If you have followed me for awhile then about a year ago, you might have seen me post THIS.
I'm a huge fan of adoption and that grows and grows as the years go on. A few months ago, I got really emotional one night because I genuinely felt like my child (a child that I will later have) was born and being neglected somewhere. Is that weird? PROBABLY. I CLAIM IT. IT'S OKAY.
About a month ago, Tanner came to me and was just like "I want you to know I'm fully okay with adoption like 100%" and it's not that he's ever been against it, but he actually meant like he could only adopt and be okay. I was like WAIT HOLDUP REALLY? We talked for a long time about the needs in the world for adoption and how sometimes we felt like with this on our hearts, why not be open to God's direction in that for our lives. Lemme throw some stats on ya real quick that blew my mind and have changed my life as I sit on them, wrestle with them, and decide what I want my family to look like.
There are currently an approximated 140 million orphans right now. There are 63 million that suffer from acute malnutrition. Three million kids die per year from hunger. 5.9 million children died in 2015 with 45% of those being malnutrition but all kinds of different reasons. (birth complications, malaria, etc)
Now don't get me wrong-I can't go saving the world and I feel that on a heavy level. I recognize that there are children that can't be reached due to government restrictions, and that even if money is provided, sometimes the government is not going to give the resources to certain people in certain areas. That makes me emotional, but I have to push it from my mind thinking about starving babies.
In the Us, there are approximately 415,000 children in foster care as of 2014. I'm sure this number has only increased, and there were 253 children in Cleveland County (where I live in 2013) that are in foster care which is really high for our area. Our area has a large need for fostering.
All of these numbers just stare at me, and I'm just like UHHHHH. I can't stand it. 95% of those in foster care are over the age of 5, and I will be 100% real that adopting outside of infancy terrifies me in that there is a lot of neglect experienced by the child and thinks that can happen that makes for a really difficult raising of that child. I'm no saint here, that's for sure and not sure that's my calling.
I think it's CRAZY how long it takes to adopt from other countries...it's frustrating and expensive, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that either, and I guess I'm asking for experience if anyone has it to share in that. But as I said, there is a grave need in my own community so why not start there? But then I think about the living conditions of those in developing countries and I wonder if they need it more... I'm not prioritizing children here but I'm just saying.
My mom made a post about how to not have entitled children and while the article has nothing to do with what I'm about to say, I was thinking about how entitled I feel that I am. I'm entitled to be able to complete an ironman. I'm entitled to have a house and a car and all of these things that seem so basic but yet are SO huge to so many of this world. I think it's normal to have a mom and a dad and a family that loves me. But in reality I'm just really blessed because of where I happened to be born. That brings me to my family that I'm wanting to build (not yet-we really aren't ready for children just yet so I post this now in terms of future years down the road). I think about how entitled I am to have a family that looks like X-Y-Z and maybe that's not the route that God has chosen for me. Maybe I think about a child that I'm supposed to have one day that is 11 years old when I adopt him/her. That's not really what I saw for my life, but who am I to say ya know? Why do I feel entitled to have 4 children of my own (I used to want that) if there are so many that need me and I can provide for that.
I also feel like I can't miss out on what it feels like to have my own, but then again maybe I can and I just don't even know that yet.
I feel as if even this blog post sounds almost like superior like I think I'm going to go save the world or something. That's not it AT ALL, but rather just thoughts that go through this crazy brain of mine while I'm working out basically 3 hours per day at this point in ironman training.
If you've adopted or are adopted, I'd love to hear your story even if you email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or if you want to share your thoughts in the comments below. I asked for stories on the last post and loved reading every one. I know the process is so difficult, and that I have a very "bleeding heart" romanticized type mentality right now so I don't mean to be naive or immature about any of it. I'm just trying to be prayerful in our decisions as we build a family eventually ... one day .... not now ;)