Have you ever felt the longing to add to your family? The thought of adding to your family either by birth, adoption, or fostering can be an important life decision, adding military life into that equation can make it a bit more difficult to navigate. Military life has its advantages and disadvantages; deployments, frequent moves, financial strain, and little to no family support.
I recently visited with a friend that went through the adoption process while she and her husband were stationed overseas. Not all adoption agencies are willing to work with couples that are not currently residing in the country so make sure to do your research. My friends were able to use a social worker local to them in Germany who then worked closely with the adoption agency in the United States to bring about their adoption.
The adoption process for them was long and hard at times. It consisted of a lot of paperwork and many hoops they had to go through to show they would be good parents.
When I asked my friend what she would want everyone to know about the adoption process, she said, “I would want people to understand that there is a lot of heartache and loss in adoption. The ache of couples just wanting to be a family, the heartbreak of the mother having to make this choice and eventually our little people will have that heartache and loss.” In the end, the gift is so worth it. Your child is a gift, your love and respect for the birth mother is a gift, and the knowledge gained from the experience is God’s gift.
My friend also spoke to me about the titles they have chosen to use in their adopted family. We call our guy’s mom, his tummy mommy but as he grows older that may change. She is his mom. She created him and chose to give him life. We are his mom and dad, we are all he has ever known. So in their house, they have mom, dad, and tummy mom.
“Your child is a gift, your love and respect for the birth mother is a gift, and the knowledge gained from the experience is God’s gift.“
For those wanting to adopt I would suggest looking into all the possible ways you can adopt before deciding on a specific path. Foster to adopt, infant adopting, as well as international adoptions are each unique and not one is right for every family that feels called to adopt. Learn and understand the processes of each before jumping in. Start saving now if you plan to do an infant or international adoption. Look into grants, hold fundraisers, have yard sales, every little penny helps.
Also, make sure to find an agency that truly cares for the expectant mother’s well being. Understand that it can take tens of thousands of dollars to complete an adoption from beginning to end, and in infant adoption, the expectant mother may choose to parent after you’ve been matched and are attached to the idea of this baby being your child.
My friend ended our conversation by stating, “Do not let PCS dates, fear of moving, or fear of deployments stop you from pursuing adoption and/or foster care. Just as everything else that comes with military life, don’t put things off until you have a better schedule, better job, better location, just let your heart speak for you.” I have to agree. One call is from higher up the chain of command and He will always work things out for the best.