Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

3 Lessons from the Quickest Adoption Ever

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Our first adoption took us 16 months from start to finish. We had barely started the process before we chose to adopt Sean. But only barely. From the time we were given permission to pursue him to his adoption was only 3 1/2 months.

I don’t know how quick the quickest adoption is. I’m convinced adoption shouldn’t be quick. It should take time to do something so permanent and so consequential.

We did take as much time as we had; we just didn’t have much.

Adoption isn’t about lessons. It is about family and forever and love. But when you go through something stressful and intense and scary and exciting and exhausting all at the same time, you learn something.

The moment we first met him.

Here are 3 lessons I learned from this process.

1. Saying yes too late is better than saying no.

Starting and finishing an adoption in such a short time is hard. And it is stressful. I would not recommend it to anyone. Unless the only other option is to say no.

Too often we let ourselves off the hook by deciding it is too late to do anything. We should have started already, and since we didn’t, it isn’t worth starting now.

Sometimes it genuinely is too late. Sometimes you don’t get the paperwork in time. But trying is better than saying no. Because when we try, sometimes things works out.

2. Every time you say yes, you get better at saying yes.

If you say yes to something difficult today, it will prepare you to say yes to something later. Perhaps something even harder.

This adoption process was made easier because we have done it before. If we had tried to adopt Sean as our first time around, we would have had more trouble dealing with all of it. We would have been inexperienced with the paperwork. We would have had a hard time dealing with the stress.

Having said yes before, we were better equipped to handle the issues as they came. And we also know what it is like to go pick up our new son making it was easier to stay motivated.

3. Most of the things that we think matter most in life, don’t.

To adopt a 13 year old boy in such a short time requires that you give up a lot. You give up your time. You give up more money than I want to talk about. You give up what is known and introduce an unknown. You may even give up Christmas with the rest of your family.

Adopting Sean is making our lives much harder than they have to be. Harder than we want them to be.

None of the things we have to give up to do this matter. They feel like they do, especially when we have to let go. But they don’t.

Though the trade we are making today is hard, we will never regret it. We are trading for something bigger and better. We are trading the things we can’t keep for something that will matter forever.

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About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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5 Replies

  1. Christine Niles

    Amen! Trading comfort for purpose is hard, but it’s what we’re called to do and it makes us far richer in the end. We adopted our second daughter over Christmas four years ago when she was 14. It’s been incredibly challenging, but I don’t regret a thing. Sean sounds like an amazing boy…congratulations!

  2. I don’t recall if you told me or not, but I didn’t realize you adopted much less a 14 year old. Isn’t it crazy? I don’t know how you felt, but we know we don’t know what we are doing. Things seem to progress in spite of that, though and here we are doing.

  3. Christine Niles

    Yep…we adopted our first daughter from Ukraine when she was almost 13, then went back two years later to adopt her best friend. None of us know what we are doing…we just say yes and know that God will show up and equip us. Scary? Sure. But faith that doesn’t involve risk isn’t much of a faith, is it? You guys are awesome followers and a great example of faith in action.

  4. Bunny

    We have 5 from china and all are so different so just when we figure something out, it changes with the next one. It really isn’t about us knowing what we are doing….it is about staying close to The Lord so we hear what he wants to do. If adoption of these wonderful kids from a very hard start were up to us knowing what we are doing, we would be in serious trouble. You did the most important thing…said yes. Love to read your posts. So many memories of trips to china. The last was three years ago…

  5. Amy Jo Akin

    Great to read this, Jeremy. So much to cherish in where God has you all RIGHT NOW. Our family is thinking of you all the time! Amy Jo for the Akins.

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