A year ago we began opening our provincial adoption file, not with regards to a newborn, as we are already on the infant adoption wait list which is an 8-10 year wait in NB, but with regards to exploring the possibility of an older child (0-5 years old). Shortly after that we were approached about a private adoption and put provincial things on hold, but we maintained regular contact with the social worker. The day Charlie was born we received a phone call from the same social worker. She didn’t know it was Charlie’s birth date and was surprised to hear we were at the hospital. Shortly after that we closed our provincial file for the time being. Last week, while finishing a 3 day fast which included praying about our family’s growth, I received a phone call from a provincial social worker wondering if we were interested in reopening our provincial file. I couldn’t deny that the timing seemed right, and so, we met with a social worker today to talk about updating our file and home study. We are confident that if this is not the right path, God will close the doors, but we can’t deny it is an option we need to explore. The doors have been shut on us in the past both internationally and privately, and it is not to say that they could open up again in one or both of these areas, but at present, provincial adoption seems to be a reoccurring area that we need to explore at this time.
I was reflecting today on the amount of times Ben and I have been contacted about to consider an adoption and how those adoptions have not worked out – more times than I have written about. We don’t put word out until we are confident things are moving forward. We typically have our guard up, and it is easy to figure out in conversation whether or not someone is truly serious about it. Sometimes we feel like our options are limited because of where we live. If we were to live in the US, for example, we could submit our names to an agency where expectant mothers could go in and “choose” us. In NB, adoption options are: put your name on the infant waiting list, pray to be approached to adopt privately (advertising is not allowed), consider adopting older children provincially, or adopt internationally. More than once we have ventured down a road feeling confident this was the right path only to have the doors close. It is later on that we see how those pieces all fit together. Quite frankly, after this last time, I didn’t know if I had the strength or the will to move forward to find my children. Ben was ready to move forward in January. In fact, he was looking into China. He has his heart set on a daughter. I remember the conversation we had on our way to work one morning where I said to him, “I just can’t do it right now. I’m tired. Let’s just focus on the 3 of us and continue to pray for my healing. I just want to be healed.”
When I mention provincial adoption, some people cringe. They tell me not to go down that road because of the horror stories they have heard. I have to say though, for every awful story, there is a success story. I know of a family whose daughter they adopted provincially wrote about how thankful she was that she was adopted and how different her life would’ve been had they not brought her into their family. Some adoptions: be it private, provincial, or international, go well. Others do not. So it is with pregnancy. You don’t hear someone say, “Don’t get pregnant. You might have a miscarriage! Your child might be born with poor health!” Some pregnancies go well. Others do not. If you want to grow your family, you’re willing to take risks, and by doing so you’re saying to your children, “I will love you no matter what the cost, no matter what the complications. I am committed to you.”
Any child who is adopted older than birth age is going to have an adjustment whether he/she comes from overseas (language and/or cultural adjustments, orphanage baggage, etc.) or provincially (foster care adjustments, home life baggage, etc.). Even children adopted from birth eventually have to come to grips with their adoption story. You just have the benefit of raising them from day 1 and eliminating a variety of other barriers. ALL adoption involves risk.
We are praying about the possibility of adopting a little girl up to the age of 7 who may have a younger sibling (boy or girl). Had we been able to conceive when we first hoped to grow our family, this is how old our son/daughter would be. James plays well with older children and has already responded well to conversations we’ve had with him regarding this possibility (that is another blog post in and of itself – ha ha!). We also continue to pray for my healing.
Don’t worry – I’m not setting myself up for disappointment. I have a peace about everything. If God were to close ALL doors, I know that one day I would better understand why, as I have with other parts of our family journey. Yes – I’m human. I still get frustrated and discouraged, and I’m still working through and praying through a lot in many areas when it comes to our little Canney clan.
And YES, I do realize I have a healthy, amazingly intelligent son whom I’ve had the privilege of raising from the day he was born (okay so I’m bias, but anyone who has met him can’t deny that he’s quite the little man.)
And so the journey continues…