A Heart For Adoption

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The kids talking to the judge at their adoption

Written by Beth Corcoran, Contributing Writer

Adoption is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.  And for some time now, I’ve been itching to share my story and my unique family with you.  Today I get the chance!

I have been blessed to be part of an amazing and unique body of Believers that is passionate about adoption.  There are many, many adoptive and foster families at our church that have been a great encouragement through our journey of adoption. But I understand that this is very unique and that adoption may be something completely new or even mysterious to you.

While I don’t intend to run through the process of adoption today, I would definitely like to answer your questions if you want to know more about that aspect of adoption.  If there is something you would like to know more about, feel free to leave a comment.

Our Family’s Adoption Story

Our First Adoption

In 2006, after trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, we decided to pursue infant adoption.  I think adoption to many is kind of a last resort, but thanks to the example of our amazing church friends, adoption seemed quite normal to us.  So we got our homestudy done and applied to an adoption agency.  Our little Isabella was born in May 2007 and we got to bring her home from the hospital.  The joy that came from that adoption was so intense, and I am so proud of Bella’s courageous birthmom who chose life for her baby.

In February of 2008, when Bella was just 9 months old, we dedicated her at our church.  Our pastor preached and challenged our church to not just say that we are pro-life, but to actually do something about it.  We left that day from church burdened, and less than a week later, we felt strongly that the Lord was calling us to adopt again—but this time, to adopt older children.

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The first time I met my daughter

A Journey Into Older Child Adoption

We got our homestudy again, and after waiting for a reply from DHS for several months, we decided to try a private adoption agency in our state.  Although they primarily facilitate infant adoptions, we knew that they had done some older child adoptions before.  So, we sent our paperwork and family scrapbook to them in October of 2008.

On November 4, I was teaching Bible study at church, and someone anonymously left $100 for our adoption on the podium where I was teaching.  I was overwhelmed, especially since we hadn’t let anyone know that because we were choosing a private adoption rather than DHS, we would need a lot more money.  That afternoon, an anonymous check came in the mail.  It was for $4,000 and it said, “for your adoption” in the memo line.  All I can remember is just laying on the floor and weeping, thanking God for His overwhelming goodness to us.

The very next day, I got a call from the adoption agency, asking us if we would be willing to adopt 3 older children, who were 4, 5, and 6 years old at the time.  Concerned about how much adopting 3 children would cost, I asked.  They told me that they would waive the fees, and all we would have to pay is the attorney fees.  Which would total about $4,000.  God had provided us the exact amount we needed, and had also confirmed in our hearts that these children were to be part of our family.

Two days later, we welcomed Micah, Malachi and Liliana  into our family.  To say that this adoption changed things for us is an understatement.  It totally rocked our world.  We were quite unaware of the myriad issues that come along with older child adoptions—behavioral, emotional, physical, etc.  But the Lord has always been faithful to walk us through everything. Now, nearly 3 years later, things still aren’t completely “normal,” but what is “normal” anyway?!

Becoming a Foster Family

Then in late 2009, we heard a story on the news about how there aren’t enough foster families in our area, so babies will leave the hospital and go straight to a state run shelter.  This broke our hearts.  We were reminded of Proverbs 3:27 which says,

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”

So, we felt the Lord was calling us to become foster parents to babies. We did all the training and in April 2010, we got our first foster baby.  That placement lasted only one week.  After that, we stopped getting calls asking us to take babies.  Instead, we kept getting calls asking us to take older children.  Wanting to meet the need, we took two little boys, who were ages 2 and 4 at the time.

I wish I could tell you so much more about their story, but I’m sad to say that I can’t because technically they are still in foster care and I have to maintain their confidentiality.  But I am so happy to report that within the next week or two, we will be going to court to finalize their adoption! We are so happy that they get to be part of our family legally, since they have been part of our family in our hearts for so many months.

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With the judge after finalizing our second adoption

Why Adopt?

I love to talk about why adoption is so wonderful!  It excites me every time!  There are many great and important reasons to adopt—besides the fact that you will have a new child!

A Glimpse of God’s Heart

Adoption has done more to help me to understand God’s heart more than anything else.  I have grown so much spiritually as a result of adoption.  You see, the very act of adoption mirrors what God has done for us through salvation.

Romans 8:15 says, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “ Abba! Father!”

I remember looking on tiny baby Isabella and feeling such love for her, even though she hadn’t grown in my womb. Isn’t that how God is towards us?!

Older child adoption has given us a further glimpse into God’s immeasurable love for us.  It’s easy enough to love a tiny (and adorable, I might add!) baby, but it is a completely different thing to love and care for a child who returns your love with hatred and disobedience and is bent on destroying everything in sight because of his anger.  But God has given us a heart to love our children despite those things.

And when I get really frustrated with the latest unimaginable thing one of my kids has done, God gently reminds me that He loves us even when we are in disobedience. Jesus died for us and called us while we were still sinners.  We didn’t have to be perfect before God loved us.  When we disobey, He still calls us back into a loving relationship with him.  It’s been very convicting and humbling to see God’s heart through adoption.

Pro-Life Action

My husband and I are very involved with trying to end abortion in our country.  Just as our pastor challenged us a few years ago, I’d like to extend that challenge to you as well.  If you are pro-life, is it in word only, or is it in deed as well?  There are certainly many ways to be pro-life, but one very basic way is to adopt.  By providing a safe, loving and warm home for a child, you are providing a very courageous birthmom with the assurance that she made a good choice for her baby.

A Biblical Mandate

No, adoption is not mandated in the Bible, and you won’t hear me proclaiming that you need to go out and adopt in order to be obedient to the Bible.  However, throughout the Bible are many commands to Believers to defend the cause of the fatherless and the orphan.  Our family’s verse is James 1:27:

“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

One great way to visit orphans in their distress is to adopt.  There are so many hurting kids out there that so desperately want a loving home.

How to Get Involved With Adoption

For some of you reading this, you may know immediately that God has called you to adopt.

But, perhaps your children are grown and out of the house, and you don’t want to adopt more. Or perhaps you have 10 kids already. Let’s face it, not everyone is called by God to adopt. And that’s fine. But we are all called, as Christians, to take care of orphans–however that looks.

For me, it undoubtedly is through adoption. But maybe for you, it is through giving money so others can adopt. Our adoption was made possible because someone obeyed God’s calling of helping orphans by giving us money. Maybe you are supposed to start an orphanage. Or maybe you’re supposed to start a ministry at your church. Who knows….it’s different for everybody. But we’re all supposed to be involved.

I’m curious…Have you adopted or known someone who has? I’d love to hear your stories!

About Beth Corcoran

I am the mother of four children (wait- make that six as of recently!)—two girls and two boys, ages 7, 6, 5, and 2 ½. While not homeschooling or chauffeuring the kids to their activities, I enjoy all kinds of craft projects and learning how to be a better steward of all that the Lord has given me. My blog is Stewardship Not Convenience.

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Comments

  1. Hello and may God Bless All of You. I am overwhelmed by how God has lead me to this website. The Lord has put in my heart and the heart of my husband to adopt a child. To be honest I always considered adoption and had a heart for orhpans. However, God Blessed my husband and I with three wonderful and heatlhy children. Nonetheless, adopting was always in the back of my head. Then my youngest child was born on August, 2012 and when she was only a few months born my husband and I began to have in our hearts the feeling to adopt a child, my husband always wanted a child from the Phillippines so I began my research for international adoption, but we are also keeping our minds open for domestic adoption. When I began researching on the costs of adoption I said: “Lord, I give you all I have and will do what is humanly possible and I trust you to do the impossible”. So we have begun our journey. My husband and I have attended a webinar on adoption and any information or input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Katrina Hammett says:

    I feel God had me find your site. We recently adopted a baby boy born to a meth addicted Mom. We are almost at the end. I know in my heart, I want to have a home for addicted babies or babies of incarcerated Moms. I just don’t know where to start or go about pursuing this dream. I want to purchase a larger home with a little land to start the vision God has given us. I have 8 children of my own.4 are in college. I am 39. So I feel I have the energy to do this. Any suggestions you have would help me. I am a teacher in Pre-K in the public school. I want to quit and be home with my children and the ones to come.
    Thank you
    Katrina

  3. I want to say that reading this post was perfect timing as my husband and I just discussed adoption yesterday. I’ve had a heart for adoption since before I even met my husband. He was never open to it and I thought since God was blessing us with biological children (we have 9) that maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. Yesterday my husband said that he would love to adopt some day! Our concern is not necessarily the costs involved as we know the Lord will provide, but the legalities of the system because according to federal guidelines, we are way below the poverty level (although most people wouldn’t know it). We long for the days of old when if a family saw a child in need, they could just take the child in and make him a part of their family–no costs, no red tape. Unfortunately, that isn’t how it is anymore so we are resting in the knowledge that if it is God’s will for us to adopt, He will provide the money and the way.

  4. I confess all my life I did not want to be a mother. And then last November God changed my heart completely and suddenly, and has given me a burden to adopt in the future. He let me see a tiny part of His heart for children, and I found myself changed and humbled and seeking his forgiveness for my selfishness. I also struggle with accepting God’s grace as truly ENOUGH for me, I find myself wanting to work for it. And then God gave me a thought of how when I bring my adopted baby home, I don’t ever want that child to feel they need to do something to earn a place in our home, or earn our love. I want them to know we did all the work, and we paid all the money, and made the sacrifices because we LOVE that child, and just want to be with him/her, just want to celebrate that child’s life. And isn’t that what God does for us? He did everything just so we can be home with Him.

  5. LOVE THIS!!! This IS the song the Lor has put on my heart.
    We have been honestudy ready for 1 month now. We are so excited. This is a complete leap of faith…step of obbedience for us. We really really, really do not not have the money to adopt – but we are certain the Lord will provide. We just know it!
    Thank you so much for sharing. Blessed!

  6. Thank you so much for this post. My husband and I know that we are called to adopt, but we are young and need to financially prepare for adding to our family of three. Your post gave me incredible encouragement and brought me to tears.

  7. Amanda Hughes says:

    Great Article! I have 5 children. 7, 5, 4 (adopted from China at 26 months), 3 and 6 months. God called me to adopt when I was in high school and I knew one day I would parent an Asian child. I appreciate you have touched on the tough aspects of it, because there is some pretty scary stuff that we have witnessed in our own experience. She has blessed our family, my faith has grown, and I am a better person…no make that more like Christ. And that’s what it’s all about. I do feel called to domestic adoption next. But we still need healing, and my youngest to grow (yet I want to breastfeed the adopted child so I hope it all times out right). My faith is great, and I feel like I am just on a ride that has ups and downs, and God is in control with His perfect plan. :)

  8. Love this post, and reading about all the different ways you’ve adopted. My husband and I recently started the process to become foster parents, and we hope to adopt from the foster system one day. We have two biological children and have been struggling with infertility for the last two years, after a late miscarriage. I’m really looking forward to see how God is going to change us through the process of fostering and adoption. Everyone says it’s the hardest thing ever, but also the most rewarding and wonderful thing.

  9. Thank you so much for this inspiring post. My husband and I are excited for our plans to adopt in a few years once he has finished university and such. I already know we will have some resistance from family, but this was very encouraging.

  10. I love to see adoption promoted, thanks for the blogpost! We have two biological children….had planned to have 4 then maybe adopt a 5th, but God had other plans. After the birth of our second, I had some significant health issues and for a few years was told to make sure I did not get pregnant. That was a difficult time for us, but it slowly became clear to us that it was God’s time for us to adopt. We just adopted a baby girl domestically 4 months ago, and what a sweetheart she is! I have to put a plug in for christianadoptionsconsultants.com, whom we used to help us along the way. Tracie Loux was our personal consultant, and she was such a blessing and help, and her life is inspiring! if you are considering domestic adoption, check them out. We had to work through questions and fears along the way, but God was faithful to meet us at each step along the way, giving us faith for the next step. At the beginning we didn’t have faith for the end! As far as money goes, my husband does not make much money and we began the adoption process with only enough to pay the consultant fee and begin our home study. We had no idea how we would pay for our adoption. It was truly incredible to see how God provided the money…some here, some there, but our daughter’s adoption (which ended up being the most expensive situation we encountered) is paid for! Unbelievable! There are many grants and interest free loans for adoptions, as well as many generous people. Our hope is to have another child naturally this next year, and then adopt one more time. Having adopted once has made us really want to adopt again. This past year has been a journey of faith, but also one in which we have been so aware of God’s nearness and His hand on our lives. He builds families.

  11. Your post really weighs a quote from Shane Claiborne heavy on my heart. In his book, “The Irrisistable Revolution”, he says, “I must say that I am still passionately pro-life, I just have a much more holistic sense of what it means to be for life, knowing that life does not just begin at conception and end at birth, and that if I am going to discourage abortion, I had better be ready to adopt some babies and care for some mothers.”

    Praise you and your husband for being so wonderfully brave. I watched a friend struggle with infertility for years and when she and her husband finally adopted a beautiful baby, the light in their home just glowed so bright. My uncle and aunt also adopted two and fostered three, and they have all been such a blessing to our family!

  12. Great post… and I thought you might like to check out my cousin Jennifer Holt’s website, about her experiences with adoption.
    http://jenshopefulwriting.blogspot.com/

  13. Oh, what a wonderful testimony! I am happy to tell you I am intricately familiar with adoption – at both ends of the table. You see, after my first marriage collapsed and three children in tow, I allowed my flesh to rejoice for a few months which resulted in an unexpected pregnancy. Shamed, I moved back into my parents’ home with my children not knowing what I’d be able to do. It was not a month later that I completely understood that everything was for His glory; I knew the youth pastor and wife at my church had a son by adoption and wanted more. I knew immediately they were to be my baby’s parents – and so I approached them and asked them to adopt the baby. They cried; we have been bonded ever since. And now, this little girl is almost six; she is the darling of their world and the joy of mine. We may live in different states, but we are always in touch to share stories about her! Not long after I gave Lucy up for adoption, I met my forever husband and we were immediately confronted with infertility, and so we are both seeking to adopt a little guy to call my husband “Pa”. The timing couldn’t be better either: my youngest is 13, my oldest 22. We recently added on to our house, so we have plenty of room. If it is God’s will, I would love to adopt a few children, too! May the Lord bless you richly for your love!

  14. This is an excellent post. I don’t myself feel that this is the point in my life to adopt, and I also don’t believe it will be in the future, but that could change. However, I think adoption is a wonderful thing and its encouraging to see this post here.

    The only thing that really bothers me about adoption is the cost, and the emotional turmoil that many families seem to go through trying to adopt. I know of many stories where things are dragged on and on, corruption with the adoption agency, etc….just horrible things. Its so sad since those kids really need homes. I know of one couple who finally is no longer going to adopt and another one who is so discouraged by all the stories that they don’t want to at this time anyways, although they long for children and would adopt. Then I do know other families who seemed to go through the process fairly quickly and not at as high of a cost financially than others. So I don’t know what to think other than it seems like such a big emotional undertaking and so I believe we really need to support and pray for those who are hoping to or are going ahead with the process.

  15. There is no way that you can know how much I needed this TODAY! I also had many fertility issues, and we adopted our oldest son through infant adoption. We were then blessed with two sons through multiple fertility sessions, but my heart has always leaned toward the verses that you quoted.

    This year, God put it on my heart that it was time to pursue adoption again. Friends had suggested that due to my health, our family schedule, and the fact that I already homeschool three special needs boys, that perhaps we should be involved with orphans by creating a foundation to help others, but my heart was still to have a daughter of my own. We completed all of our paperwork, and have been waiting for a response. This afternoon, we found out that we have been denied the opportunity to adopt a special needs girl from China because of the way that I had worded something on our application. I had been crying out to God asking what I need to do next when your post came through.

    It was like God breathing down on me that He was still in control. He has a perfect plan for me, and adoption is still part of it. Thank you for sharing today, and encouraging me that my Abba loves me.

  16. I SO LOVED this post. Read it at work and could hardly get back to my job afterwards … I agree with the fact that while Christians are not “in sin” or going against the Bible by not adopting, adoption is certainly something we as believers should be open to. My awareness to this began when I became interested in the global issue of human trafficking and our responsibility as Christians in regards to injustice. It became clear to me that beyond supporting the necessary efforts of those fighting against such injustice, being open to adopting potentially at-risk children should be something we are open to.

  17. Oh, Beth! My heart was so warmed to read your story — even got teary remembering those pictures and especially how God provided the $4,000 for you guys. It has been a treasure to watch you walk the journey of parenthood. You are an inspiration, and I’m sure you will be a super resource if/when the Lord allows us to move forward on adoption. If it weren’t for the expenses of life and also adoption, I’m certain it would be much sooner rather than later! All in God’s perfect timing. :-) Press on, dear friend!

  18. thank you for sharing your story. you brought tears to my eyes. it is amazing to hear of the obvious movement and guidance of God in your life and family. blessings on your current pending adoption.

  19. I’m so glad to see this post! I’ve always had adopted children in my life–as a child, I had several adopted friends, and now I have an adopted niece and a few friends who have adopted children. I firmly believe that adoption and fostering are a key part of our ministry to this world.
    DH and I have a biological child, but I struggled with infertility before she was born, and the problems returned after her birth. Since before we were married, we’ve talked about the possibility of adopting an older child; we still don’t know for sure if that’s what we’re supposed to do, but it’s looking more and more like God may want us to move in that direction.

  20. Beautiful article. It made me think about my sister and her children. It took me back to when she was 15 years old and in high school. She told me that she wanted to adopt three little girls (ages 3, 2 & 1 at the time); their mother went to our school. Several years later she would meet and marry their father, a man whom she had no idea was the father of the children she had fallen in love with years earlier. She would adopt those children and become their mother, just as she had wanted to do at the young age of 15. Isn’t it funny how life works…or is it? I believe that was the path she was meant to take. The love that was placed in her heart years ago for those girls became a reality when she met her husband. My sister would go to the end of the earth for those girls and she has been there by there side, every moment of their life. Then it made me cry because their oldest daughter, now 14, is currently in a hospital in Virgina. In the two weeks since her check-in she has expierenced an earthquake and now the hospital is on lock-down in preparation for Hurrican Illene. I know how hard it is for my sister to be so far away from her daughter and watch these things happen…she has always been there fighting and will continue to fight for her children until the day she dies. Thats what a mother does. We bite our lip and smile while our heart breaks for our children. We lift them up out of their darkest hour and show them into the light. We love the with a passion unmatched from the moment they are placed in our arms (and our hearts). Although my sister cannot be with her daughter during treatment, she holds her tight in her heart…just as she did so many years ago. Out of reach but always in her heart. We love you Yolanda, be safe and come home soon.

  21. My parents have 7 bio children and will be adopting their 7th child this year. All of whom have birth defects or substance exposed.
    My husband and I have 6 kids of our own and have been foster parents for 6 years now. We have always been open to adoption but it just has not worked out so far. Currently we have 2 boys ages 2 and 3 that it looks like they will be available for adoption soon. We have made the decision to adopt them when they are finally available. We have had them about a year and a half now and God has definitely been using his refining fire on us. I want to do whats right and give these boys a home but they have put us through (to put it plainly) Hell. You would think at those young ages it would not be so bad. The youngest came to us at only 11mo old and I have never seen such anger and violence in a child that age. To see my children hurt over and over again breaks my heart. I have been praying and praying that God will change my heart and give me the ability to love them like my own children. Granted I am in a very stressful time of motherhood with Home schooling 7 kids ages 12, 10, 6, 4, 3, 3, 2, and nursing a 6mo. I feel like a horrible person and when people try to compliment us on being foster parents I feel guilty even accepting their compliments.
    I would love to know I am not the only one that has ever gone through this.

    • Beth Corcoran says:

      @Jessica, I agree that adopting kids with special emotional and behavioral needs is very difficult. It’s amazing how much sin and rage is caged up in even the tiniest little heart!! God gives the grace to do it, but it is still hard. I’m sure you and I could swap some crazy stories! :) Have you read the book “Wounded Children, Healing Homes” by Schooler? I highly recommend it. The book “Heart of Anger” by Lou Priolo has been an amazing resource for digging into the kids’ hearts and helping them to understand what has caused them to have such an explosive reaction. If you have questions, just ask!

    • @Jessica, I am not in a similar situation, but I just saw your pain here and wanted to encourage you…I don’t have the “right” words to say, and I wish I did, but I will pray that God will give you strength and help and encouragement. Have you ever heard of or read the magazines Above Rubies? They are a Christian magazine and can be encouraging, especially for big families and those who homeschool, and they also have a heart for adoption. They have the magazine made freely available to moms (they do accept donations, but basically they print when God provides the funds about 4 times a year). Anyways if you don’t know about them already look them up online.

      I also wanted to share with you that my own mom was in foster care as a child (and her siblings in different foster homes). For her, she never should have gone back to her family, but she did, but having that 1 year experience gave her hope that there were some people out there who weren’t abusive and loved her, all through the following years that came that were, quite frankly, indescribably horrible (I don’t even know all the details). Later, as an adult, she found that foster family and kept in touch with them until they died (they were older parents at the time she was in their care). I also know another woman who lovely Christian woman who went through horrible things too but she was put in foster care with a Christian family and went on to heal and learn about Christ. I know that not every story turns out encouraging but you never know (sometimes you don’t know until maybe Heaven) what seeds you are sowing and with God’s help they can grow.

      I hope this encourages you in some way.

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