Are you called to adopt?

I often find myself telling people, “If you could only be in my shoes for a week, you would have such greater insight into what a beautiful journey adoption truly is. It’s awe inspiring.”

Sacrifice, grace, love, pain, and joy are all very much a part of the private adoption journey. As you can imagine, plenty more could be added to that list. I am privileged and blessed to be a part of such a powerful calling and gift each day. Allow me to fill you in.

Adoption is a calling: You don’t haphazardly end up adopting. It’s so much more than that. I continue to see this truth played out as each year passes. Most couples’ adoption journey begins long before they contact the Texas Baptist Home. Many couples may have experienced infertility, the loss of a child, and/or have the desire to add to their family through adoption. In some cases, the adoption journey begins with pain.

Working through those emotions is essential; then comes the waiting. Oh, how so many dread the waiting. It looks different for everyone and it’s all a part of the couple’s specific journey. I have the privilege of encouraging and being the vessel used to stretch the couples who desire to adopt privately with the Texas Baptist Home. God’s plan is always so much bigger than we often see. It’s exciting to look back along with the adoptive couples and see evidence of that specific plan in each couple’s lives.

Birth mothers are my heart and my heroes: The other side of private infant adoption is the birth family. Words cannot describe how much I love the birth families I walk alongside with. Each and every person’s story is different and unique. I treasure seeing God’s redeeming power in the lives of those who are willingly and lovingly choosing to make the second most sacrificial and courageous choice I’ve ever seen. It is humbling to say the least.

The birth mothers go through nine months of pregnancy, and all that includes, while also handling the emotions that come with choosing to place their baby for adoption. My role in their lives is tough, full of emotion, challenging at times, and exceptionally rewarding. There is beauty in sacrifice.

How do I begin my journey: The process varies by agency, but upon contacting the Texas Baptist Home, for example, you will be provided with the following: program requirements, necessary trainings, fees, and information about what to expect the adoption process to look like. An informational packet will also be sent to you in the mail. Upon receiving the informational packet, if you and the Texas Baptist Home decide it is a good match, you will choose who you would like to pursue your adoption journey with and be placed on an orientation waiting list.

Upon attending an orientation you will be provided with all of the necessary paperwork, including an application. Once your application has been turned in, it will be reviewed by the Texas Baptist Home. If the application is approved, you will be set up with a home study coordinator and a home study will be completed. When a home study is approved a couple is then ready to be viewed by birth families, and possibly selected as an adoptive couple.

Are you called to adopt? If so, please don’t hesitate to contact the Texas Baptist Home. I would love to talk with you. If not to adopt yourself, I would challenge you in asking, what role then are you to play in adoption? Will you pray for the birthmothers who are carrying their babies to term, giving life, and sacrificing their wants for the needs of their child? Will you donate not just financially, but your time also to promote healthy adoption education? Or, are you to simply be a listening ear or give an encouraging word to a couple who is waiting on God’s timing in their journey of adoption? All are needed, and all are important. What role is yours?

Jessica Page is adoption case manager at the Texas Baptist Home for Children in Waxahachie, an affiliated ministry partner of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

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