Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Culture of Adoption

I am taking a class on multicultural counseling, and we had to do a cultural immersion project. We got to choose the culture, so I asked if I could study the culture of adoption. Obviously, I was super excited when my professor responded that she thought that was a great idea that had not been done before. We had to read some professional literature and internet sources on our culture, and write a summary of our findings. Reading and writing gave me a new perspective on the culture of adoption, and I wanted to share it:


            I chose to study the culture of adoption. My husband and I are adopting internationally, and I would love to learn more about adoption as a whole. I have found that once we started our adoption a new culture emerged in my worldview. I am now connected with families all over the nation. The culture of adoption is special because it is not defined by ethnicity, but combines many ethnicities to make new families. Currently the number of adoptions has declined severely over the past decade (Samuel Goldwyn Films & Jutunen, 2012). Part of the Hague treaty that was enacted in 2005 involves stricter guidelines that countries must follow to be approved for adoption with the United States (Samuel Goldwyn Films & Jutunen, 2012). Many countries are not complying with the strict standards, and the United States is closing down countries that may not be entirely corrupt. The Hague treaty was put in place to protect children, but not it has created a situation where fewer children are finding homes. Guatemala has been closed for many years, and is now building super orphanages that can hold over 700 children (Samuel Goldwyn Films & Jutunen, 2012).
 Part of the problem is that a lot of the literature on adoption focuses on the difficulties such as attachment disorders, academic issues and behavior problems. These issues are a real part of adoption, but they are not the only part. Once one becomes part of the adoption community, and sees adoptive families first hand he or she can see the joyous part of adoption. Adopted children may face many more difficulties, but they also achieve many victories. To be part of the adoption culture means to celebrate these victories along with other families, and to hope to see the same joy in your own family one day. I have learned that adoption culture means being an advocate, not just for the child that you want to adopt, but for all orphans. James 1:27 calls us to be part of this culture in saying, “ Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

References:
Samuel Goldwyn Films, & Jutunen, C. (2012). Stuck [DVD]. Available from www.stuckdocumentary.com

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fulfillment in the waiting...

Well we are still waiting for our psych eval results and Scott's clearance from Virginia Child Protection Services to complete our home study. Our case worker hopes that the home study will take about 2 weeks for approval, so for now we just wait. So I decided to put myself out there and find some babysitting jobs. I was debating with finding a part time job, but I didn't want to commit to a position and then have to leave in less than a year to travel to Colombia (hopefully!). Through some connections at church my name was given to a lady who needed someone to watch her 10 month old 2 days a week. Perfect! And she is going to drop him off at my house. It will be like a crash course on parenting. I am super excited about the job, and bringing in a little more money for the adoption. The Lord knew I needed some distraction during the wait and He provided. So now I get to make a little money and learn how to be a mommy (except for the sleep deprivation part). Thank you Lord for your provision!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Trust

Trust seems to be a common theme in my life right now. My church is doing a series on trust, trust comes up in prayer time, and discussions with friends. Obviously, adoption is a journey based on trust. For us the decision to adopt was easy. We knew we were being called to adopt (rather than become pregnant with) our first born. Then we had to select an agency, and Bethany was a natural fit. It is a nation-wide agency with lots of resources, but the office in Atlanta give a small agency atmosphere. Choosing Colombia was easy, staying with Colombia took some trust when they changed the age availability, but we have always felt a peace about adopting from Colombia (and we have looked at ALL our options). We are now "done" with our home study, but still waiting on last minute forms to be sent in so we can be approved. We have to be approved to really start our dossier, so for now I am learning to trust during the down time. 

During this time the only tangible thing I can do is pray, but that is hard for me because I want to pray for a specific child. I want to KNOW my baby, even if I can't be with her right now. (I say baby loosely say we may get an older child, but he or she will always be my baby.) I don't know if God is calling me to trust and wait for a child to be referred, or trust that he will provide for the medical needs of a child on the waiting list. No matter what child we get there are going to be difficult times. I thought at first that putting together the dossier would be the hardest part, but now I realize that becoming a parent is the hardest part. But also the most rewarding part. I know there are circumstances where more than one option could be 'right', and God gives us the intelligence to choose. I don't know if that is the situation here, or if God will absolutely reveal to me who our child is. So many babies on the waiting list need a home, it's hard not to choose all of them. If you have any divine wisdom for me then let's go get coffee. 

On another note I am reading the book The 7 Experiment, so I am excited to see how God will grow my life through that. I may just blog about some of those lessons from time to time.

Thank you for reading, and as always for praying. If you have any questions feel free to ask!
God Bless,
Allyson

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