We had a great experience with the adoption of our first child, Elijah. He is a wonderful little boy who can’t wait to be an older brother.
Our adoption agency is the Independent Adoption Center (IAC), the same agency we used last time. IAC facilitates open adoptions in which we meet and have ongoing contact with our child’s birthparents. Our relationship with Elijah’s birthfamily has been a wonderful blessing. Because of open adoption, Elijah has answers to questions most adopted children ask about their family of origin. More importantly, he is in relationship with his birthfamily, who love him dearly — and the more people who can love a kid, the better.
Last time many people asked how they could help us. In anticipation of similar questions, I have three specific opportunities for folks.
First, please pray for us, our future child, and that child’s birthfamily. Ask God to grant us all patience and wisdom. The average waiting time with our agency is fourteen months, and usually longer for a family that has children, like ours. I know you’re thinking, “But last time you didn’t wait long at all.” Let me stop you there. I cannot emphasize enough how unusual it was for us to wait only five weeks to adopt Elijah. That adoption was so out of the ordinary, the agency still speaks about it three years later. Another quick adoption is possible, but not probable. While I know many are excited for us, it isn’t helpful for us to be reminded how short our wait was last time. We need to prepare for a longer wait, while remaining open to surprises. We ask for your encouragement, reminding us adopting a second child will happen and God has the right child in mind for us. I learned a wonderful blessing in adopting Elijah. When we began the process last time, I thought I wanted to adopt any child. In becoming Elijah’s father, I realize now I didn’t want just any child, I wanted Elijah. I love him uniquely. This unique love we share is a gift from Jesus. I know that a similar gift of unique love between us and our next child awaits. We don’t know how long our wait will be, but we are confident God will bring about the right child who will help make us a new family.
Second, if you know anyone who has an unplanned pregnancy and is wondering if they are ready to parent, please give them our contact information and we will put them in communication with our agency. The IAC offers great counseling for birthmothers, birthfathers, and all members of birthfamilies, free of charge. Our e-mail is tylerandcarey(at)gmail.com. We have a toll-free number: 1.800.299.0337. We created an I Heart Adoption profile with our agency where birthparents can learn more about us. We also set up a Facebook profile. Please go to our profiles with the agency and on Facebook and like the pages. These steps help us get the word out.
Third, adoption is expensive, even with agencies being required to be nonprofit organizations in California and many other states. Whereas health insurance helps cover the costs of pregnancy, birth, and even infertility, there is no equivalent insurance system for adoption. While we have saved so that we are able to afford it, many families either accrue significant debt to pursue their dream of adopting a child, or opt out because the costs are too great. The fact is many kids need an adoptive family and the massive up front costs of adoption dissuade several potential parents from opening their homes. Some parents have been able to use crowdfunding to help cover their costs. Some have applied for grants from foundations, but those foundations need donations from others to have grants to award. If you would have considered giving us money to help with our adoption, please help another family achieve their dream of adoption by making a donation to one of the grant organizations, like HelpUsAdopt.org.
Carey, Elijah, and I are grateful to be on this journey again. God has blessed our families through adoption for several generations. Thank you for your prayers and support.