Why Adopt? – A Family Story
I’ve always said God creates families how they are meant to be. I truly believe that. Even on the hardest of days, I still believe God created our family.
On this journey, many people have asked, “why adoption?”, “Why China?”. And, “Why/how did you get a boy from China?”.
Well, for us it’s a simple answer. If God did not bless us with a birth child, then He had another child out there waiting for us.
Again, simple answer. China’s adoption program is stable and very successful.
Why/How did we get a boy?
This one is not so simple and I will get into this one a little later.
Adoption is not for the faint of heart. Adoption is not always what we see in movies and more often than not your heart will break just thinking of some of the things that go on in an orphan’s life. So, when considering adoption, know that it’s not saving a child—it’s not giving a child a better future. Well, it is, but truly, adoption is becoming a family. People tell me how lucky Nathan is to have us. I think it’s the opposite. Jon and I are lucky to have him. We didn’t save him, God saved him to be our son.
Whenever someone says, why didn’t you do fertility treatments or explore other options? My answer has become the same over time; adoption guarantees me becoming a parent and guarantees a child gets a family. There is not a single fertility treatment that guarantees the same thing.
When we first got all the paperwork, I was beyond overwhelmed. In fact, I almost gave up. Then I began to reach out to other adoptive parents. This network saved me, encouraged me, validated me and more importantly, just listened to me. The more stories I heard, the more determined I became. And slowly but surely the mountain of papers began to dwindle. The six-month paperwork building that seemed impossible passed by in a heartbeat, and the next thing we knew, we were logged in to the China adoption system and waiting.
So, how did we get a boy? Well, during the paper chase we were presented with the list of medical needs we were willing to accept and asked if we wanted a boy or a girl. The truth is, there are many boys waiting and many of them have manageable medical needs. The sad truth is that more people request girls, so the boys end up waiting longer for families. Hearing this and knowing we could potentially bring a boy home sooner, there was no question to check the box that we’d be willing to accept a boy or girl. We checked this box knowing in our hearts a boy would be joining our family.
I’ve heard so many people say, “I’d love to adopt, but I can’t afford it.” To them, I say, yes you can.
Most people who adopt do not have the money set aside. We were lucky enough to have saved. But, many families have to apply for grants and reach out to the community to help fund their adoptions. There are so many creative ways to raise funds to bring a child home. Pancake breakfasts at church, t-shirt drives, etc. There are grants upon grants out there as well. The tax credit is also a huge help.
For anyone considering adoption, know this, it is worth it. Even on the hardest of days, and yes there are many from the moment you submit your application to the days you spend at the doctor and therapy appointments once you are home, it is worth it.
Children wait for families all over the world. If you are interested in adoption, reach out and ask questions. It costs nothing to call a friend who has adopted or contact America World to find out more about waiting children. One phone call could not only change your life, but the life of a child who needs a family.
If you cannot adopt, donate. If you cannot donate, raise awareness. I’m always proud and happy to educate anyone who asks about our process. Keep in mind, not everyone is being nosey. Many people truly don’t know anything about adoption. I’m a proud advocate and can tell you from experience, most people are truly naïve to what adoption is really about.
Orphans do not have a voice.
We need to be their voice.
– Dana Schrader
America World would like to thank Dana Schrader for sharing her family story with us! Stories are so central to the mission at America World since we all have a story, and orphans need us to tell their story to find their forever families.
If you would like more information about adoption, we invite you to visit our International Adoption Programs pages. Questions? Contact America World’s team at Info@awaa.org or call us at 800-429-3369 to speak with an adoption specialist.