Why Adopt???

My initial, gut response is, “How in the world could we not?”  The longer version is that since Daniel and I have loved each other (12+ years), we’ve loved children and always thought we would adopt “one day.”  We were able to serve together in college at an orphanage in Honduras, which broke our hearts even more for the fatherless.  After that, and working for an at-risk children’s ministry where we got to know many children from broken homes, we knew we would always be a part of children’s lives...forgotten children’s lives.  Both graduating in social work, we worked (he still does) for Lifeline Children’s services, an amazing orphan-care, adoption agency, birth mother ministry.  As soon as I was hired years ago and heard there was an adoption program in Uganda, I just knew that’s the path we would be on one day.  I cannot fathom knowing that there are 143+million orphans in the world today and not doing something about it.  God’s word is so clear on our role as Believers to care for the fatherless, the orphan, the widow.  While we do not believe that every single person is called to adopt, we wholeheartedly believe that no one is excluded from orphan care in some way shape or form.  We are extremely excited, humbled and thankful that we are called to adopt and that we get to experience the earthly version of our heavenly adoption in Christ.  We hope and pray this is one of many adoptions for our family.  We have always wanted to adopt a baby with Down syndrome.  We have interests in other countries. We have interests in foster care and in domestic adoption.  We are just plain excited that the Lord has called us to this beautiful journey, and that He is equipping and providing. 

    Why Uganda?
    Uganda has been on my heart since my freshman year of college.  I had a professor at the college I attended who had a ministry and home in Uganda and helped college students plan summer trips there to serve.  I had my whole trip planned out.  I was going to be in several orphanages, and I absolutely could not wait.  Well...then I asked permission from my dad, who clearly said, “Nope.  Not that far.”  After much begging and pleading and presenting multiple options and arguments, I realized that he was my leader and that God had other plans (and they were really wonderful ones at that!).  But Uganda never left my heart.  Then, when Daniel began working for Lifeline, the first trip they sent him on was to.......Uganda!  We corresponded via email and gchat while he was there, and he said to me, “Sarah, I can see why your heart has been drawn here.  You will love it here.  The people are so warm and loving and welcoming.  The women carry their babies in slings on their back.  It’s so great.”  I knew.  We were both hooked and completely led to Uganda.  He came home that fall, and we made plans to get our finances in order before applying.  January 2011, we submitted our application and officially began the process.  Not only do I now get to go to Uganda...but with my husband, 3 children (Josiah is due in October and we will probably travel in the winter), and probably my dad, and BRING HOME OUR CHILD!  Way better than I could have ever planned. 

    Who are you adopting?
    We don’t know yet.  We are currently waiting to be matched with a child.  We are approved for a child 15 months and younger, preferably twins.  Either male or female.  Once we move and have Josiah, we will have a home study update and change our age preference to 24 months and younger, either male or female...and we’ll just have to wait and see if we are still open and led to twins. 

    Why does the process take so long if there are so many orphans?
    Adoption is complicated.  We are working with the U.S. Government  and the Uganda government.  We are following state guidelines, national guidelines, and Ugandan guidelines.  Sadly, child trafficking is a very real issue and takes time to ensure a child’s true orphan status.  Paper work takes forever.  It just does.  Home study, finger prints, child abuse/neglect clearances, medical examinations, etc.  Then sending that everywhere it needs to go...and waiting to hear back.  Updating it.  Sending it to our government, sending it to their government.  If it were easy, it would be scary because then anyone could and would adopt...those with poor motives and ill intentions.  We are thankful for the measures taken by Lifeline to ensure the legality and ethical soundness of our adoption. We wholeheartedly trust that every second waited is all a part of God’s plan to unite us with our child in the perfect time and place.  

    Isn’t it so expensive?
    Yes.  Adoption is really expensive.  It takes a lot of professionals, government officials, and coordinators to legally conduct an adoption.  We want it done ethically and correctly.  And our initial goal has been to raise $30,000 for our adoption.  We do not have extra money.  We praise the Lord for our daily bread...daily.  So when we knew the Lord was calling us to adopt, we also knew He was planning to provide.  And He has and is continuing to!  We held a yard sale last spring, and our church, family and friends all donated items for us to sell and helped us set up and clean up....we made $1700 in one day.  My boys had a lemonade stand and made almost $200.  Heather and I have sewn aprons and baby items and sold them for the proceeds to benefit our adoption.  And the following are grants we have applied for and received:
www.lifesong.org (they gave us a $3000 matching grant and are helping us fund raise)
www.heartofthebride.org ($3000 grant- contact kelly@heartofthebride.org)
www.jscfoundation.org ($1000 grant)
James Samford Jr. Foundation gave us a $5000 grant.
Many other dear people in our church family, family, and friends have generously shared their financial resources with us for the purposes of helping us bring home our baby.  We absolutely could not do it on our own, and the Lord is providing every penny to equip us for what He has called us to do.  We are thankful.  So very thankful. 

    Of course we love Lifeline Children’s Services because we know them from the inside out.  We know the hearts of those who work there, and they are beautiful and deeply committed to bringing home children who are orphans, serving birth mothers, and serving those who will not be adopted.  We’ve worked as adoption social workers and birth mother counselors for Lifeline and know that side of it and love it.  Now that we are an adoptive family as well, we appreciate the work of Lifeline even more.  We want and need the support, guidance and wisdom of this credible, Christ-centered agency with us through our adoption journey.  www.lifelinechild.org