In honor of November being National Adoption Month, Portrait of an Adoption is running a special series called 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days. Designed to give a voice to the many different perspectives of adoption, this series will feature guest posts by adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, waiting adoptive parents, and foster parents-turned-adoptive parents. Painful and beautiful, these stories will bring you a deeper understanding of what adoption looks like, allowing you to appreciate the many brushstrokes that comprise a family portrait.
Where Are the Babies?
By Jennifer Allwood
Our adoption process began many months ago.
At this point, our home study is complete. We are approved with an agency here in Kansas City and another agency in a different state. We have filled out every adoption form known to man. We have done every physical required. We have been deemed as "not crazy" and actually as "great parents" by the adoption advocate.
We have an attorney ready to go. We have had friends give us their strollers and their Bumbos. We have a plan in place to execute "musical bedrooms" whenever we get "the call". We have her name picked out. We are ready to go.
Except for one thing..... there are no babies up for adoption with either agency. There are not even any pregnant women/girls considering adoption with either agency. HUH????
I had a long conversation with my adoption coordinator last week. She is just as stunned in the low number of adoptions as we are. While I hope that number is lowering for positive reasons, it's hard to say. When I asked her what she thinks may be a contributing factor to such few children being placed for adoption, she said the MTV show "16 & Pregnant" is definitely NOT helping by glamorizing teen parents.
I was shocked when last week one of the adoption agencies that I "like" on Facebook posted that the same TV show had contacted the agency to see if they knew of any teens that could be candidates to be on their show. It gives me a tummy ache.
And so, we have been given the advice to share our story. To tell as many people as possible that we are trying to adopt in hopes that someone will know someone who will know someone who isn't ready to parent their child.
And so I come to you today.....transparent.....to tell you about our family.
Our only real conviction is that we are to adopt a GIRL. My dreams have been about a girl. I want another girl. Our boys want a girl. My baby girl wants a girl. My husband just wants me to be happy. So we are unanimous on the "girl" part.
We are open to adopting a child of any race. We are relatively certain based on many circumstances that only God himself could orchestrate, that our next child will NOT be Caucasian and we are 110% on board with that. We have taken a trans-racial adoption class. We have read information on trans-racial adoptions. We have friends who have adopted trans-racially. We are certain we will be learning as we go, but we are excited!
After researching the facts and talking to many other adoptive parents, we have decided we are open to an "OPEN" adoption. Or to a semi-open. We are nervous about what all of that may look like, but believe it's best for the emotional well-being of our child. And we are committed to making choices based on fact and our convictions rather than fear.
And finally, we would adopt a child that is NOT a newborn. We don't think it is wise for our family to mess with the birth order of our home. So, the little girl would have to be under the age of 3. Generally, if a child is not a newborn they are tangled up in the foster care system of a state. And that is something we don't think we have the grace for at this point....but God may change our hearts.
So.....that's our big news. I will tell you friends....this adoption thing is painful. It's a waiting game. It’s a lesson in patience. It reveals things to yourself about yourself that are hard to look at and acknowledge. It's scary. It makes you have tougher skin.
And yet it makes your heart softer. It's a beautiful dance. Please pray for our family as we continue this journey. And please tell others about our story. We are so blessed to have this blog following as a platform.....thank you.
By Jennifer Allwood