In this day and age, Google answers all. At least, that’s how us twenty-somethings generally think.
Once Arundel and I were on the same page in terms of wanting to pursue more information about the possibility of adoption, I went to work researching all of our options. Initially, we found an agency that was started by a church in our area. They had a great story behind how they got started — God really made a way for them. They also had an amazing heart for what God wants in the adoption process. I got in touch with them and we signed up to go to their next orientation meeting.
It was a cold December Saturday morning and it was the first time Arundel and I had heard anyone talk about adoption that actually works in the field. It was eye-opening and heart-wrenching, for sure. As we sat there and listened to these people filled with the Father’s heart for His orphans, our hearts also stirred within us and we were feeling more and more confirmation in our spirits that Jesus was directing us towards adoption. We were passionate about this agency, and could really see ourselves working with them. However, when we spoke to them about what ages of children they generally place into adoptive families, they told us that they were only placing 5 years old and up. It would be 6 months to a year before they would work with any younger children.
And I tried to convince myself that we could handle a 5 year old. That we shouldn’t be “selfish” and want a younger child. That in order to really be doing God’s work, it had to break you (as I knew adopting a 5 year old would, at this point in life).
We went home that day and were full of mixed emotions. I was so excited that we were actually moving forward – actually talking to an agency and starting to look towards the future instead of just staying stuck in our present lack. I could also almost hear my sweet husband’s mind working on over-drive trying to process all the information we had just received, and I knew that I needed to give him space. I decided that I would wait a little while before I asked him what he thought about it. Unfortunately, 5 minutes into being home again and it had felt as if a week had gone by. “So, what do you think?” My eyes were obviously hopeful and my tone prying. You would think that after waiting 3 years, I would have gotten that whole patience thing nailed by now.
Arundel graciously explained that he needed some time to think, and understood my excitement and curiosity. I kept my thoughts reserved for the rest of the day to try to allow him some mental space. We talked through things the next day, and Arundel said what I knew all along was true — that we both knew that God was telling us that He had a younger child for us. That adopting a 5 year old isn’t right for us right now.
This is the part where God reminded me (yet again) of how good He really is. Remember how I said that it was feeling as though in order to really be doing God’s work, it had to break you?
Well, God did break me.
He broke that wrong thinking off of me. He broke my skewed way of seeing things, and He reinforced His goodness in me. He reminded me that He isn’t walking us through this trial just to watch us suffer. He isn’t looking for a martyr. No matter what we go through, none of it ever even begins to compare to what He has already done for us. He reminded me that I need to trust Him — not just to get us through barely alive, but to bring us into His promised land.
Somehow, I had it in my mind that wanting to adopt an infant is not as worthy or as valuable as adopting an older child. I was believing that in order to fully represent Jesus to our future children, we had to put aside our dreams and just accept what was in front of us. But, God reminded me: HE put those dreams in us. And to put aside those dreams would be to put aside His promise over us.
Needless to say, a huge weight lifted off of me the moment I really took to heart what God was trying to show me — that we don’t have to settle.
Arundel and I agreed that we really loved the agency we had met with, so we should wait for their infant placement program to begin in 6-12 months.
It wasn’t until almost 3 months later that we heard from them again. We reached out to them to ask what we could be doing in the mean time to get ahead of the game. Our sweet contact at that agency replied and sadly let us know that it would realistically be longer than 12 months before they could start their infant placement program.
We were disappointed, but thankful that we were able to find out then, and not 9 months later. We decided to begin looking into other agencies and options.
So, back to Google I went. I searched page after page of adoption-related resources, and sifted through what felt like classified ads for sweet little souls across the country. We looked deeper into a few more agencies in our area, but none were right for us. Either their values didn’t line up with ours, or they weren’t accepting new families, or they simply never responded to us. Either way, we got no where.
Twenty-somethings, I have news for you:
Google doesn’t have all the answers.
And, Mama still knows best.
A couple of weeks prior, I had sat there telling my Mom about all the different agencies we were sifting through and how none of them seemed to be right. That’s when she told me, “you need to speak with our friends who have adopted before — I think you’ll like the way they did it.”
She was referring to some dear family friends who have two beautiful children that God brought to them through adoption. We reached out to them and asked for their recommendation. They immediately told us about the adoption attorney they used and how amazing he was. Isn’t it crazy how we can search for weeks and weeks on our own, and nothing will come from it? But, when we reach out and accept help from those in the community God has placed us in, He connects us right where we are supposed to be?
The following week, we had our first appointment with the attorney.
We showed up to his swanky office in a big skyscraper in Downtown. We took the elevator up to the 11th floor, realized it was the wrong floor, went back down to the lobby, then back up to the 15th floor – and waited in his lobby for what seemed like an eternity (it was probably 10 minutes). While we were waiting, we sneaked a couple of selfies in (Exhibit A – we are trying to document the whole process!), giggled about our awkwardness, and admired the art on the wall. When the attorney walked by us on the way to his office before our appointment, Arundel recognized him. He told me later that he took one look at the attorney’s wrinkle-lined face and thought, “I hope he isn’t jaded, passionless, or tired of this job. I hope he still enjoys this just as much as when he started.”
Boy, does he. Our attorney – we’ll call him Alfred – was exuberant, dedicated, and authentic. He gave us time to ask him all our questions, to hear as much knowledge from him as we could, and he really cared about where we were at in the process. He laid out the timeline of things. He showed us how it would work if we went with an agency, or if we went independently — and he did it without bias. He told us how difficult it would be, but also how rewarding it always is. He shared with us stories about families he has worked with in the past and what their experiences were like. He told us about his own family, and how much he loves his kids and grandkids.
We walked away from that meeting and I was sure of it in my heart…
We would pursue an Independent Domestic Adoption.