We’re adopting again.
It seems to be a tradition of ours to make plans only for God to change them. In 2018, we completed our first adoption from China; a wonderful son who immediately fit right into our family. It was a wonderful experience. However, that was it – no more adoptions, our family structure was firmly set, thank you very much.
In January, we took in our niece for two weeks to help her out with online distance learning since all of the adults in her life worked full-time. During that time, Jess casually remarked, “You know, we could do four kids. Not that we want to, but it’s not harder than having three.” We shrugged it off as a silly slip of the tongue. We had sworn that Asher was it, the last one. We didn’t want any more kids. We were done.
But then, thoughts came.
For some reason, the thought of adoption popped into our heads a few weeks later. We don’t remember that moment specifically, but the thought of adoption crept in and just wouldn’t leave our heads. We didn’t want it there, but we just could not stop thinking about Jess’s words and the possibility of adoption. We didn’t want to get interested in adoption again, and we had plenty of reasons for it:
- The initial process is so expensive. Our first adoption was around $30,000. There goes a year of savings.
- Children take time. The older we get, the more tired we get, and we just don’t have the energy for another child. On top of that, it would take away from the time we have for our current three.
- We don’t want any more children. We’re happy with three, and our house feels a bit crowded already.
- Children are expensive. Food, clothes.. college!
- Adoption takes time. We aren’t getting younger, and we had kids early on purpose to save time for ourselves later in life.
- We’d have to adopt an older child to be near in age to our youngest at 7 years old. Older kids come with more emotional baggage, and that can be difficult.
- We lucked out with a great kid for our first adoption, but man, what if we got a really difficult child? Is that fair to our existing kids? To us?
- We said we were done, and we meant it. We’re people of our word.
We talked it over and discussed how though we had no desire to adopt, the thought wouldn’t leave. We explained to God that we didn’t want to adopt and gave Him the full numbered list of reasons why, asking for the thought to be removed. We prayed like this for about a month, but it just wouldn’t go away.
Finally, we began exploring the reasons why we were so opposed to it. When we pulled away the layers, we found motivations we didn’t like underneath. Every reason we had come up with sounded selfish. Money? OUR money is meant to make US happy and secure. Time and energy? Spending time and energy on others will make us lose out on our own leisure time. House getting too crowded? Giving up our space will make US less comfortable. The possibility of a difficult child? We know there are kids who need homes, but we just want a comfortable, easy life.
As we reflected on the dissonance between our motivations and our core beliefs, a curious change happened. Our attitude about another potential adoption began to change from denial to resistance to acceptance, and finally to excitement. We talked it over with Micaiah, Selah, and Asher (our kids), and they loved the idea. We began to love it, too. It seemed clear that God had put this thought in our minds, and had given us a clear way of taking action. It occurred that we had been praying for ways to take action in the prior 6 months, and that this was an answer to those prayers. Not only do we have the opportunity to be obedient to God’s call, but our kids will get a sibling, we will have another heart to love, and some child out there will have a loving home.
So, we’re adopting again, and we couldn't be more excited. This time around, our options have led us to adopt a boy between the ages of 3-7 from the country of Lesotho (look it up!). Since living in Nigeria for two years, Africa has been a part of our hearts. Now, it'll become an even bigger part. As finances are a legitimate cause for thought, and because people have asked how they can help, we've applied for and been awarded a $3,500 matching grant from Gregory's Gift Adoption Fund, administered by Lifesong for Orphans. This means that if we raise $3,500, Gregory's Gift will give us an additional $3,500 toward our adoption. What a blessing! This same grant helped us tremendously in our first adoption, and we're glad you're considering helping us fulfill it in our second. We appreciate you!
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Phillips 09825”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, Gridley, IL 61744.
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