Friday, July 27, 2007

Here's the long winded adoption update.

I know it's long. Sorry! There is a lot going on in this crazy brain of mine!

So here is what's been going on lately.... I've been researching African adoption!

I thought we had it all figured out. Remember how we had our next adoption all figured out? We were going to do an African American domestic adoption. We were all started and everything. It's an awesome plan. There is a great need for people to adopt minority infants in the US. I had no idea until last year that this was the case. You get a little bitty healthy baby. It is less stressful and costly than working with another country because of the inter country issues. Our adoption laws in Texas are stellar from what I hear and the agency we would work with is amazing. They truly have a heart to help and are extremely ethical. I desperately want people to know about the need to adopt AA and bi-racial babies domestically. I thought, "Why wouldn't we do this???" I sent in the paperwork. THEN I couldn't do it.

I DON'T KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN IT! At first I thought I wasn't quite ready... which I wasn't. I know we needed a break. BUT it was more than that too.

You may have noticed I've been really quiet about it here. I didn't know what to say. Were we going to do it? Were we stopping... paused.... and WHY? I just couldn't write it down somehow. A lot of my thoughts are muddled and weird. Some of them are downright selfish and I am ashamed to write them down. Some of them might offend people so I've kept them to myself. BUT I am done with the self-censoring. I guess I've given fair warning. Stop reading now if your a blue pill kind of person. :0)

So anyway, I have been wrestling with it and researching like crazy. I started second guessing everything. It is such a difficult thing for me because I have a passion to help Africa. I feel like there is a little piece of my heart there already. Russ and I are actually developing long term plans to have a ministry involving Africa. So I kept thinking- how can I NOT adopt from there?? It's also a little bit selfish cause we really feel that we want to do the baby thing one more time but I wasn't sure I really wanted to do the BRAND new baby thing. It's just that the first 6 months is A LOT of work and I'm spoiled now. See! SELFISH! Also in my mind the next adoption would be a boy since we have two girls and the agency we would use for domestic does not allow you to choose gender. SEE! SELFISH AGAIN! Plus, adoption from Africa seems so much more life and death for the children. I mean they have nothing. There are such amazing ministries and families adopting from Africa. I am so grateful to see the work people are doing there. I can hardly hardly wait to be a part of that.

On the other hand-children in the US have a social welfare system to fall back on. If they don't have a home they have some sort of protection. Then again... what kind of life is it to be bounced from one foster home to the next- knowing you aren't wanted because your skin is different? It makes me want to hurl. Is that really much better than living in poverty?

I also feel very strongly that Christians need to practice what we preach. I find it hypocritical to say that I am pro-life if I am unwilling to adopt a child that is placed for adoption. What are the options in our still prejudiced society? Should a young lady have a baby that she can't afford and is not ready to raise? Should she give up a baby not knowing whether the baby will find a great loving family or will end up shuffled into a faulty foster care system? Should she abort the baby?

I know of three wonderful, reputable domestic adoption agencies right now that have NO families willing to adopt African American healthy babies. This is in Texas with our strict adoption laws. My social worker has witnessed families wait for ten plus years for a Caucasian baby while healthy African American babies were put in foster homes. So how can we have a leg to stand on in saying we are pro-life when we won't open our hearts and our homes? Did you know that Canadians regularly come and adopt African American children from the United States because American families won't?!? Do you feel nauseous or is it just me?

I am ASHAMED of us. Truly I am. It is not enough to say I want things to change. I have to BE the change...start the change. It's not enough to say that skin color isn't what is important about a person. I need to live that truth!

I am so deeply proud of the families out there who are daring to cross the interracial boundaries. THANK YOU! I truly believe that you are beginning the realization of Martin Luther's dream...

"I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

I think it's beautiful.

So I know this all might sound a little bit disjointed but frankly, that's what my thought process has been like. It's been really good though. I am learning so much about Africa and the adoption systems in place. I am learning a lot about myself- good and bad! I have met some amazing new blogger buddies too.

After wrestling with it all and getting some wise counsel from one of my fabulous adoptive mommy friends (thanks Amy) I think we have landed on what to do. It's so funny because a few months ago I encouraged Amy not to limit God in what He can do in her life and when He might do it. She took that advise and God is doing such cool things in her family. She is the BOMB and a true role model to me!

So the other day I was talking to her and spilling my guts about this struggle. She reminded me that I needed to listen to the very words I told her. I was feeling torn because I was saying that THIS was my chance to adopt from Africa even though in my heart I think we should go with AA domestic. She asked me why we couldn't adopt from Africa later down the road. HUH??? What a revelation right???

It seems so simple but I was just limiting myself to what I can see. It seems so silly to me that it didn't occur to me as an option. I don't know how to explain that... I am still learning to open my brain to all God has for me. I am still learning to take the visions I have for the future and be patient until it's the right time.

I shared everything with my awesome hubby. We talked and prayed and thought. We both agree that we think domestic adoption is where we need to be this time but African adoption is down the road. I thought Russ might be disappointed at the thought of maybe not having a boy. He said he adores his little girls and would love another one. How precious is this man? So we are putting it in God's hands. He will bring us our next one just like He brought us our last two. Look how cool they are! He's obviously very good at this.

Plus, I figure there is a good chance we will end up with a little boy from Africa one of these days. Generally, more people request girls in overseas adoption. Many waiting children are boys. So there you go.. maybe that's why part of my heart's in Africa. I guess we will see.

So here is the current plan- Lord willing. We will wait until January to get really into anything. I'll just get the basics done. We will dive into a domestic adoption process full force in January. The hope is that we will bring a baby home summer or fall of 2008.

WOOOOHOOOOO! I feel so much better. I am getting so excited. I think I just needed to process it all and figure out where we are supposed to be headed. Now that I have a direction I feel great. Well, what do you think?

To read more about our agency you can link here to our previous entry...

HUGS! Angel


Bekah said...

angel--that is so exciting. when we did our homestudy our social worker asked if we were going to adopt again and we said 'yes' and she told us of the HUGE need in our country to adopt african american and biracial children. to be honest, i had NO idea this was a need and we will definitely consider this route. it does make me sick to my stomach so you are not alone.

Krystal said...

Congratulations on your awesome decision!!! Thanks of writing all of this out and sharing it with us -- I have had almost almost all of the same thoughts as you. . . it is so weird to feel like you are supposed to be doing *something* but trying to figure WHICH something God is calling you to at this time!

I am so excited for you guys! I will be praying for you and your future child!

ale said...

Hi Angel,
Maybe you already know this website, but just in case...

deals with interracial adoption, minorities, etc. great source to deal with some of the issues you bring up.


Angel said...

THANKS GUYS! Great comments.

Ale, I have heard of that site but haven't explored it yet. I am going to check it out right now.

Krystal, Glad to know I am not alone in all my crazy thought processes!!! :0)

Bekah, I found out the same way you did... We were doing our homesteady. I couldn't BELIEVE it! I truly had know idea. I had been wanting to adopt since I was a teenager and never KNEW. I had always heard there was a HUGE waiting list for healthy babies. SILLY NAIVE LITTLE ANGEL! There is a waiting list for white babies- not black babies. I felt like,"HOW DID I NOT KNOW???" I felt like my eyes were opened to something huge that day. If we want to know if color still matters we can just look at our adoption system.

Thanks for the comments. Good stuff! Let's have some more. Bring it on people. :0) Hugs to you,Angel

Betsy said...

Yep, I've been wondering... figured nothing came up.
Angel, I have a sneaking hunch that you will be adopting many children from several cultures. It's all good, really. Just keep in mind that the world does see color and you will have to prepared your little ones for that. It's a harsh reality but I think you will do fine. You are an amazing young lady. I wish all children could be so fortunate to have you and Russ as parents.

Jane-Jane said...

Beautiful! I'm not sure it really matters the order... but that you do it... do something! If God has laid it on your heart that two is not the limit for you and Russ, then go until He says no more.... Your heart is beautiful (Russ' too!) I will be e-mailing you soon with my full heart on the matter... it is long and I would love some of your feedback!

Thank you sister! I can't remember where I found your blog, but I am SOOOOO thankful I did. God has used you to make a difference in my life, and for that I am thankful!

And to answer your question... things are starting to be more "normal" for me!

Angel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Angel- ok, I'm in tears- you talked about me on YOUR AWESOME, INSPIRING, REAL, TOUCH YOUR HEART kind of blog!!! I am so proud of you- the way you REALLY listen to God is such an inspiration to me. The way you REALLY live our life is such an inspiration to me. I'm praying for you- and praying that your REALY HEART changes and challenges more people than you will ever know! Cheering you on all the way! Love, Amy

Angel said...

AMY! AWWWW YOU ARE PRECIOUS!!!! I adore you in a serious way. I am so grateful that God brought me a friend like you. I am truly grateful for other adoptive mommies. You have a heart and personality so much like mine. I love talking to you. :0) HUGS FRIEND! Angel

Angel said...

Hey Betsy! YEAH! Sorry to leave you hanging!!! Hee hee. I knew you were wonderin what was up around these parts. Considering I had NO CLUE I didn't know what to say. :0) I think you are so right. I am going to have so much to learn. I will be begging people from all different cultures to help me learn. Yep... I do see a very multicultural family in progress. Thanks so much Betsy. You are a awesome mamma yourself. Angel

Angel said...

Jane-Jane, I am SOOOOO glad that God sent you my way. You have been in my heart. I can see that God is stirring you up and I am praying for you. I know you have a heart to do something big. I can hardly wait to hear the whole scoop and see what God is going to do in your life. I'm really happy you're doing well. Angel

A Special Family said...

I am so very very happy for you. That email I sent you said the same thing. There are THOUSANDS of african american babies not getting homes and families. The Canadians and even British families have begun adopting these babies. I simply can not believe it.
But do you know what surprises me the most? The number of Christian families I know that will NOT adopt a child who isn't caucasian. Of all the people I know adopting in Texas (12 families) you are the ONLY one that adopted trans-racially.
In my email I said, that I wondered if you would do some Chrisitian outreach about tranracial adoption in Texas, at Churches, womens groups etc. I think you are an amazing lady and it would be wonderful to think you and scripture changed people's hearts!