For a least a decade, I had thought that I would adopt a little girl from China one day. I joking called her "Sally Ming" to my mother and friend, Alysia. After all, it breaks my heart that so many Chinese tend to place so many little girls for adoption. I would hate to think my parents didn't want me because I'm female (especially since I do tend to think the we are the more dominant gender! LOL).
Anyway when we felt the time had come to begin our adoption journey, I ordered some paperwork from an adoption agency that specializes in foreign adoptions. I had no doubt in my mind at the time I ordered the info that China was the country for us. I really never considered any other country as I felt so led to China. Included in the packet was information on other countries. I was so sad when I learned that a person can adopt from Ethiopia for a lot less money and with a much shorter wait time. The trend appears to be that the more Caucasian the country, the more expensive adoption costs and longer placement waits. I've done my research and understand the break down of the expenses but I still feel feel like with the prices of adoption, you are essentially "buying" a child. I was prepared for the "sticker shock" but I didn't realize how much the costs vary so much from country to country.
Instead of being excited about the adoption information arriving in the mail, I began to feel very conflicted. Very conflicted. After a several of days of thinking and praying, I didn't feel right about going across the world to adopt a child when there were so many here in the United States in need of homes and families. My husband from the very beginning had been saying that we should adopt an older child as neither one of us are crazy about being tied down to an infant. My response, was always "Oh, no...those kids have problems." One night, I couldn't sleep and began surfing the net. I found some photolisting websites that profile children that are in foster care and are available for adoption. I sobbed as I read about each child. Those little faces had names, interests, and dreams. Some reminded of me of kids I knew growing up. Something about these photolisting websites really struck my core and weighed heavy on my heart. From that point on, I knew this is where we belonged (of course, Billy said "I told you so!").
I was scared but convicted that we needed to pursue adoption through foster care. I had to get over the image of a "my" child that I had in my head. I had to start imaging myself with an older and possibly troubled kid. Amazingly, God opened my heart pretty quickly to the idea. Therefore, I was able to accept it and then get excited about our new possiblities!
When we decided to adopt an older child/children, we were faced with a wide assortment of reactions and comments about our decision (I will wait until I'm really fired up on day to post more about ignorant people and their ignorant comments). People tend to be supportive of adopting babies both domestically and internationally but definitely not older kids. So this leads me to wonder, why has society turned their backs on OUR children? We adore them while they are infants and toddlers but once they get bigger, no one wants to touch them! For not fault of their own, these kids experience tragedy, neglect, abuse, etc. that most of us cannot fathom and get taken away from their parents yet our society in large does not want to help these kids. I understood that parenting hurt children was not going to be an easy endeavor especially for an inexperienced, first-time parent. However more importantly, I did realize these kids need PARENTS, love and stability which were things my husband and I were able to provide in abundance.
I know this is probably a horrible analogy but it is the most fitting one that comes to mind. I would never buy a dog or a cat. A few years ago, my kitty, Stinky, wandered up my driveway, onto my porch and into my life. I don't care how much you paid for your puss and I don't care if he/she came to you as a kitten because I'm telling you right now, that my ole stray cat is top notch the whole way.
Same thing with older kiddos...I firmly believe there are wonderful children out there in need of good famlies. Besides, who doesn't have problems? And who knows, one day one of them may turn out to be the President of the USA!