Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

The One Question Everyone is Afraid to Ask

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When others find our that we are adopting, there are a number of “standard” questions that we are asked.

  • What country are you adopting from?
  • When will you be able to get your children?
  • How long is the process?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Who is your agency?

But there is one question that I am asked more than any other.

5 Questions

This popular question isn’t asked immediately. It requires a process of 5 questions before the inquirer builds up enough courage to get to the real one.

Question #1. How many kids do you have?

In case you don’t know, four. Infertility is not an issue. It seems that if I wink at Amanda, she gets pregnant. Enough said.

Question #2. How many kids are you adopting?

After I say two, their eyes grow very large and they pause. I can see their brains working away on the math. They are doing the addition over and over again. 4+2=6. No, that can’t be right. Nobody does that. Let’s try again. 4+2=6!

The problem seems so simple, but the solution, the number 6, seems impossible. Perhaps crazy.

Question #3. The third question is respectful. What are their special needs? What physical problems do they have?

But the answers only complicate the arthimetic. 4+2+special needs= incredibly crazy. Maybe even stupid.

Questions 1-3 never provide the clarity they seek.

Question #4. Are these two kids siblings?

A legitimate question on the surface, but it is only an attempt to try to understand in a hope to avoid the last question. If the 2 kids are brother and sister, then that helps the math make sense.

But the answer is no. They aren’t siblings. At least not yet.

Let’s update the formula. 4+2+special needs+they aren’t already brother and sister=certifiably insane.

Question #5. So then the final question comes. The one they have wanted to ask from the beginning, but were too afraid to. A question driven out of the inability to comprehend what they are hearing.

Why?

Could you say no to him?

Great Question

Why would you do this? Why do you want to have 6 kids? Why would you have a family of 8 on purpose? Why would you take on so much? Why would you adopt 2 at the same time, especially if they are not related? Why do you want to have a family so big that you have to drive one of those big mega-vans?

The answer may seem strange. We want none of those things.

We don’t want our lives to be incredibly difficult. We never set out to have a family of 8. We never wanted kids with special needs. We don’t want to deal with surgery. We don’t want to manage wheelchairs and walkers and physical therapy. We don’t want to deal with attachment issues. We don’t want to add development delay to our list of problems.

We definitely do not want one of those huge, ugly, white vans.

Our Why

Or to her? Me neither.

We are doing this because we are compelled to. There are two orphans in this world who need a mom and dad.

We are doing this because we can.

Yes, there are many other things we can do that would be much easier on us. We could spend more time and money on ourselves. We can do short term mission trips with the intent of easing our conscience and longing for something greater. We could keep gong to church on Sunday mornings convinced that when Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow him, he meant sitting in a pew at church.

But life is not about arriving at death safely. Life is about giving it all. It is about saying thanks to our God who gave us all by giving everything we can for the good of his kingdom.

We will find room for our soon-to-be children in our lives. We will find room for them in our homes. We will try our best to cram them all in our much smaller and easier to drive minivan.

We have already found room for them in our hearts.

We choose this for ourselves because we choose to love, and we are going to let God fill in the rest.

Question #6.

There is one more question to this list. I wish more people would keep going and not stop at #5. I wish they would ask it of themselves.

If we don’t do this, then who will?

Leave a comment.

 

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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132 Replies

  1. Stefani Brain

    I wish it was as easy as it is America to adopt  in Australia. I would adopt it a heart beat.

    1. What makes it hard there?

      1. Donna

        Many states in Australia do not allow citizens to adopt special needs children from other countries. A few do. Even for non special needs children and domestic adoptions the wait for the GOVT paperwork (Australia, not the placing country) runs up to 5 years. It’s so daunting that few people are able to make it through.

        1. Bevgigney

          So true the question always should  be “Why not”
          I have not adopted because I am too old!!!! So this “too old Mum” chose to come to China and foster on behalf of Chinaheart International, we have 12 children soon to be 18… we foster 6 each time…. all of these children need forever families. My vision is to prepare them to go to western homes so the transition is not so traumatic for them. So many children… our few seem like a drop in a  bucket, but it has made a difference in their lives.

          1. I am so glad that you do this Bevgigney. Our son is in a foster home and we are grateful for people like you who are taking care of him right now.

          2. kidlit55

            I didn’t know you could do that! When I retire in ten years, my youngest daughter will have graduated from college. We have one home grown son and then adopted a 6 y-o boy and a 2 y-o girl from China in our mid forties. I had always thought we’d adopt a passle and was so sad when we passed the magic age of 55 and were too old to adopt again. Our second child had major undisclosed special needs that nearly bankrupted us, so we were never able to afford another adoption. But, I could move to China and love babies until their forever mamas come!

  2. Jack Hager

    Tremendous stuff…we’ve adopted two “stateside”…birthmoms we knew in youth ministry who made some dumb mistakes but didn’t make the horrific mistake of visiting PLanned Parenthood…wasn’t in my five year plan, but God dropped these two in our laps; as home missionaries the Lord had to show up big time to pay the ridiculous fees, and some had some voiced and unvoiced reservations about the adoptions, but resonate with your “reasons.” Janelle is now 17, Jacob is 10 (joining the children we had the old fashioned way, Josiah 28 and Joel 25…and I understand a bit more about my adoption in Christ as a result of all this..

    1. That’s awesome, Jack. I wonder about those with the reservations, but then I remember I had them too once. Thankfully I couldn’t come up with a reason to say no. Now we sit on the precipice of something incredible.

  3. You could paint one of those huge, ugly white vans black and red (like the A-Team) to ease the blow, sounds like a 12 passenger one might be in your future.

    Seriously though, adoption is the closest act we have on Earth to demonstrate God’s agape love.  What a great call he has placed in your heart, and I know this will be inspiring to others. 

    I have a great friend, Craig, who is traveling to Uganda with his wife next week.  They have begun the adoption process, and feel that they are going to meet their child during this first visit.  He told me that it would only take 10% of Christians to adopt a child in order to give all children a home.  Crazy.

    1. I’m excited for your friend. I’ve been to Uganda before and he is going to love it, especially since he is there to pick up a child eventually.

  4. Our first two daughters were adopted. 

    We spent three years trying all kinds of (frankly) embarrassing procedures in cold Dr’s offices dealing with infertility.

    Finally, we decided to become foster parents with the hope to adopt. We adopted two girls (one was a 3 year nightmare) and then got pregnant with two more girls.

    After a few years, a family of 6 doesn’t seem so large. With the exception of needing more space, I don’t see a family of 8 being that much different than a family of 6.

    Our daughters have known they were adopted from the youngest ages. The subject provides such great segue into God’s love and our adoption into the most important family.

    1. Thanks for sharing your adoption story. I love hearing them. Reading your post I got stuck on the number 6. Then you mentioned family of 8 and I had to remind myself again that it is 6 kids, not a family of 6.

  5. Jeremy – I think it’s a “God-thing”.  For you and your wife, it’s a beautiful, arms-open-wide, “God-thing”.

    “They aren’t siblings.  At least not yet.”  Oh, that line brought tears to my eyes.

    What a wonderful thing you’re doing.  Those two kids will have the best mom and dad, ever.

    May God continue to bless you and your family.

    1. Once we get them, I expect that we will still be asked if they are siblings and I plan on simply saying yes.

      Thanks for the encouragment, Michael. My wife deserves more credit for this one than I do.

  6. That’s awesome Jeremy. Thanks for taking the steps to give these two children a loving home. They’ll be blessed because of you, your wife, and your children.

    My wife and I will be doing this someday as well. We’d like to wait until we have our first biological child but who knows with God’s timing, right?

    1. Awesome. I’m really excited to hear you say that, Joe. As far as timing goes, you just never know.

  7. Matt Erickson

    That’s awesome.

  8. “But life is not about arriving at death safely” A profound revelation. 
    I love your answer to all these questions..that you and your wife are compelled to do this, not because you are superhuman or devoid of questions or other aspirations but because  “if not us, then who will?”

    Makes me think of how much more we could accomplish if we could ask ourselves this question more. 

    God bless you and your family. 

  9. AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!!

    Ok, now that I’ve stopped happy dancing (quite literally), are you familiar with “Why Wouldn’t I” by Peder Eide? YouTube it. It’s the same idea in song-form.

    As for the megavan, I dreaded driving one (for ministry events) but I have now found that I  miss it. If it would mean I’m chauffeuring my six multi-cultural children, I’d trade my little car in for one in a heartbeat!

    Well said; well done! This brings me so much joy!

    Katie

    1. We’re still holding out on the mega van thing. Right now we plan on squooshing them all in the minivan, but we’ll see how it goes. If we have to we will move on.

  10. What an awesome story Jeremy:-) So glad you are doing what you feel compelled to do even though it might be hard…your family inspires me! I like what you said  “Life is about giving it all”…love it :-) 

  11. Thank you, we moved into our house 5 1/2 years ago a family of 3, my oldest was in college, so you could say 4.  We now have 9 people living in our home full time.  We’ve adopted one and are in process of adopting 3 brothers, and then we have two Foster children.  Why?  because in the end the alternative is the American dream, work hard so you can spend money on a bunch of stuff.  We don’t want stuff (oh we like it too), but we want to do what God has called us to do without turning back. 

    1. I agree with you Sheila. There are better things out there than stuff. Like people. Thanks for sharing your story with me. It is really encouraging.

  12. Diane Turner

    They aren’t siblings. At least not yet. That says it all. Bless you on your adventure. You and your family are an inspiration. My daughter is now 43, but somehow calling her my  “adopted” daughter seems wrong. My daughter – strong, loving, wise, beautiful.

    1. Where did you adopt from, Diane?

  13. Mike Zserdin

    Do you ever get, “how do your ‘real’ kids feel about this?” There is no such thing as your adopted kids…they’re just your kids. Love it Jeremy. Love it.

    1. Actually we do. Our kids love it so I barely notice that question. They couldn’t be more excited.

  14. We (my wife, five children and I) love our little Logan to pieces. His mother lost her third battle with Malaria when he was four months old. With infant mortality hovering at just about 50%, we’re convinced Logan would have followed his mother quite shortly thereafter. In fact, the villagers (our neighbors) told us that would happen and I’m quite sure, looked forward to the I-told-you-so moment. As I look back over the past 5+ years, I’m amazed at the dimension Logan has added to all of our lives. Each of his big brothers and sisters have learned invaluable lessons that they’ll take into their own marriages and families, when the time comes. Kim and I have learned to fight injustice, to stand up to corruption and to trust that God is Sovereign and in control. Thank-you for posting your 6 questions – I had to chuckle. I don’t really know how long it’ll take, but someday America will be known for its compassion and tenderness towards orphans and we’ll be considered a great nation because of it.

    1. I hope your prediction is right. I also hope that the church becomes better know for its compassion and tenderness as well.
      Where is Logan from Ralph?

      1. That’s our hope as well. Many of our supporting churches help to promote and honor (by identifying) those in their congregations who have adopted. Logan is Kui from north central Cambodia. We operate a clinic in his village and are doing translation/church planting work among the Kui. When I’m asked, “What are you going to do when he graduates high school and you’re 60?” I have to laugh and explain that it drives me to stay in shape and keep working out.

  15. The amazing thing is that when we do the math the numbers can look overwhelming, but when we leave the math to God, He somehow transcends the numbers and does the impossible, providing what is needed to care for these little ones. I have two bio children – one with special needs, one adopted child with special needs and one for whom my husband and I are permanent caregivers who also has special needs. Others, who have not been called to do this work, or who have chosen not to, do not understand how it is possible to live this life day after day. But God is faithful and provides the resources, the love, the energy, whatever is needed, to what He has called us to do.

    Thank You for sharing this post.

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Rose. You are right, God invented math.

  16. Gina Elder

    Jeremy,
    I must say, I love this post and I’m glad you chose to share it on this blog. I’m a single mother  raising 5 children. I’m often asked very similar questions. I didn’t set out to be a single mother. (My ex-husband suddenly became incredibly abusive and went to prison for 40 years.) Your post was the perfect reminder to me, of why I do what I do. No, I’m not adopting children right now. I don’t feel that’s what I’m called to do. But I admire your willingness to step up and love these 2 children. 

    Thank you so much for the inspiration behind this blog entry!

    I wish I could *love* this but there’s only a *like* button.

    -Gina Elder
    http://www.onemomsguide.com

    1. I’m glad I didn’t make you feel like you are supposed to adopt. That’s definitely not the point. The goal is to love unconditionally, and then do something about that love.

  17. Donna

    Jeremy…can I just say, I LOVE this. It is exactly what I say when people ask me that question. Initially they asked why a single mom with one bio son would adopt…and adopt again…and a third time. Third time was older AND special needs. By then they knew (or thought they did) how crazy I was.
    So when I quit my very lucrative job and left our very comfortable S. Florida lifestyle to take those three daughters back to their home country to live in a rural area of China taking care of 5 or 6 dozen special needs orphans who didn’t hit the parental jackpot…well, crazy doesn’t really seem to cover it. But…if not me, then who? 

    1. What an amazing story. I’m glad you picked yourself to do this.

  18. Loudermilkturntime

    Amen.  I have not seen it said better!  That is the same reason that we adopted over 18 years ago to give us 6 children to raise.  To God be the glory!!!  It is not easy,  but it is a wonderful, full life well spent!  Bless you.  Most will never understand.  Those who do, do so by God opening their eyes and are so much richer for it.

    1. Glad to see there are other “crazy” people out there. thanks for the encouragement.

  19. Loudermilkturntime

    Also wanted you to know that our daughter and son-in-law have now adopted 2 children from China, as well as having 1 biological child.  We are blessed beyond all measure to have 2nd generation of adoptions.  They just returned from China 2 months ago with a wonderful little girl from MaoMing orphanage.  I will pray for you and your sweet family.  

  20. As I read your post these words (from my favorite hymn How Deep the Father’s Love for Us) ran through my mind, “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that he would give his only son to make a wretch his treasure.” The Father’s love is compelling!

  21. I have a similar take on question #6, ususally in response to the idea that we would adopt a special needs child…If we dont adopt these children, they will still have these issues to deal with.  It would only be easier on us.

    1. It’s a sobering thought isn’t it?

  22. Diana Kruse

    we have a similar story – after 4 children, who at the time were 11, 9, 6 and 3, we brought home Lia from China, and 6 mos later we adopted Amy from Vietnam.   I could write a book about the questions we’ve been peppered with over the years!  Nevr a dull moment, and now our cabooses are teenage girls!  That’s when the real fun begins!

    1. thanks for adding more perspective to my story. we trust that the real fun is headed our direction. the key is understanding what real fun is.

  23. Diane McCaslin

    Awesome post, Jeremy!  We feel as you do, compelled to spend our lives loving God’s kids.  The only difference is we already have nine, and our two newest blessings are waiting in China and will be our tenth and eleventh children.  
    No, we never planned to have eleven children, we just committed from the very beginning that we would welcome every child God sent.

    Blessings Jeremy!

    Diane
    http://www.mylifeingodsgarden.com

    1. And Jeremy, if it makes you feel any better, we have a big BURGUNDY van . . .

      1. If we get one, I definitely plan on avoiding white.

    2. Wow! Thank you for choosing to say yes.

  24. This is insane.  Insanely full of love! Amazing, inspiring, moving post. 

  25. Awesome little answer there…”because we were compelled” and “because we can.” Yes, and we have only adopted once and don’t have the big van…but I always admire those that do have one…what a blessing to be able to be given (or choose) such a loving life. 

    1. I still don’t want the van. I may be in denial, but right now, we are convinced we can cram everyone into our minivan.

      1. Krista

        Our family tried to make an 8 passenger mini van work, but with the placement of car seats and the way all the kids were crammed together, we gave in, got a 12 passenger van. We hate the gas, but it is so much more comfortable for the kids and so more comfortable for the adults as well- especially on long trips.

        1. Krista

          Oh! We have 8 children, adopted over a span of 12 years. 3 siblings in 2000, 3 siblings in 2006, and 2 baby boys from Russia in 2011. We also knew God was compelling us. The message we have had each time, “If not you? Then who?”

        2. Our denial might wear off once reality hits.

  26. Kelly

    You have written exactly what I would have said.  I appreciate your answers.  After our second adoption, fifth child we were asked many of the same.  And we will continue to adopt “because we can”.

  27. Emadcox

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  exactly– we adopt b/c we can..  we are going for numero 6– we will have 3 kids with significant special needs (cl/cp/hep B/dev delays..) and you’re right– never signed up for that road when we got married- the chaos, the therapy appts. the surgeries, the shots, the blood draws– but i wouldn’t have it any other way:)

    1. When I wrote this I never imagined how many would encourage me by their sharing a similar story. Thanks, Enadcox.

  28. Sherriewixtrom

    YES!!!  We already have 6 adopted kids, ages 5-20….and we’re headed to China in June for 2 boys about to age out of the system, and never have a forever family..  We also do because we can, because we should…… because I cannot hold on to  my comfort or my social acceptability ( a 2.5 family) in exchange for them remaining orphans!   And I’m probably not done, and I will drive a bulky van, or get my Commercial Drivers License and drive a bus ( I don’t want to, but I would) if God calls me to do so…because He loved me, before I could ever love Him… Because HE loves orphans.. Because HE loves everyone, and that’s enough.

    1. I agree. That’s enough.

  29. Greg

    Wow, well said Jeremy.  One more is “why at your age?”  My wife and I adopted at almost 50 years old.  We already had one bio grown and gone.  “Why are you starting over?” was another.

    Several times my answer to the “why” question has been “why not?”  Followed by,  “And don’t say money, my age, you have already raised one,  he has a special need, etc. . . . give me one GOOD REASON why I should not give my son a home and family.”

    1. Exactly. There is no “good” reason. Your story is very encouraging.

  30. Rebecca Maas

    We hear these same questions all the time.  We have 2+1+2+2+1=8+2(more)=10

    We have 2 children by birth and 6 through adoption.  All 6 of our children from SN waiting list.   We are incredibly blessed!  My simple answer to WHY?  Because God told us to.  There is nothing more rewarding in this world than doing what God asks us to do.  It may be hard.  Some days may really suck.  However, the joy these children bring to my life and even into the lives of strangers is more reward than I could ever receive.

    We have received PA and are getting ready to be DTC for TWO beautiful children with Down Syndrome.

    http://www.thissideofeternityblog.blogspot.com

  31. Hainan2

    we stepped forward when we were 50 with 2 grown sons.  we now have 4 beautiful daughters and 2 more in our hearts. Please pray that they somehow become a forever part of our family.  God bless u and all your children

  32. Angie P

    Thank you so much for this article. My husband and I have 2 bio boys through YEARS of IVF we would love to open our hearts and home to an adopted child. We pray that God will help us through this journey and help us find the money and fortitude to bring this gift to ourselves and our family. 

    1. I will pray, Angie. Let me know how things work out.

  33. deborahcavender

    I am posting your link on my blog for all the people in my life who go straight to Question #5, because they don’t care about #1-4.

    1. Some people go straight to #5 with me as well. I hope it helps. Let me know if I can be of any other help.

  34. Melissa

    Just shared this on Facebook and printed it out.  People have a hard time with us adding more special needs to our family when we already a bio child with significant need.  We just got home with #7 (our 2nd SN adoption from China) and my own mother in law was disgusted when we told her about our new daughter.  Asking “If you keep having children, when will you ever “live”?  We are “living”!!  And we LOVE our chaos, and we love our life! We are so very blessed by God.  I’m printing this to hand out for future use!  I believe God has more “living” in store for us!   (and I said NEVER to a van 3 kids ago.  And our new NEVER is right outside in our driveway)

    1. I love that. Never sitting in the driveway. Sometimes never throws food at us. Sometimes never wakes us up in the middle of the night. I’m glad that saying is never binding.

    2. I love that Melissa.. gotta watch those nevers right!?!?!?! our never has us in the middle of adoption a sibling group of 3!!!! yikes

  35. It’s good to be crazy. :)

    1. Irrational. Weird. Insane. All good.

  36. Templehome

    We are parents of 6–four adopted from China at 3, 6, 12 and 12.  Not for the faint at heart and we are definately exhausted most of the time, but life is about being obedient and keeping the faith even in the down times.  We are sending our bio boys back to China is August (25 and 22) that have a heart for 2 different people groups that need the gospel.  Now how is that for a compromise–we trust God to supply the airline tickets that we need for all 8 of us to stay connected and continue to help orphans in China.  !!  

    1. I love this topic and am excited to hear that you are doing more and then some.

  37. Jeremy, Thank God there are people like you and  some of your readers who do it. It is not for everyone though. I have 4 children and for the longest time I wanted to foster or adopt more; thank God I did not because the past 2o years I have faced challenges that would make it almost impossible for me to take care more than my own large family. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story!

    God bless you and your family!

    1. I agree that it is not for everyone. I do think that we all need to ask Why? or Why not? to something in our lives though. Thanks for the encouragement and blessings Katia.

  38. Mike

    So excited to see other families following this call!!  You say this so well!! :)  My wife and I are adopting a little man from Hong Kong with Down’s Syndrome and Leukemia.  We are so blessed to be walking this path with our three little boys. 

    Here is our blog:

    http://bringingpeterhome.blogspot.com

    God Bless you in your journey!

    1. That’s incredible Mike. Thank you for doing this.

  39. Amen to this post! We have two homegrown daughters and a Thai Tornado from Bangkok. Last fall, we said YES to a beautiful baby boy in China who had five heart defects. We loved him for three months and begged God to heal his heart or to sustain him until we could get him home for surgery. The Lord answered our prayer. He healed his heart completely. Our Seth died before we traveled but he was our son and we are sure he met Jesus face to face as just that…a beloved son and an orphan no more. When we again said YES to another “heart” baby this January…others, even some at our church, looked at us like we had lost our mind. But I assured them we have surely not! Like you said, if not us, then who? 

    Many blessings to you and yours.
    For His fame alone~
    Kam

    1. This is amazing. Thank you for saying yes to Seth. 

  40. Thanks, very true. We also started with 4 children and have adopted three special needs children in the past 3 years. I now have 3 children eligible for kindergarden next fall.
    If we don’t who will! Indeed.
    God bless you, I know he has and is and will continue.

    1. God bless you too, Tim. Your story encourages me.

  41. Robin

    Why are we doing this?  Because we can!  People can interpret that however they wish to.  My husband and I have 3 beautiful daughters from China.  That was what we could manage comfortably.  Every family has to decide for themselves.  Those 2 beautiful children are very lucky and so are you.

    1. We are. The funny thing about this kind of “luck” is that we were able to choose it. Initially I had trouble seeing the “luck” because it was disguised as something hard, but I am glad I saw through all of that. 

  42. martha

    thank you and  God bless you. We have adopted our daughter from China. I have learned so much. Wish we had started sooner. 

    1. God bless you too, Martha.

  43. I wish you all the best with you ‘new’ large family!  I too have six children-four little ones that I have adopted from foster care-one with special needs.  It helps that my two oldest are adults now, because our little ones keep us busy.  Their ages now are 3, 4, 5, 7…and yes, people think we’re crazy too ;)  If you get a chance, stop by for a visit at: FamilyLife4Kids.com

    1. Thanks for sharing Christine.

  44. Leona Tenorio

    I was sooo blessed by reading your article! You will never regret it what you are doing! Sure there might be difficult times…. but the benifits are eternal. My husband and I have no children and would long to adopt, but at the moment God is calling us to minister to a remote mountain village in Peru where my husband is from….

    1. Thanks for your ministry in Peru. I’m sure they need you there just like these two kids need our family.

  45. Well said. God asks us to have His heart for orphans. Interestingly enough, our two bio teens have seen God’s heart for orphans and are each planning to adopt in the future. My daughter plans to work in the field of Occupational Therapy and teach orphanage workers and foster parents in China how to do therapy with SN kids. So we now have a family of 7, bio, and adopted from both China and the USA and are adding one more precious SN boy in the next few months. With every addition God has increased our love and met all of our needs. And yes, the van I insisted I would never have is sitting in the driveway.

  46. Mackenzie

    This was such an encouragement to me & my husband.  We have 3 biological children, but before the 3 was conceived, we decided to adopt through the Foster system.  Now that he is 16 months, we are ready to start the foster process for our 4th…  We are so excited and we know that God has completely put this on our hearts.  Thank you for this great post and blessings to you and your growing family!

  47. Thanks for this! I forwarded it straight to facebook and my husband… too often we just answer why not and don’t face the real issue!  We are in process of adopting a sibling group of 3 and we have 2 bio kids, so everyone thinks we are crazy for sure too!  Our 6 year old son answers it perfectly, “becuase they don’t have parents and we can be their family”!  We don’t know who our children our yet, but I know One who does and we pray daily for them!  Thanks!

    1. What a privilege it is to get to be that family too. I’m really excited for your family, Sara. Let me know how things go.

  48. Sammy

    Thank you! You have put into words that which I have struggled to do. Our family of five is prayerfully going to become a family of 7. We are praying for a set of siblings from Lesotho, Africa. 

    Why? Because I have to. Because God’s Spirit has bothered my spirit. Because I am called and (thankfully) will be equipped. 

    1. Sammy

      And I don’t want a van either. We’re hoping a SUV will do the trick. 

      1. I have the minivan already. we’re convinced we can fit everyone in that.

    2. You will be equipped. That is his promise to us. His grace is sufficient.

  49. Karen

    I really enjoyed this! Our children range from 40-32 now. 3 joined our family through birth to 2 joined our family through adoption. We had one of our referrals die before he made it home, so really we have 6 ! I love the more honest discussions that takes place today. One of our Grandchilren lives in an adoptive family as well, as one of our daughters chose to make an adoption plan.  We have been so blessed by adoption and have experienced many emotions because of our choices. Joy and sorrow come with any family experience.
    Keep the discussion going!

  50. Ariena Jensen

    yes. YES! Handily packaged to share, I believe that when this world is confronted by men and women all telling the “same” story, their eyes will glimpse through the darkness, a light… not ours, but the Lord’s. Thank you.

  51. Toralora

    This commentary is something that I experience everyday!  We have three biological children, have adopted two boys from China, and are going back for a little girl.  I have to say that these exact words have come at me, and from me.  I say in the end (after they say are you crazy???),  we do this because we can.  I can not just do nothing and let children just sit alone in China, in an orphanage who need love, and care.  Our boys are a handful at 3 and 4 years old.  They are the mischievous twins, and I count on the Lord to fill us with the energy and love that we need.  God bless you and thank you!!!
     

  52. Heidifidanque

    Jeremy, you have written so well what so many of us have experienced as well.  It’s been wonderful to hear everyone’s journey to adoption.  Our’s started over 2 years ago.  We have two bio kids, a 20 yr old boy and a 5 yr old boy with down syndrome.  My oldest flew the coop and I felt such an ache for another child.  Adoption has been in my heart since I was little, I so wanted my parents to adopt and knew that I would some day.  My husband and I have taken a journey that we couldn’t have planned even if we had tried!  We had our hearts in Ethiopia and have been waiting for our daughter to join us for over two years.  She’s there, we are waiting, and we will wait for her-no matter how long it takes!  We decided that while we’re waiting for her we would adopt another child who needed us as much as we needed him.  That has led us to a sweet little boy in China!  I’m a spiritual if not an overly religious person but I gotta tell ya my heart and soul is so filled right now, I almost can’t explain the feeling I have other than it must be God!  Never had a feeling as strong as what I’m feeling now and am feeling so blessed.  Our friends and family support us with a few who think we’re crazy!  Our 5 yr old has significant needs and our son we’re bringing home has special needs as well and a few think we’re taking on too much.  But this is our normal and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.  Our son, Paolo, has brought so many people and experiences into our life that we never would’ve experienced if he was “typical.”  Enjoy your ride Jeremy, it’s going to be life changing:)

  53. Karij62

    jeremy, thank-you for your wonderful blog. We adopted our 2- yes, siblings in 2009 and desire so much  to adopt again ( we actually have a dosier which had been logged in for 6 years and now don’t have the money to complete our adoption). Please keep us and our children- all current and future- in your prayers.
    Thank-you again!

  54. kimi

    This is soooo true.  I’m single and adopting my second, a 13.5 yr. old.  I adopted my 8 year old a year ago, and next year, I’ll adopted my third, whose dossier has been logged in for over 5 years now.  I feel so very blessed to have the opportunity to have a large family, by choice, and I say large because when I started this adoption journey, all I was allowed to adopt was one, yet I stuck with it long enough, thanks to the nsn line wait, to have three children to love!  What ever happened to the days when children were considered an asset to a family?

    When friends ask me about a hypothetical Mr. Right for me, I say this, “Hopefully, I won’t have to work for money any more and can close my home daycare and devote myself completely to my own family, but he MUST be willing to adopt children from China because with a spouse to help, I definitely want more children!”

  55. Paminhenan

    I’m asked this same question in China with our children’s home. Why, do you do this thing? I usually say because there is a need and I can. When there is no longer a need I won’t. 

    When I first found my daughter on the street literally, there was a huge debate in the adoption world about adopting out of the need to help a child or adopting to create a family or adopting to fulfill the need to parent, etc.

    I didn’t really go to China to adopt, it sort of just happened, but all along the way (our adoption took 7 years) there were what I call signposts, letting me know it was the right thing. Pam in Henan 
    http://www.swallowsnestzz.org

    1. I am extremely thankful that you do this work, Pam. I would love to hear more about your story. Can you send me an email. js@jeremystatton.com

  56. Vicki Willcock

    This is so good. We’re going from a family of 5 to 7.  People ask if they are related and I say, “now they are!”.  I had to laugh at your profession….I am an ortho RN.  I rid the world of pain also.  :)  

    1. Exactly. Once we get our kids and people ask if they are related, we will say yes. From your perspective I probably cause more pay than I get rid of. : )

  57. Becky

    I really enjoyed your post.  We have 7 kids 3 through adoption(all SN)n  and 4 by birth.
    Becky
    PS The white van grows on you.  :-)

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. it’s hard to imagine liking the van but that really doesn’t matter.

  58. We’re in the process of adopting our 2nd child (which will give us 3 total).  It’s funny to read and visit with other adoptive parents who’ve fielded very similar questions. 

    We routinely get asked – “is he yours?”, and “are you babysitting?”

    You expressed something we’ve felt ourselves – we feel compelled with love.  In a world with millions of orphans there is tremendous need. 

    What I find interesting is pet adoptions.  You’re likely to hear more and see more regarding adopting a pet than adopting a child.  But it’s not for everyone either.  The blessings of our son are endless, and are far greater than any of the nice things people express to you as “being a good person” for adopting.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. You are welcome. I love to hear adoption stories.

    2. Christy Lillie

      The best is when someone relates your adoption to a pet adoption. I have had that happen before. They are trying to relate, but it really just ends up making them look like an A$$.

      1. That’s funny. Haven’t been there yet, but when it does happen, I’m sure I will laugh out loud.

  59. Christy Lillie

    Awesome!!

  60. Cristine Dorsey

    Dear Jeremy,
    God led me to “stumble upon” this beautiful article, and also your article addressing our  fear of commitment to things that are meaningful and so scary/uncertain.  Thanks for writing them, and for encouraging us to move in faith, despite our fears, or the opinions of others.  

    You’ve identified that so many people wonder why those of us who are
    called or compelled to adopt would take such “risks” with other children
    in our home, with our sanity, with our futures, with our finances….I
    love your responses.  Thanks for helping me to formulate my own.

    I’ve been reading everything I could find on adoption, specifically international, waiting child, special needs, and older child adoption for weeks and weeks……ever since I’ve been stalled by fear.   I’ve called and queried social workers and those who have gone before me (to Uganda, Burkina Faso, China).  I’ve been looking and praying to find my resolve and my will to move forward.  I’ve been seeking assurance that I will not enter into a nightmare of upheaval and trial if my adopted child cannot adjust or will never love us. 

    We have two bio sons, 8 and 14, and we’ve parented a 12 year old foster child whom we adopted at 16, (she is now 21) so there is precedence for moving forward with fear tucked away in our back pocket.  This time, I’ve been holding on to our postage-paid application to begin our international adoption process for a week.   I really want to send it, as I am called, and to continue to follow the path He will set for us.  And also,  I am so afraid.    I already have a van with three extra seats, so there’s that.  :)

    1. I hope that you find the answers and assurance you seek. I leave in 4 days to go to China to pick up both of my kids. I am still both incredibly excited and scared to death. At the same time.

  61. HC

    Thank you I would adopt as many as possible if allowed-we where told we couldn’t because I am a type 1 diabetic–so we went into local foster care–we have just been approved to adopt our little girl who just turned 4__she has been with us for just over a year.We also have 2 bioboys my heart is ready for more :-) may God bless you and reward you for your soft yielding spirits.

    1. I’m excited for you HC. The foster care system is an important and difficult work. I’m thankful you are doing it.

  62. a mom

    Thanks. Your link came from my missionary daughter who is about to leave again. Had you thought how the motivations are similar? It helps us remember why none of us “feel” excited right now and why that’s OK.
    Blessings.

  63. William Barko

    I was adopted. I look at this from a different perspective. After a wonderful formal education, a very successful career in the military, a blessed family with loving children and years of many “successes”, I reflect back at the sacrifice my parents made. My mother suffered from life-long chronic illness but was willing to risk all that to nurture me. My dad poured all his efforts into me. I got more attention than I really wanted at times. Bless them and bless those that have sacrificed to adopt!

    1. Wow, William. Thanks for offering the other side to this.

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