when they left the hospital…..

They didn’t get to choose. They didn’t have a checklist of what they were ‘open’ to when it came to the health and safety of their children.

A boy my brother went to high school with; Straight A student, team captain of the soccer team, accepted into the top colleges in the United States, full scholarships, homecoming king…. Whose family and friends are getting to know the person he is today after a horrific car accident changed who him forever.

They didn’t get to choose. They didn’t have a checklist of what they were ‘open’ to when it came to the health and safety of their children.

A young mom who’s blog I read; Carried a full-term healthy baby-girl. Mom stayed home for a long maternity leave and savored every second of her daughter’s first few months of life…. And lost her baby-girl to SIDS while she was at work and her daughter was at the sitter’s house.

They didn’t get to choose. They didn’t have a checklist of what they were ‘open’ to when it came to the health and safety of their children.

They didn’t get to choose… bur God chose them.


If they HAD been able to choose, would they have chosen the way He did?


I’m so burdened today. We have learned about a few ‘special needs’ babies this year and those real-life situations have forced us to consider our family’s future with those ‘special needs’.

Spina Bifida, Downs, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Schizophrenia

We accepted them all…. But we got to choose.

Joey’s and My Family History…. In a nutshell;
·         Skin Cancer
·         Macular Degeneration
·         Depression
·         Vision problems
·         Crooked teeth
·         Scoliosis, hunch-back, spinal disk disorders
·         Infertility
·         Rheumatoid Arthritis
·         High Cholesterol
·         Heart Disease; bypass surgeries, heart attacks

Ok. I’ll stop.

Our parent’s parents didn’t get to choose. Our parents didn’t get to choose what they wanted to pass on to us or not.

They didn’t get to choose…..

And now we do.

Outside of my complaints about ‘the wait’, money, and how we can’t do anything to speed this stinking process up, through all of those stories, with all of those sweet kids, and knowing all of their loving parents, I have to ask myself one thing…

How DARE I choose?

How DARE I limit my family? Who am I to put a cap on what we can handle and what we can’t? Who are we to decide which ‘needs’ our children will have and what they’ll look like?

A sweet family we know through the adoption process; open to many things, not including drug use, smoking, certain ethnicities and drinking during pregnancy… knew about their precious baby for months…. And knew nothing about the drug use or alcohol or that other ethnicities would play into the genetic makeup of their child until the day their baby was born.

They weren’t necessarily ‘open’ to those things. But those things now make up their child... their perfect, beautiful, miracle baby.

They got to choose.



Wrong. God chose…

And even when we have the chance to choose…

God chooses.

And for us, God will choose.

And He will choose perfectly.

A wonderful, strong, loving Christian family; Struggled through infertility for years and whose daughter was their biological miracle. Brought a baby boy home through an open adoption… when he was only a few months old, were told that their baby was blind. HOW blind he was… it was too soon to tell. He would never drive or play sports and school would be a challenge… he would need a lot of support throughout his life.

He’s now 23 years old….. He was the fastest and strongest football player and broke records in middle school. He graduated high school with honors. He made the Deans List every year in college. He graduated recently and is now the head coach of his college Lacrosse team. He has a perfect driving record. He’s engaged.

He’s my brother.

So here we are… almost a year and a half into our search for #2. On occasion, we’ve complained about the process and about the wait and about how little control we have but we are in NO place to complain and we should feel no desire to because…

God will choose.

He doesn’t need our input.

He will choose perfectly.


  1. I love how strongly and confidently you express your faith. You are an inspiration!

  2. Thank you for your sweet comment & encouragement :-)


  3. Powerful...simply powerful! Thank you for sharing!

  4. LOVE this post so much!! SO very true!



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