That deep down yearning for a little tiny being to come into your life and fulfill that need that nothing else can quite come close to. After trying just about every option there is in the world of Western Medicine to have a baby, the end result is...
Disappointment. Heartache. It's not going to happen.
So, you resolve your inner issues about bearing a child the best you can. But, deep down inside, you know that your life just will not be fulfilled unless you can share it with a child of your own. So, you and your husband start thinking about adopting a child.
Only to find out there is no "adoption process" in the U.S. and international adoption policies are tricky, at best.
Meet Sue and Gary
Sue and Gary have experienced the difficulties of adoption first-hand. (Click on the link to go to their parent profile.)
First of all, I want to say that the child who finds a home with them is going to be a very loved kiddo! I have yet to chat with Gary, but Sue has this charming, motherly sweet voice that lets you know right off that she is full of love and nurturing. And, if you spent 5 minutes scanning through their twitter timeline of posts, you would see that their cats are spoiled and so very loved, so just imagine what kind of parents they will be!
I assumed, like many other people who are unaware of the difficulties of adoption might assume, that there are plenty of children that need loving, nurturing homes and a welcoming mommy and daddy. It is not the lack of children needing parents to adopt them, nor is it a lack of parents willing to adopt, but rather the lack of a streamlined adoption process in America.
Cost of Adopting
I was shocked to hear how much adoption can cost! Obviously, there is a range that potential adoptive parents spend, depending on how they approach adoption, but the costs can stretch as high as $50,000 to $100,000, after all is said and done. These figures give those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to bear children an idea of how much these couples want to adopt a baby.
Why Not Try International Adoption?
One of my first (and admittedly ignorant) questions was "Why not try international adoption?" International adoption is certainly an option, however, as I mentioned above, there are phenomenal costs involved. Moreover, there are political issues and international adoption policies to contend with. Never mind the fact that international adoption takes months and months to finalize, therefore, the chances of bringing home a newborn, or even an infant, would be next to none.
We have the foster care system, which places children into temporary homes, but the hope in most of these cases is to return the children back to their parents one day. Sadly, in many, many cases, infants and young children progress through the foster care system on that wing-and-a-prayer hope that they will be returned to their parents one day, often bypassing the preferred age group for potential adoptive parents, and never making it out of the foster care system.
So, without a streamlined and accessible adoption process here in America, people who so desperately want a baby turn to adoption agencies. Obviously, they have to do their own research to make sure the adoption agency they choose is reputable and has the resources and connections to aid them in their search. Each adoption agency has their own procedure, which can include a plethora of requirements, including criminal background checks, which especially focus on potential for child abuse and certain FBI clearances.
Many adoption agencies will ask for personal, work, and even medical references, as well as medical records. You will have to show that you are mentally and psychologically ready to care for a child. You must be able to prove that your marriage (or relationship) and home life is safe and stable for a child. They will probably request financial records (tax statements) from the last two or three years to ensure financial stability.
And, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Adoption agencies charge phenomenal fees for their services, and they may even require applicants to attend classes and do other things that cost money.
Those of us who can have babies are never asked any of this stuff! Certainly, I understand the liability that comes along with placing a child in the hands of adults for the rest of their life.
But, just imagine going through all of this while that desire to have a baby burns inside you...
And, yet, you are still waiting...and your heart is yearning...
Turning to Social Media
Besides an adoption agency, which is more or less like playing the lottery once you have jumped through all of the hoops people who want to adopt a baby have to jump through, Sue and Gary have found that their best bet at finding a child to adopt might be by spreading the word on social media.
And, they are not alone.
Since social media has changed the way we all do things in our lives, prospective parents have taken to the social media networks to let it be known that they are in search of a mother who has decided to "give up" her baby for adoption.
Pregnant Women, Adoption & The Taboo of It All
But, there is a certain taboo that comes along with "giving a baby up" for adoption. Most pregnant women who are considering adoption keep this information to themselves. They do not want to talk to people about it. It is a difficult choice for anyone to make, and our society does not see it as a selfless decision, but rather frowns upon pregnant women who "give up" their babies.
Which makes me irate!
What our society should be doing is encouraging women who are at a crossroads in their life to make a decision not to "give up," but rather to "give the gift of life" to someone who is yearning for it. Because that is exactly what they are doing! They are choosing a life for their baby that they may not be able to provide themselves. Many adoptions today even allow birth mothers to "pick the parents," so to speak. They can request certain specifics about the adoptive parents and are involved in the entire process of not only selecting the adoptive parents, but meeting them, as well.
Adoption has changed quite a bit for the best, I would say, within the past 20 years, but even more in the past ten years, and especially since the conception (excuse the pun) of social media. However, the emotions that are involved are still the same. Birth mothers are not "giving up" their child, but rather, I consider it to be quite the opposite! They give life to a child and then they place that child - a gift - into the eternally grateful and loving arms of people who are more than deserving.
Birth mothers who choose adoption are fulfilling dreams...
If You Are Considering Giving Your Baby Life
If you are pregnant and considering adoption, only you know what is right for you and your baby. Not your friends, not your family. We cannot take back our past decisions, but we can fix what may come in the future.
Think about everything that I have talked about here. Our country has a long list of people who are yearning to adopt a baby. There are people out there who would give your baby a dream life...or at least a life that you would love your baby to have.
I know, for example, Sue and Gary would take your little one on a trips like this one, to @LEGOLANDFlorida, like when they took their nephews:
I pray that, one day, our country can solidify a better process for adoptions, but for now, I can say that there are wonderful parents out there just waiting for their gift of a child, and there are birth mothers out there who are making the decisions to give their babies life, and that's something to be proud of.
Sue and Gary, you will be in my prayers. (Let me know when your family is complete!) You are going to be amazing parents!
If you are interested in learning more about Sue and Gary or contacting them, whether to help spread the word, or to give them the gift of a child, you can visit:
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