The journey to adoption looks different for every family. For us, it was an exercise in following our peace while walking into a thousand unknowns. In fact we did not know that we did not know what we were doing! As our social worker later told us, “That’s intentional. If we told you how hard this was really going to be at the beginning, no one would ever adopt!” Geez, thanks for the heads up! 😉
But the Lord’s ways are perfect and now with our two beautiful daughters home with us for 3 whole years, it feels both like only yesterday and a lifetime ago that my husband suggested adoption to me. Our hearts said yes quickly and from that answer came the start of a 2 year process. We contacted a wonderful agency, Hand in Hand International Adoption, and went through the home study, paperwork and fundraising process. In the midst of the many decisions we had to make was the question of how many children do you want to bring home? From where? And what ages?
Again following our peace we decided to bring home two at once, siblings. We agreed to older children and sought to be matched in the Philippines. There’s a lot to say about bringing home siblings. (It’s like having instant twins who both need ALL of you every single moment. Rewarding and exhausting!) There’s a lot to say about international vs. domestic adoption, and building a biracial family. (One is not more worthy than the other – children need families. Period.)
But what I really want to point out is the great uniqueness and vast need for families to open their hearts to older children. We have found older child adoption so special. In our case, these were our first children. So while we were getting our feet wet in this journey called “parenting,” we had wide-eyed preteens who clearly saw our inexperience and knew what was going on! We learned grace for them as they tried to figure out what having a mom and dad was like. And they learned grace for us as we tried to figure out how to be a mom and dad!
It is a great honor to join them in the journey of their lives, acknowledging where they’ve already been and watching the Lord heal the gaps. There are times we are re-parenting their younger selves and there are times they are wise beyond their years. I tell my girls often, “You are the bravest girls I know! No one in your class has seen what you have seen. No one has been through what you’ve been through. And no one is overcoming like you are overcoming. You are the bravest girls I know.”
We are deeply grateful for the Kim Usery Foundation’s heart towards the children of the world. The support the foundation gave us during this adoption process was a huge blessing and as we walk through the years with our children I thank God that there were others on the journey who are rooting for us all the way! Thank you for being a part of fulfilling Psalm 68:6, “God sets the lonely in families.”