Growth Spurts: Our Family Is Growing
A few years ago, Kevin and I began to feel that we should expand our family. It’s not that we thought that having three kids wasn’t enough. We weren’t bored. We weren’t missing the baby days. Rather, we felt compelled by the fact that there are millions of orphans all over the world, and they all need families to love them.
The need is overwhelming, and it’s easy to convince ourselves that we can’t make a difference. It’s also easy to convince ourselves that it’s not our problem or responsibility.
But then I narrow that picture down to just one child. One child who needs a home. One child who needs a family. One child whose life can be changed forever.
This is a very different picture–one a lot harder to ignore.
And so we have begun the journey of adoption. Specifically, we are pursuing adopting an older child from Mexico. We have contracted with an adoption agency and are currently in the throes of completing mountains of paperwork and raising thousands of dollars. The process itself can be daunting; we definitely have to keep our eyes focused on the goal.
We have been overcome already with so many offers to help us with fundraisers. More importantly, we have felt the love, support, and prayers of so many people. And as I’ve acknowledged in a previous column–It does take a village to raise a child! And I am oh, so thankful for our village. They encourage us to pursue this endeavor and pledge to support us along the way.
Although we have all of this wonderful support, however, I would be lying if I said we weren’t also scared to death. It’s exciting and romantic to think about meeting this child for the first time; introducing him to his new brother and sisters; telling him that, yes, we want him to be a part of our family forever; and ultimately bringing him home.
But we can’t dwell in the idealism. After all, “forever” means every day. We will be bringing a child into a brand new family, home, country, and culture. There will be an incredible amount of adjustment necessary for all of us, and it won’t be easy. Though we will help him to stay connected to his culture of origin, we will also work to help him adapt to his new culture. There will be a language barrier (which we’re hoping to help as our whole family is learning the Spanish language) and, most likely, emotional and attachment issues. We may have very little knowledge of his background or his medical history. There is a lot that we may not know.
Come to think of it, though–we didn’t know very much about our biological children before we met them either. Certainly, we knew a lot about their family and medical history, and we could make some educated guesses about their personalities and such. But nothing was guaranteed with them either. Still isn’t.
We aren’t asking for guarantees with this adoption. We are simply following what we feel God is leading us to do, and we are trusting Him to lead us through each step–as daunting as it may be.
There will certainly be much more to write about on this topic in the coming months, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Carrie Bevell Partridge is shamelessly plugging… We are planning to have a huge yard sale to help raise money for our adoption on Saturday, March 1st, in the parking lot of North Ridge Church in Fondren (3232 North State Street). Come by and say hi! And shop!