Naturally, this is the question that comes first, but I am not sure that I can answer it so briefly! Aaron and I have learned about the sad, heart-breaking lives of children in orphanages and we knew that we needed to do something. We had always considered adoption for something that we’d do down the road, but realized that we just could not wait. There was no reason great enough to wait. Sure, I can think of a million reasons why this is not the perfect time in our lives, but one of these reason are worth the life of a child. You probably think that sounds melodramatic, but with the realities of institutionalization and even if a child survives that institutionalization, the realities of suicide or a life of crime or prostitution once that child “graduates” from the orphanage system, really, that is not too far off. I’d love to share more resources with you, things that “softened” our hearts. I am working on complying a list of those.
Why not a domestic adoption?
I don’t want to answer this for Aaron, but I know that I don’t feel like a domestic adoption is “for” us. The foster care system in the US has plenty of flaws, sure, but one of the worst things for a child is institutionalization. Living in an orphanage. Of course, we don’t have orphanages in the US anymore.
Also, this might sound a bit batty, but Eastern Europe just feels right to us. My husband asked me where when we were first talking about adoption. I said that I thought Eastern Europe sounded like a good program for us. He told me not to think that he was crazy, but he had been thinking about EE too (he was not aware of the advantages of certain countries over others!). There are other reasons why we chose EE, which I will be sharing later.
This is NOT an easy question to answer. We are not wealthy. We don’t have children. We are YOUNG and newly married. We don’t have resources. I only personally know a handful of people who have been adopted or who have adopted (although I know plenty more online!). Aaron could not think of a SINGLE person he knows who is adopted or has adopted.
I know that I am still wonder “why us”, but we know that is right for us. A few months ago, I started reading the blog of a girl named Katie. I think Katie is younger than I am… I think that she is only 20!, but Katie, an American, moved to Uganda and is raising SIXTEEN? little girls and she and her daughters care for many, many more, I want to say thousands of children. Katie’s story truly touched me. Katie is living her life radically for others, for God.
When I first read Katie’s story, I donated some money and walked away. Sure, I still thought about her, how amazingly strong, faithful and loving she was. And I’ve kept reading her blog since. But, when we first started talking about adoption, I thought about Katie. How can I say that I am TOO young, TOO poor, TOO whatever?
I know I can’t try to be Katie, but when we first started talking about adoption, I kept thinking about her. Katie’s story was on my mind when we were thinking about adoption, and it just reminded me to keep my mind open and not write ourselves off so quickly as “not enough”.
I am sorry that this so SO long!