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Embracing Adoption's Realities

Embracing Adoption's Realities

Thinking about adoption? Be sure to consider these factors.

Two births. Two precious girls. Two very different beginnings.

One life began with nine months of careful preparation and daily readings from What to Expect When You're Expecting. The second began with little time to prepare or to read much else than required paperwork. The first began in the early morning in our hometown. The second began in the late evening in a city we'd never seen. The first began with my husband at my side in a labor and delivery room. The second began as we nervously paced the floors of our hotel room, waiting for the phone to ring. The first began with new life that grew in and came from my own body. The second began with new life that developed in and emerged from another young woman's body.

Two births. Two precious girls. Two very different beginnings. One life entered our family through birth, the other entered our family through adoption.

Looking back, I could argue that I wasn't really prepared for the realities of either arrival. Sure, I'd read all about what to do when we brought our first baby home. But I didn't fully grasp the reality of sleep deprivation until I'd experienced four or five nights of nursing on demand. Even though we listened to birthmothers tell their stories as part of our adoption agency's preparation class, we didn't really know how we'd feel when we looked into our birthmother's young and beautiful green eyes. No one could have prepared us for the nervous panic we felt leaving the hospital with our firstborn, unsure that we knew which way the diaper went. And surely no one could have prepared us for the bittersweet mixture of sorrow and joy we felt the moment our daughter left her birthmother's arms for ours.

Ours is an unfolding story of God's grace in the midst of starkly different circumstances. I share it with the hope that it may help others who are considering or beginning the adoption journey prepare for its both beautiful and challenging realities.

Greg and Katina, parents of two biological children, are one such couple. They're considering adoption, praying and thinking about the possibility for their family.

"We have room, we have love," says Katina. "There are so many little people out there who need a good home. Why would we not adopt?"

Katina says they're considering both the practical and spiritual dimensions of adopting a child. "God tells us in Scripture that as Christians, we're to take care of orphans and widows," she says (see James 1:27). "Where do we fit in with that command? Are we called to adopt? Or is God asking us to be involved in some other way?" It's a big question. Greg and Katina are wise to address their concerns and face the realities of adoption before they decide to welcome a child into their family.

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