Adoption Awareness month, Hard Questions

November is Adoption awareness month. Orphan care is the passion of my heart and adoption is a huge part of caring for orphans so I will be doing several post about adoption this month, which is not at all out the norm here at The Wardrobe and the White Tree BUT I'd also like to ask you some questions and ask you to submit questions concerning adoption.

This was actually inspired by a comment I received the other day on my post about the adoption booth at Live The Dream. This is the comment and my response to her really great question.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"God will provide the funds" Is that also what you tell young unmarried expectant mothers who are struggling to raise their baby themselves? How much of the money you raise goes to them to keep their families together?
Claire

Sunday, November 01, 2009 Delete


Blogger Carole Turner said...

Absolutely I would Claire. My sister was 15 when she got pregnant with my nephew. If an unwed girl came to me and said she wanted to keep her baby but was afraid she couldn't do it financially, I would definitely encourage her to seek her father God, believe he loves her, will provide for her because she is his beautiful daughter.


Carole Turner said...

Forgot to answer your question, none of the money we raise goes to girls wanting to keep their babies. We are an adoption ministry but we do partner with a single moms ministry led by Jennifer Maggio who herself raised two kids by herself till she married a few years ago. Our church even partners with a home for unwed mothers.


I really do appreciate Claire asking a hard question. I don't claim to have all the answers to every adoption question, I don't know if Claire liked my answer to her question but all I can do is answer honestly and I do know lots of people living out many different adoption situations, I know they will help me if any of you hit me with a real doozie.

So send me your questions (you can post anonymously if you like) and here are a few I would love for you to answer:

Have you ever felt a pull toward adopting a child?

Why not adopt?

What are your fears?

Comments

Erin Moore said…
1) What has been your biggest disappointment? Wow - I feel funny asking that. You can totally say, "none of your freakin' business".

2) What is or has been harder than you expected it to be?

3) In your opinion, what is the most difficult aspect of adopting an "older child"

4) Tell us about an unexpected, but positive part of the adoption experience.
Anderson Crew said…
One thing I get told a lot is "you asked for this, you can't complain about it now"...I don't feel like I am complaining that one son wiped his poop all across the bathroom in a vent of anger, nor am I complaining that sensory overload often has us leaving before the other kids are ready...I do feel like I am educating,(sometimes venting), and showing how God uses everyone and everything and how adoption IS do-able...and how redeemable we all are...even those considered "the least of these"
I love the work your church does with strippers, adoption..everything I truly thing you guys are going for Jesus' heart and what He would/do and you can't go wrong with that.
Anderson Crew said…
Ohh Erin-good questions! :)
Megan said…
How did Abel communicate with you when he first came home? How did you communicate with him? How did that effect your bonding and adjustment?

Why did you go with an international adoption after adopting from the US?

Our attempt to adopt domestically has been heartbreaking. Did you find your international experience more or less emotionally draining than your domestic experience.

Which was more expensive after everything? (No need to share specifics- I know it's a personal question- tell me to bug off if you want.)

How do you feel about missing the first seven years of Able's life? How do you deal with that?

How has Steele adjusted to having his birth order disrupted? (he's 5 right? and Abel is 7)

How is that for some hard questions? Thanks Carole.
Carole Turner said…
Erin asked:

1) What has been your biggest disappointment? Wow - I feel funny asking that. You can totally say, "none of your freakin' business".

I honestly cant think of anything. I actually thought it would be much worse so I guess that's why I cant think of a disappointment :-)

2) What is or has been harder than you expected it to be?

Again, we were prepared for lots of acting out, really bad stuff and we have not had much of that so we have gotten better then we expected really.

3) In your opinion, what is the most difficult aspect of adopting an "older child"

Attaching is a process, for him and us, I prefer instant gratification :-)so that is the most difficult part, it's the work part really.

4) Tell us about an unexpected, but positive part of the adoption experience.

When you are deliberate with love, have to conciously, reach out, do things to attach, act lovingly, it activates a miracle because it is a walk of faith that leads to more love. The feelings come after the action, unlike with natural kids or babies. With older child adoption, the love grows from the action and the more love that grows the more my heart expands and there is more love to give and more room to receive love. It is truly one of the most amazing miracles that was a beautiful surprise to me.

Thanks for the questions Erin!
Carole Turner said…
Duchess Asked:

1. How did Abel communicate with you when he first came home? How did you communicate with him? How did that effect your bonding and adjustment?

It was very difficult at first, but he caught on to English really fast. I think it definitely affected the initial bonding but it was only a short time.

2. Why did you go with an international adoption after adopting from the US?

I saw Abel's name and knew he was our child. I had known I wanted to adopt from Africa because that is where I felt drawn too but we didn't pick the country or the agency, that is just where he was from and I knew he was meant to be in our family.

3. Our attempt to adopt domestically has been heartbreaking. Did you find your international experience more or less emotionally draining than your domestic experience.

International is draining in a different way but it was harder for us. With Steele, we only had two months from the time we even knew he existed until he was born. I had NO home study, lawyer or anything, but God pulled it all together in that short time and we got him from the hospital. BUT I would not recommend an open adoption to people after that experience. I say, when the child is grown and if they would like to meet their birth family then absolutely let them. Tell them they are adopted, talk about the birth family if the child wants but I don't think it's a good idea for the birth mom to have contact throughout the child's life. I know that is non a popular view right now but it is how we feel based on our open adoption experience.

Our adoption of Abel took 1 year and the paper work is a whole lot of headache. Both international and domestic have their benefits.

4.Which was more expensive after everything? (No need to share specifics- I know it's a personal question- tell me to bug off if you want.)

Steele's domestic adoption was $9000. It was private, through an attorney. Abel's was $19000 total cost for travel and everything beginning to end with an agency.

5. How do you feel about missing the first seven years of Able's life? How do you deal with that?

I was kinda obsessed with it at first. but now, I try to focus on what we have each day. He's happy and loving life. We take it one day at a time and pray. He is good about saying when he misses Ethiopia or if he's sad, stuff like that. I am a huge fan of counseling, and he has been already, so if he needs some help processing later, we will get that for him.

6. How has Steele adjusted to having his birth order disrupted? (he's 5 right? and Abel is 7)

Steele and Abel were meant to be brothers. They love each other so much. I know how blessed we are in this situation. Steele loves having an older brother. Evangeline loves having two younger brothers. They all get along great. Steele is kinda a bully sometime and Abel is very kind to Steele. We work on Abel standing up to Steele and Steele not taking advantage of Abel's kindness. But all normal sibling stuff. The relationships of my kids is truly a miracle.

Those are some really great questions. Thanks for asking them :-)
Erin Moore said…
Carole! Beautiful answers, thanks for answering our tough questions!

...I just thought of one more: How is Abel doing with food? When I was in Ethiopia, the food there was soooo different. I hated their food, and our translators hated ours (I remember them trying mashed potatoes and being like "yuck!"). Is Abel a picky eater, do you try to give him Ethiopian food often? Has he horded food? What, if any, behaviors do you see regarding food that would be related back to his first 6 years of living in poverty?
Carole Turner said…
Abel is a great eater. He does not hoard at all. The only thing that seems to be from his upbringing in Ethiopia is that he wakes up ready to eat and ask a lot of questions about when we will eat again. I set times for snack and meals so now he will say "is it 7:30 yet?" Cuz he knows he gets a bed time snack at 7:30pm. We hear "What are we going to eat?" more then normal because I think there is this fear that we will run out of food. He loves Mac and Cheese, beans and rice, pizza, and he will eat anything I put in front of him except Jello, he gags on Jello, found that out the hard way one night at Piccadilly ;-)