The Road to Adoption 1

As I mentioned yesterday, this post from Humans of New York inspired me to share about our road to The Cherubs. I think it’s an interesting trip, whether you’re considering adopting or not.

I think you should. So I’ll write as if this is your experience, and every one of your thoughts, fears, hopes & reactions is just like mine.

You know, because we want to make this as realistic as possible :)


You’ll start this journey by thinking noble, world-changing thoughts, such as, There is no $%#^^& way I will ever deal with DCF again. You’re still picking up the pieces from your last brush with state government insanity, and so when you hear that friends are adopting three siblings out of foster care, you tell your husband, “I shouldn’t even go near them, because I have nothing positive to say about how this is going to go…”

So you don’t. For almost a year.

But over time you heal, and so when those friends suggest you might like a charismatic Catholic church in the town you just moved to, where they now attend, you think, Why not? and go. (You can’t tell if it’s good news or bad news that your response to almost everything these days has transitioned from Hell no! to Why not? but you decide to call it progress.)

You meet the three siblings. They are awesome. As you watch this group of five go down the center aisle to receive communion, you think, Wow, God just made them into a family.  

After two months of stalking them – asking all sorts of nosy questions about how they’re doing and what it’s been like – you realize that these three kids have become a stand-in in your mind for all the children in foster care who are waiting for new families.

You imagine them living in stranger’s houses, separated from each other (because sibling groups are rarely kept together), not knowing how long they’ll be there or if they’ll leave one house to go to school, then be moved to a different stranger’s house that night. (And how they’d be expected to be well-behaved, eager learners at school, even though they don’t know where they’re sleeping that night, or who will be there.) You compare this to what you see now, in this newly formed family, and it makes you feel what the professionals might call TOTAL PANIC over how differently things might have gone.

You also realize that you’re JEALOUS of this family, because they’ve done something so real and concrete to pull these particular children out of this insanity. They’re not fixing EVERYTHING. But wow are they making THREE SPECIFIC THINGS better. This prompts you to spend a lot of time thinking about how the best sort of justice is particular and specific, rather than theoretical and scattershot.

You’re also jealous because they’re a family. You let yourself feel a teeny pin-prick of how much you want this.

Still, it’s another month before you admit any of this to your husband. When you do, you can barely whisper, “Um, do you think maybe God wants US to try adoption?” 

Then you cringe, sure he will tell you that it’s a horrible idea, because, remember: There is no $%#^^& way we will ever deal with DCF again.

But he doesn’t say that. He just smiles at you, looking astonished, and says, “I’ve been thinking the same thing.”

Your friend gives you the contact information for the agency that helped them. “Don’t go through DCF,” she says. “The people at this agency are awesome. They act as your advocate, helping you along the way.” You send an email to the adoption coordinator (because the idea of calling feels like too much of a commitment), and agree to come in for a preliminary meeting.

You say to your husband, “Well, as long as they don’t SET US ON FIRE, it will be better than our last experience.”

And with that happy attitude, you begin your adoption journey.


That’s all I’ll share today because I want to make it clear that early on, this did not happen fast, and I was not excited. I was FREAKED OUT. Not by the prospect of children, ironically; that part seemed easy (hilarious, no?) I was scared of re-engaging with our state system. When you’ve seen horrific things, it’s EPICALLY hard to find enough hope to believe things can be different if you try again. I developed a bit of a nervous twitch during this season. I told myself, over and over again, “All God wants me to to is take the NEXT STEP.  I can stop this at any time. Just show up for the meeting and see what happens…”