Nate and I have always wanted to grow our family first through adoption.
In our first year of marriage, we went through training to become foster parents. Right around that time, we also started a school for at-risk kids. Those students became our full time focus and, while we still haven’t taken in foster children, we have had four of our students and their siblings live with us for months at a time over the last couple years.
In 2009, God laid it on our hearts to pursue international adoption. We knew that we cared about the orphan and we knew that God loves the nations. We didn’t know much else.
We pursued an adoption in Rwanda and requested two infants. After three years of waiting, being so close to referral, and learning so much about adoption, our Rwandan journey officially ended. Rwanda closed to international adoption as a part of an effort to deinstitutionalize.
During that Rwandan journey, the Lord convinced us that adoption was not about finding kids for families who want to custom order children but about finding families for kids who have no other options. We dropped our gender preferences, widened our age range, and considered special needs. This doesn’t say a lot about us, but it does say a lot about God giving us faith that we could parent kids from hard places because His grace would never run out or go dark.
To make a long story short, we ended up pursuing an independent adoption in Uganda. At the end of the day and after many eye-opening conversations with baby homes, we felt like, for us, the best way to make sure our adoption was ethical was to use an agency we trusted.
In August of 2012, we received a referral for a four year old Ugandan boy who was turning five in November. We got court in October and he turned five as a part of our family. We brought our son Zion home for good on November 19th.
We have learned so much about adoption and orphan care, enough to know we have so much still to learn. Adoption is hard, beautiful, and, for us, only possible because we have a God who is with us always.
If you’re thinking about international adoption, particularly from Uganda, we’d love to talk. We’re not the experts, but we are more than willing to share our experiences and point you towards the resources that helped us.
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org