Still a family of two.

I wrote a post a few years ago about not being pregnant. I am still not and we are still a family of two. Before I posted that blog, Scott and I had talked a lot about expanding our family but the blog post increased the intensity of our thinking and conversations in a good way. I think it helped us go from each having a position—I wanted kids and Scott wasn’t too sure—to starting an actual exploration.

We know now that for us to have a child sharing our DNA would truly take a miracle. I pray for that and part of me still expects it. Because I know that while God may choose to provide us with that miracle bio-baby and I also know that He may not, I have gone through waves of sadness related to that loss. I think a child with our DNA would be really great—with a huge dose of quirky and hard-headedness. I believe God can do this for us, and we would delight in having a miracle baby. But we are also seeking other ways to expand our family. And maybe through those other avenues, however undefined they might be, our miracle might come. But the “other ways” just don’t seem that clear.

Our exploration has been slow and disjointed. God knows the end of our story. Only He does. And I am fearful that we will be too lazy, too antsy, too blinded by our own desires, too “something” to see God’s plan. I do not have answers.

We have explored various forms of adoption, basically on a quest to find something that feels right to us. I have no idea what that might be, but I am certain it will come. We went to a weekend at Christian Homes in Abilene, an agency that does domestic adoptions. I know some really wonderful parents and kids who used them. We went to a fostering-to-adopt orientation. Whoa. We walked away overwhelmed. But strangely I keep coming back to fostering to adopt. We just visited with friends who are hosting Ukrainian orphans for the summer. I am also intrigued with what is out there that would allow for a private adoption without going through an agency. I have heard some success stories like that.

Through fertility stuff and adoption research and just circling around it all to figure out our next steps, the private adoption and fostering to adopt things keep coming up. On the private-adoption-without-and-agency thing, how does one find a dear, brave birth momma who is considering such a thing? I think God works stuff like that out, but I can’t help but wonder who may read this blog, who knows of someone trying to make that hard choice, who might want to meet us and see if we might be a worthy family for their child? It’s worth a shot.

On the foster to adopt front, I have rejected it as too chaotic, but is it? I think I need to figure that out.

In the meantime, we enjoy being the two of us. We take advantage of just being two. We vacation.

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We exercise on Saturday mornings, and sleep late on Sundays (you know, till like 8 am!). We have uninterrupted conversations. There’s more time to read. Scott can watch movies where people get blown up and not worry about traumatizing young eyes. But as time goes by, my heart continues to tug for a little person. I see people parent and dream of what a joy that would be. I want the honor of molding a heart and mind, and to point some little person to Christ, as their parents. What a big, dog deal.

Scott and I are together in our continued exploration. When fertility “stuff” did not work, I think being denied the choice caused desire to bubble up within him. In this regard, I see God answering our prayers to knit our hearts together. But he and I agree we are not getting any younger, and need to get going on whatever it is we are doing.

So I am casting questions to the blog world, and would love input on the following things.

Does fostering-to-adopt have to be as chaotic as I fear?

Has anyone used a faith-based agency in Austin that they recommend for fostering-to-adopt?

What agencies would you recommend for international adoptions? (I am intrigued but not sure it is for us, which is an about face from my thoughts last week.)

Does anybody have knowledge of an orphanage where we can adopt a child that is 2 or 3 years old?

Does anyone know of a brave woman considering her options with an unwanted pregnancy? I am interested but also scared of this. I am open to what God may have out there for us, but in reading about ethical adoption, I am struck by the need to keep my desperation for a family in check with a birth mother’s exploration toward adoption. I know, however, that God is big enough to orchestrate even something like this.

Thanks in advance for caring enough about our small lives to read and share. My email is chelseabuch at gmail dot com.

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6 responses to “Still a family of two.

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. We love your family of two so much. ❤️ I’ll be praying for that nudge as you seek the right opportunity! I have friends adopting in Ukraine right now…I’ll learn more😊….and I know several families that used the Gladney Center with great success. I’ve also seen friends pray for years and literally had a baby placed in their arms from a friend of a friend in a tough situation. We will praying for your rest of the story. Love you.

  2. pam willingham

    I didn’t know of your desire but will be praying for you guys and your ongoing quest for an answer. I have a friend who adopted through Christian Homes in Abilene and she is a big proponent for them.

  3. Chels~ We fostered in hopes to foster to adopt. We went through Starry in Round Rock, a christian agency. Every story is so different as they unfold through everyone I know that went through them. I would love to meet for dinner or have a phone converstation and share. Miss you! ~Maggie

  4. Hi Chelsea,

    My wife Tenley and I took a while to come round to adoption. We tried to have biological children for a good six or so years before it became clear that it just wasn’t going to happen. We’d briefly looked into adoption during that six years but were scared away by much of what we heard, especially regarding open adoption and the foster care system.

    But when we decided to go down the road of adoption, we looked at every path.

    Some possibilities were excluded rather quickly: most countries for international adoption have 3 year waits (in the case of Korea, it was 5 years as of early 2014), and after so many years of infertility we weren’t prepared to wait that long. China was the only country that could do an adoption in less than 2 years, so that was the only option we looked at internationally.

    Foster care is a wonderful option – I have a couple friends and co-workers who have done it and are very happy. But (at least in WA – and maybe TX is different) if you want a child younger than 5, you must be prepared for the likelihood of have children placed in your arms and yanked back to druggy, irresponsible people, usually a couple times before a permanent placement happens. If you don’t want to deal with that, you can opt for an older kid. We couldn’t see how we could do either. We couldn’t deal with the heartbreak or anger of a kid being taken away from us and, frankly, as new parents, we didn’t know if we’d be in the best position to provide the help and support that an older child would need.

    Private adoption though an agency is pretty rare, at least up here in the NW, and every agency insists on open adoption. We weren’t opposed to having our children know and visit their bio parents – we just didn’t want a court-enforced agreement requiring us to do that. And that seems what every agency insists on.

    Private non-agency adoption was probably the toughest for us to get a handle on. I’ve read that over half of US adoptions fit this description, but it isn’t clear if that total includes step-parent adoptions and grandparent adoptions. In practice, I’ve only ever indirectly known one family that adopted in this way. If considering this, I would A) speak to an adoption atty and B) reach out to women’s health clinics and churches to provide your info and would be very reticent to advertise in a paper or on Craigslist.

    So given all of that, we came around to China as our best option. Interestingly, every couple we met in China that was adopting had gone through almost the same exact thought process.

    We worked with WACAP, and they were wonderful. Their China Program does around 125 adoptions each year, and they serve folks from all over the US. We traveled in China with a couple from Georgia and one from Alaska. The whole process went amazingly quick – from the time we submitted our adoption app to WACAP to the time we traveled to China was almost a year to the day.

    If you go the China route, pick an agency that partners with orphanages in China. WACAP does, and our daughter came through their partner orphanage. The nice thing about that is you get a ton more info and pictures – there is almost no risk of misrepresentation of the child’s health or age (which sometimes, although rarely, happens if just adopting through the shared list).

    With every agency, you will travel with other families. I didn’t really realize this until close to when we actually traveled, and somewhat dreaded it. But it turned out to be such an awesome blessing. The couples we traveled with are became dear friends, and it was great having support while over there.

    I’d also ask China agencies about what the travel experience is like – some are far more regimented and make families go to every planned activity, which can be tough for the kids.

    If you guys would like to talk, we’d be happy to share our experiences. Blessings to you and praying for you!

    Rob

  5. Chelsea, my dear Friend Christine, who has waited in vain to meet her husband-to-be, just celebrated the second birthday (and second anniversary of their meeting) with her now daughter, whom she fostered from birth. She knew she wanted to adopt from the beginning, and it wasn’t a given from the beginning. Due to issues with birth mom, who gave verbal approval of adoption and then changed her mind–at the termination of rights hearing (!)–there was a bit of a roller coaster, but all in all the experience was positive for Christine. Her daughter is hers. She has always been hers, as I can only believe God intended. This child was meant for her. BUT, I was terrified for her the entire time. What a devastating loss it would have been if she had not been able to adopt her. That is a reality. However, that said, think of the good she would have done having been able to care for and love that child, what a strong start she had. The DSS people have a good sense of which cases will end up with a strong chance of adoption–they knew they wouldn’t put a child with her that was going home. That wasn’t her intention–so it wasn’t an option. There was a lot of oversight, lots of meetings with birth mom (less with dad, who signed off his rights early on), and some frustration and tears. It took 20 months from the day she took her home from the hospital. But she would say it was all worth it. Look at that option as a serious one. It’s local, it’s helpful, and you could be giving a child such a beautiful life. It may not be the option you choose, but it’s real, and it’s exciting. It’s daunting. You are strong, and brave and loving. I’m crying for you that you may not get the biological child you desire, as I was lucky enough to have mine easily, but I know that you will be such wonderful parents–without having met Scott in person but knowing him through your blog and your posts, and knowing you and the dear person you would have married. I hope your road becomes clear and you can be at peace with a decision in your own time. Know that we who love you will be praying for you, and for the little person who will get to call you mom and dad.

  6. Stephanie Roth

    Hello Chelsea,
    Kari French is one of my cousins and reached out to me regarding your journey. We adopted a little boy through the Iowa foster care system about 4 years ago (he came into our home at 4 months and the adoption was finalized just after he turned 1). Our experience was very positive, but I would also say pretty abnormal in its ease and speed, especially considering our son’s age. I think there is a lot to consider with going through the state, especially as it seems you are primarily interested in adopting, not so much in fostering. Generally speaking, the goal of foster care is the reunification of the family. Personally, we have seen both the chaotic and not-so-chaotic sides to foster care, and I think that speaking more with a DHS or support worker about your situation could be clarifying. We were initially interested in foster care, but definitely wanted to leave the door to adoption open, which I think allowed us a bit more patience with the process and timing of everything. Foster parenting can give an amazing opportunity to change lives…not just through being able to “keep” a child as your own, but in coming alongside parents (who are often no more than children themselves) in showing compassion, responsibility, etc. Truly you can potentially affect generations, but it just looks so different than the straight-forward “this child is yours permanently and forever.” Taking the classes to get licensed was very helpful for us, and I just think we do not know how the Lord plans to unfold our lives. As I said, our situation was unique, but then again God knows precisely who you are and the path he has for your lives.

    Just a thought: a professor of mine from college went through a very crazy infertility/adoption story and I think it might be an encouragement to you. Her blog is http://thisoddhouse.org/category/parenting/adoption/ (the link is to posts specific to adoption), but she might also be a resource to you in this time. If you would like to connect further with me, feel free to email me. I will be praying for you both.