Followers

Blog Archive

There was an error in this gadget
Monday, December 28, 2009

Adoption 101

As the new year approaches, my house is clean, and I am seriously nesting waiting for the call about Joseph and Daisy, so I thought I would do a post on just the basics of adoption ... I mean if you are on the fence about adoption, foster care, or anything related to orphans perhaps you are just waiting on some clear simple information ... Maybe you just need someone to talk to or ask questions to ... Or just maybe this will be the first time God sparks your heart  ... I want to be a vessel here ... What I am about to type is my family's personal experience ... My personal advice ... My heart's words !!!!

1. Basic questions ... What type of child is God calling you to (age, gender, race, domestic or international), Ransom to bring a child home (anywhere from $10,000 - $40,00), what is the right agency for us (Bethany Christian has a good China program, Gladney has good international programs, AGCI has a fab Ethiopia program, and there are many amazing domestic agencies both big and small to consider) ... try to steer clear of small agencies for international use that require lots of fees upfront, how long will we wait (hard to say, but waiting is just part of the blessing ), or how do we tell our families (If God calls you to adopt then who cares what friends and extended family think) ...

2. Emotional Journey ... This will be one of the most emotional and spiritual journeys of your life ... You will feel amazing highs and severe lows ... This is all a part of the road that will take you to your child ... Some of the best advice I can give you is that you SHOULD PREPARE YOUR FAMILY/YOURSELF FOR YOUR CHILD, NOT TRY TO FIT THEM INTO YOUR LIFE ... Fall deeply in love with them now even before you see their picture ... Begin to put yourself in your child's place ... Attempt to feel what they have felt no matter their age ... Abandonment, hunger, loneliness, loss of culture, loss of birth parents, possible loss of language, and loss of all that is familiar ... If you bring home an infant don't assume that one day they may not still have some of these feelings ... Now don't get me wrong, I fully believe in complete restoration for a child ... I teach all my children that God had them picked out before the beginning of time to be an Oatsvall ... He brought them to us in different ways, but this was always their path to us ... We will always honor our birth parents, pray for them, and remember them ... But at the end of the day THEY ARE MY CHILDREN ... I want them to feel secure in their place in THEIR family ... I would go to the ends of the earth to protect them, stand up for them, and would die for them if that was the price ...

3.  Are you willing to accept change ... Your life will change as it does anytime you add another person to your family ... There will be less time, less energy, less funds, and less of everything, but there WILL BE ABUNDANT NEW BLESSINGS ... This is an amazing way to change the legacy you leave ... I have seen this change with each one of my children ... I have seen them look at people from other countries, w/ other colorS of skin and see no differences ... They just see another person created by God ... Another person to appreciate, another person to get to know, another person to learn a lesson from ... IT IS A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE ...

4.  Have a voice ... When people start to ask questions, use the opportunity to SPEAK UP FOR THOSE WITH NO VOICE, WHO STILL REMAIN ORPHANS ... I don't begrudge people who adopt then come home and want to just be a quiet family and go on about their life, but that is not me ... I want to always advocate for adoptions, bring awareness and get people involved in caring for an orphan and SHINE THE BIGGEST LIGHT I can on an orphan's face so that no one can ever pretend they don't SEE THEM ...

5. Stay in the word ... God will have amazing treasures for you on this journey ... He will teach you things you never dreamed of and He will show you things about yourself you never knew ... He will show Himself to be exactly, who He has always been and always will be ... HE WILL AMAZE YOU AND WILL SHOWER YOU WITH HIS TRUTHS AND PROMISES ...

6. Find someone to walk this journey w/ you ... You and your husband will need a friend to journey with ... Make sure this person is on the same page with you, is walking closely with the Lord, and will love your new family with their whole heart ...

7. Special Needs Angels ... Many people ask me "how do you know if you should apply for a special needs child or not" ... Honestly, I can't answer that question for you ... Search deep in your heart and ask the Lord to point you to your child no matter where they are or what need they may have ... I can tell you that we learned more about the Lord and more about each other by bringing Maggie home ... She is our HOPE and has brought us more than we could  have ever dreamed ...  

Just had to empty my head and heart in this post tonight because I have had a feeling for the last couple of days that someone is reading my blog that just needed a little truth and encouragement to take this next step ... AM I TALKING TO YOU ??? 

18 kind words.:

Anonymous said...

Your post was definitely God's timing. The last few days, I feel as though God is calling me to consider adoption. This seems very crazy to me, I have 2 daughters and feel very comfortable with this stage in our lives. I began searching the web after a friend posted something on facebook and I landed here. I am grateful for this post as it was very informative and truly what I needed. I will be praying for your family and your soon to be children!

God Bless You,
Kristy

Kristi J said...

love it...so awesome!!! Will so have to do a post like this some day...awesome...Oh, and I posted taht my 300,000th hit gets one of your shirts...so be ware :) kj

The Funkhouser Family said...

Thanks for this post, I love it. We are praying for the age of the girl we adopt. We are torn between and infant and a 2-3 year old. My daughter is 3 now. I have been wanting and praying about adding a baby boy to the mix with a toddler girl. Any thoughts? We are just reakky praying about it! Thanks and many blessings to you!

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Great post - let me know if I can share this on Adoption is Forever!

I love you Gwen! Praying with you the call is near! Can't wait to bring home Lilly - the final stage of waiting never gets easier!

Happy New Year sweet friend!
Jill

Erica said...

Absolutely beautiful post!! I may reference this later. I feel a long post coming in the next month....love you friend and praying for your babies and your little family.

A.S.H. said...

As someone who has walked the path, how do you feel about singles doing foster care/adoption?

Jim and April said...

gwen, thanks SO MUCH for this post! As we are just starting our process, this was perfect timing for us! Thanks for your insight and words of help and encouragement!

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

Thanks so much for the post Gwen. I emailed you a LONG time ago because we were CONSIDERING adopting... I began wearing my magazine bead necklace and awesome James 1:27 hat with pride...Now, I can report that our paperwork is in D.C. waiting to be sent off to Ethiopia! Your kind words and hopeful messages have been so encouraging and helpful throughout our decision making process! I will be keeping your family in my prayers and want to thank you for all of the the work you continue to do to teach us all. And of course, thanks for sharing your heart for the orphans of our world. 2010 is going to be a great year for many families and children welcomed home through adoption!!! Blessings,
Deena

Holly said...

Roger that Gwen!!
I read you loud and clear!

Jodi Widhalm said...

Thanks, Gwen!

I have two different adoption applications filled out and ready to go. They've been waiting now for a few months, while I keep going over the "what ifs" and "where is the money going to come from?" and "How can I spend WEEKS in Uganda and leave my other kids here...maybe this isn't the right choice" and a hundred other questions/fears that run through my mind daily.

I know we just need to take that first step, but it feels more like jumping off a cliff!

Thanks for the encouragement! It's just what I needed.

suzanne said...

hahaha LOVE LOVE LOVE the last question....

PegS said...

When is it too late? Can two grandparents adopt? We're in our early 50's.

Tracy said...

beautifully said sister! :)

John & Michelle said...

Gwen! You have spoken right to my heart! We are approved to foster. DCS keeps calling with sibling groups of 3 and 4. It breaks my heart to turn them away. We don't have bed space for that many or a car that will hold that many car/booster seats. We are hopeful that the New Year brings a little one to our home!

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

BEAUTIFUL..
You always have the right words at the right time..
Love ya.
Hugs..

Cynthia Bennett said...

Thanks so much for this post, Gwen. I needed to read this and I'm sending it to my husband.

Jewels of My Heart said...

Love this post and love you Sister!
Praying......
Happy New Year!
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmwa!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love that you referred to adoption expenses as "ransom to bring your child home." It bothers me to hear others refer to the expenses of adopting a child as if you are grocery shopping.

Love!
Beth