adoption questionsI get questions from people all the time via email and honestly I'm really bad about responding back to them.  It's not that I don't care, it's that I don't find the time to sit and write out a response that's heartfelt.  I know, that's just as bad, but it is what it is.  I decided that I'd take all your questions and answer them on here.  That way when someone asks about something I can send them to the place where I have already answered that question.  If you have a question for me, leave a comment or send me an email.

My husband and I have pondered adoption for a long time and it seems we are finally getting closer to embarking. One issue I am dealing with is my Mom has known so many adoptive families whose adoptive children's issues tore their whole family apart (3-4 close families that are friends of our family). I would really like my parents support in this, especially since it would most likely be a trans racial adoption and the only trans racial child in our family. She is very very skeptical and critical of adoption because of what her friends have experienced. I'm not going to lie, I know it's not a walk in the park, yet my husband and I still can't let the thought go. Essentially, I would like to know if you think not receiving your family's whole hearted support is an adoption deal breaker. I am calling in the prayers from my parents and good friends, alike, but also want to ask some seasoned folks about this issue.

First of all, thanks for having the nerve to ask this question, because many people would do one of two things.  #1 Flip off their parents and do whatever they want or #2 cater to their parents feelings and never adopt.  I personally believe that both of these are wrong and that we can find some ground in the middle.

I remember when we started our first adoption, which was a domestic adoption, and the first thing my grandma said to me was … “Jamie, I have a friend that has a friend, whose 2nd cousin had adopted a little black baby and their lives were messed up.  That baby was on crack and ruined their whole lives.”  That is what my grandma said to me.  Inspiring isn't it?  I think she was getting her friends story messed up with the 853 Lifetime movies that she had seen in the past year.

I have had numerous people tell me that they aren't moving forward with their adoption because their family isn't behind it 100%.  Their family is concerned about loving a child that isn't blood related.  Their family is concerned about what Great Uncle Jim Bob is going to think of a black child in their family.

Everyone is concerned for THEMSELVES.

Everyone is worried about how they will adjust.  Everyone is concerned about what people will think about them.  No one is concerned for the child in this scenario, always just themselves.

Here's my advice to you —- Yes your parents opinions matter.  No you shouldn't stop the adoption because your parents aren't behind you.  I know it sounds conflicting and hopefully it'll make sense in a minute.

I'm 100% for people discussing adoption with their families.  It's a new idea for most families and might even be one that they have never considered in their lives.  Educating people along the way is something that we should all want to do through our journey's with our adoptions, but getting people's opinions is not something you need to strive for.

If you and your husband were preparing to start trying to conceive a baby you wouldn't care what Aunt Bertha thought one bit.  You wouldn't be worried of how this would effect her life and what her ladies at bible study would think.  Nope, not one bit.

When you have shared your journey with your parents and they are still not on board I say it's time to move on and let them join the ride when they are ready.  Aaron and I have counseled many friends about the fact that you adopting doesn't have anything to do with your parents or grandparents.  You will be this child's parents.  You will raise this child.  You will love this child no matter what.

Be open with your family, and invite them to speak into your life.  But at the end of the day, this is a decision that you make with your spouse (or on your own if you are single) and not your parents or grandparents.  Sure your parents love you and are trying, in their eyes, to give you the best sound advice that they know how to give.  You need to know that this decision is yours and yours alone.

Yes there are stories out there about adoption that are scary, and adoption shouldn't be taken lightly, but if you've done your homework and research, and still feel that God is opening these doors for you, then by all means jump through them!  I've seen many times grandparents not on board until the baby/child arrives and then their lives are forever changed by this child.  Adoption is a big scary word for most people, but a child is not.  A child changes everything.

Pray.  Pray.  Pray.  That's my last piece of advice.  Share your heart with your family.  Invite them along and let them know that whenever they decide to join you will open your arms to them.  Then jump through that open door and hold on for the ride of your life.  It'll be scary at some times, you'll cry yourself to sleep sometimes, and you'll also sense joy like you have never known.

Have you walked this road?  Any other advice for this person that you'd like to share?

{If you have a question for me about anything leave a comment, or send me an email.}

Jamie Ivey