Monday, November 25, 2013

Thoughts from an Adoptive Dad who's doing it again (Part 1)

My wife, the Queen, over at our family's blog is telling the story of how God has led us and has moved mountains for us in our current adoption process.  I want to piggy back on that this week to help out any adoptive dads (or moms) who might need another voice cheering them on in their process.

Today, I want to take just a moment to encourage dads not to be passive in this.  Typically, one person drives the process and the other is along for the ride.  In our first adoption (2009) and our foster care parenting (2013), the Queen drove the process.  I did my necessary paperwork and agreed with the direction, but it was a ride-along and not participatory - in my honest moments, much more so for the foster care than the adoption.  It took God rattling my cage with both to make me a willing participant in the truest sense of that term.

For the adoption, it was a picture.  For foster care, it was a story of a kiddo.  Both were heart-wrenching, what I call Divine Heart Surgery on me.  Until then, though, I think the Queen would say that she very much felt alone in the process even though I was accomplishing things that needed to get done.  Up until Surgery, she was flying solo emotionally.

Even if you don't necessarily feel connected to a piece of paper or a concept of a child, I encourage you to jump in.  Disconnection in the process is easy to do for men who have other kids, have demanding jobs, and who have this sense of a wife who's not content with the state of the family right now.  Jump in.  Even if you don't feel it at first.  Discipline yourself to ask questions.  Ask for ways to help out.  Make sacrifices to move things along.

On the other side, wives need to give some room for their husbands to come around.  That was a gift from the Queen to me.  She never quit the process, but she also didn't demand I be where she was (though she might have wished it).

Here's the outcome.  Adoption was such an incredible experience for our family that I wanted to adopt again from overseas (I thought Africa, though God had different plans).  In this particular process, I think it's fair to say that I've been driving as much (or maybe more) as the Queen has.  And I think that's part of the reason God is moving mountains, because we're both so earnest and zealous for this.

If you're an adoptive mom or dad who might need some help with this or another issue, by all means find a phone or an email account and make contact.  All of my information is accessible at Heritage Park [dot] org.

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