For those of you who have adopted children, how did you know it was something you were called to do?? I am asking because my husband and I are thinking about adopting. We are unable to have biological children, and I have been praying for God to show us the path we should take. I would very much like to adopt, but that may not be what God has planned for us. I have prayed to God for an answer, but I’m not clear on what He wants for us. Part of me thinks we should adopt because we would provide the child with much love, a good home, and raise the child with a great love for God and their Catholic faith. On the other hand, I sometimes think that perhaps God allowed me to be infertile for a reason, and that reason could be that He never intended for me to be a parent at all. I suffer from anxiety disorder, and I can get pretty bad panic attacks, and sometimes I think that my disorder is the reason God allowed me to be infertile. Maybe He knows that having a child would just increase my anxiety. If that is the case, then adoption would be a bad idea. Any advice??
You are on the right track with prayer! Why not try foster parenting if you would like to help kids out and you aren’t sure about anxiety? I was a foster parent for several years and I loved it. These kids need alot of love and to see what a normal home enviornment is, most of them have never known normal.
Try praying to St. Anne for a sign:)
In our case, both of us were certain of adoption—even BEFORE finding out about our infertility problems. Once we found out we were unable to conceive, it was very easy for us to move into adopting children. Both of us felt at peace with the decision. Sometimes that’s God’s way of speaking----a feeling of peace in our hearts when we have chosen the right path. It seems you don’t feel peace with the decision to adopt. I would investigate adoption further—visit with families who have adopted, talk with people who have raised adopted kids, check out adoption agencies, get a feel for what you will have to go through to adopt. Most of all—PRAY! Spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Let God talk to you. Don’t just talk to Him. Sometimes in the quietness of our hearts, we can really discern God’s Will for us. I will say some prayers for you, too. It is good that you are not taking this decision lightly.
When I finally stopped asking God to let me get pregnant… and started asking Him to let us have a child… THAT’S when I knew. The prayer changed so subtly that I wasn’t even aware of it until my husband pointed it out… "Did you notice you just said, “Lord, please let us have a child,” instead of “Lord, let me get pregnant”? 'Tis true!
And don’t let the bureaucratic runaround get you down either. Keep searching! And let your loved ones in on your plans! We didn’t get our son through an agency… a friend of a friend of my husband’s mother had a teenage daughter who was pregnant and thinking of putting up her baby for adoption. Our son is twelve years old now and every day I thank God for the blessing of infertility that brought this miracle into our lives.
Once he asked me, “Mom, do you ever wish you and Dad could have had a baby of your own?” I said, “No, because if we had, we wouldn’t have YOU, and YOU are a baby of our own!”
Note: be careful about calling a 12-year-old boy a “baby”. Just don’t do it in front of his friends!
You are in my prayers!
Couldn’t have said it better. That’s what happened to us. We had talked about adopting even before ‘the diagnosis’. But when it was time to actually DO something about it, years later, we just knew. We had a feeling of peace. And when we started researching the different types of adoption, we both felt very comfortable with the same things. There are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself and your spouse, such as how old of a child, what race, what sex, what kind of handicaps could we deal with, etc etc. We came up with the same answers. And then all the pieces just fell into place. If you can do the same, then it is the right time. You BOTH have to be at the same place.
If it isn’t happening now, wait a while and try again. Maybe in a couple years things will have changed. But make sure you keep God in the middle of your decision! That is the key! That, and research. Find out as much as you can about the different types of adoption, and what the requirements are in your state. Each agency also has different requirements, and so do the international programs. So go ahead and check it out, keep it in prayer, and keep the communication with your husband open. If it is meant to be, God will let you know.
This is where things get confusing for me. I am totally at peace with the idea of adoption. I am NOT at peace with the idea of parenting. Even when we were trying to conceive, I was not at peace with the thought of parenting. I was scared. I love children, and I do desire a child very much, but I am scared to death of raising a child. Due to my anxiety disorder, I am an excessive worrier, and I’m afraid I would worry about a child so much that it would drive me crazy!! A few months ago, my nephew stayed with us for a week while his parents were out of town. He’s a toddler. I worried terribly all week. I worried about anything and everything concerning him. I even went into his bedroom several times each night to make sure he was still breathing!! I know it’s normal to worry about kids, but this is excessive. And that is why I think God allowed me to be infertile–because I would worry myself to death and drive my family nuts in the process!! That is why I am unsure about adopting. I’m afraid worrying obsessively would make me a bad parent and perhaps make the child anxious also. I will continue praying on this.
My husband and I recently adopted a 10 mth old boy from Kazakhstan. We tried for years to conceive a baby but we unable to do so. Before deciding to adopt, we tried a number of fertility medications and testing but none of it was successful. During the process, I was always open to adoption but my family and husband still wanted us to keep trying for our own baby. It wasn’t until after a full year of treatments and testing that my husband gave me the okay to pursue adoption.
During my time of infertility, I prayed that God would give me peace in my situation. It was so difficult to make this prayer because I wanted a baby so much. After years of suffering through infertility, God changed my husband’s heart and made him open to adoption. It took another year and a half before we brought our son home from Kazakhstan.
It was a long, hard journey but it was worth the wait. Adoption is such a blessing. It turns a bad situation into good. There are so many unwanted children waiting to be adopted. Adoption is also wonderful testimony for the Pro-life movement.
Sometimes your calling from God is very difficult, but keep praying and He’ll walk with you every step of the way. If you want to know more about other persons who have adopted, you might check out Dr. Ray Guarendi’s website. He is a pychologist and a Catholic father of 10 adopted children. His website is www.drray.com.
God bless you. I will pray for you.
Here’s an offshoot for you on this topic – has anyone who adopted nursed their adopted child? If so, how was the preparation, adaptation period, etc. for you and for baby? I’m genuinely curious – I know it’s done plenty, but never talked to anyone who actually did it…so I’m just being nosy I guess? Thanks for indulging me if you are so generous!
When we worry we think there is something we could do about the situation. This is not to discount your anxiety disorder, but to put worry in perspective. There are so many situations both in parenting and in life that we cannot control. All the worrying does is make us think we can. Could something happen to our children? Why yes of course. If we could do something about it would we? Yes of course. Will many things happen to our children that we cannot control? Yes of course. If you are a reasonable parent and take reasonable precautions, then that is the best we can hope for. Oh and of course pray for the child and his/her guardian angel. I find that God does not talk to me in my fears, but that often my fears are what are preventing me from doing God’s will. Maybe the infertility doesn’t have anything to do with your anxiety disorder, but more to help you find the child God has planned for you.
Maybe an older child would be right for you?
If you’re unsure, maybe you could leave the decision up to your husband?
All through the infertility treatments we just assumed we’d adopt. And we had decided on China because of a 60 min. report from the orphanages there called the dying rooms.
After we discontinued the infertility treatments we decided to remain “child-free”. I was angry that I couldn’t have a baby. My husband, after all the trouble of infertility didn’t want to go through another process that didn’t guarantee we would become parents - Baby Jessica and baby Richard were all the news at the time.
I was depressed for two months and didn’t know why. One Sunday our pastor gave a homily and the gist of it was God gave you the means and the desire to do something for Him . . . What are you waiting for? I felt convicted. We had a nice house, enough money to adopt, the desire to be parents (not just go through pregnancy) family and friends who would support us and yet we weren’t adopting and I was miserable.
Our daughter was conceived, half a world away, less than a two weeks after we sent our application. God has a perfect Plan for us, but we do have to accept His will over our own.
I would never regret adopting, my daughters are so wonderful. I would never have known the special amazing people they are if I said no. It hasn’t always been easy, but raising biological children isn’t easy either. I think most people doubt their ability to be parents, its natural with something this important. But its good because it shows the desire to give more to someone else.
Don’t discount your desire to be a parent. I see my infertility now as a training and teaching example. If I had been able to get pregnant I wouldn’t have been the same person I am now. The struggle taught me how much** I **wanted to be a parent. It wasn’t just something I was expected to do but chose it. Made it my own.