From Kodi: Like any parent, my husband and I had dreams about what our future family would look like. But we were first blessed with a medically fragile child. It was very unexpected, and our family unit didn’t look like anything we had dreamed about. There were certainly times we wondered what God’s plan for us was supposed to look like. Then when we faced infertility and miscarriage. There were times wondered what our family unit should look like. But we were sure that if God meant for our family journey to end, we did feel like he would take the desire for parenthood from us – and that desire never left us. So we kept praying about our journey, and adoption became something we were considering.
As the mother, my body had gone through the loss of miscarriage and I had been the one who faced much of the struggle. I didn’t fully take care of myself and avoided cold medicines in case we did get pregnant. This was difficult after two years of infertility and the losses. I think after the second miscarriage I felt like God meant something different for us. I was already a research nerd about my son’s condition. And even though we had done about 13 rounds of genetic testing, where nothing was revealed genetically about a cause for his condition – from all the unpublished research I could see some markers in my family line. So pair that knowledge with the loss, I wasn’t sure what the next step for us should be.
My father had passed away, and I traveled home for his funeral. We had been estranged for years because of his lifestyle of alcoholism and other things. Yet his passing opened the door for a lot of reflection on who I am as a person and a parent. I had decided years ago that I would be a different kind parent than my father. And walking through the airport on my way back home, there were these big easels with stories of teenagers who wanted to find forever homes. It wrecked me. My husband and I had spent years working with young people at the university, and I thought, “I could give a teenager a home for a few years to prepare them for the world, it’s what we do every day at work! And we could be their place of refuge and they would always have someone to call for advice, and a place to come for the holidays.”
So I come home and share my experience with my husband. I really felt like God was calling us to adopt – either teenagers or babies. I’ll say that he didn’t feel the same way. But maybe for the first time ever, I didn’t try to “sell” him on the idea. I became a warrior in my prayer life, and asked for God to move him to this place to be ready for adoption. I asked God to lay on his heart what he had placed on mine. When my husband said he felt moved to adoption, he was like ready that day. So we set out to learn what we could about the process.
We always felt that God would put people in our lives to help us on our journey to adoption! We had several friends who had adopted from Russia, and so we felt that these friends would help us. Since we were headed home soon for the holidays, we decided to wait to tell them in person about what we felt God was calling us to do. We announced to them that we would be adopting, and we would be probably bringing a child home from Russia!
Literally two days later, the national news announces that all Russian adoptions to the United States would immediately be shut down. OK. Well, Lord, I guess you have another plan for us, because you have emphatically shut this door!!
Luckily, we knew our church would be soon hosting classes for state foster and adoption certification classes. We decided to let the journey lead our hearts, instead of make up our minds about what we thought we should be doing, because clearly our Lord had a plan for us and didn’t need our help! The classes were incredibly informative, and definitely helped us see that as much as we wanted to foster too, it just wasn’t a good fit for us. And in the end we decided to pursue domestic adoption.
But of course, the decisions didn’t stop there. Would we use an adoption consultant? Could we afford one? How do we feel about using an adoption placement agency? Would choosing to just use an attorney yield the results we were looking for? Oh the choices! So we began to pray.
We chose a scripture verse to hold onto throughout our journey. We had already chosen the word “BELIEVE” when it came to our journey with our son. We found it also appropriate to hold onto this word for our adoption journey. We landed on embracing 1 Corinthians 13:7, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” We had definitely endured much in love as parents, and we were hopeful to believe for a new addition. We believed that God would add to our family through adoption.
“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.” Valerie Harper