Adopting a Calling
There are 135,00 children adopted in the United States, which make up a total of 1.5 million adopted children in the United States. For every child that is up for adoption there are 36 families ready to adopt. My extended family accounts for seven of the adopted children. Three of which are international adoptions, and four that are from the U.S. Adoption can be a scary thing, there are a lot of factors that go into inviting a new person into a family. There are also a lot of questions that are relatively unanswered until a new family is created.
Out of the 1.5 million adopted children in the United States, two individual stories were able to be looked into. The first story is a seven month old baby that is apart of my extended family. The other story is a teenage girl that originally came from China to be with a family in Nebraska. There is one thing that ties these stories together. Both families believe that they are accepting a calling from God when they decided to adopt.
The Zeller family adopted Camden earlier this year. Camden was adopted from within the U.S. He is healthy and growing rapidly while constantly crawling all over the house. His mom had this to say, “We had been interested in adoption since we were first married, but our plan was to have biological children and then adopt. We had several years of infertility and miscarriages, but ultimately, it was that the Lord’s plan for us was to expand our family through adoption. We knew that we needed to be obedient to Him.”
Mei is the other half of this story. Mei was adopted at the age of eight from China, and her response to why her parents adopted her echoed the calling that the Zeller’s had. She said, “the fact that my parents wanted more kids they also felt like God was calling them to adopt a girl in China.”
Another aspect of adopting is introducing the new siblings. This quote provides some helpful insight, “There is no parental handbook to ensure the psychological and emotional health of your child. One thing you can do is make sure that your child knows he or she is adopted from day one. Even if the child is too young to understand what it means, it’s important that they not find out later. That could lead to anger, resentment, and shame.” Kristy and Aaron Zeller had to do this with their six year old son. Kristy explained that they told Grayson in terms that he could understand, and he understands as much as any six year old can. She also said they will tell Camden as soon as he can understand, “We do think it’s important that he and Camden know his story. We will tell Camden as soon as he starts to understand. We don’t want to keep it a secret because then it’s perceived as something bad, and it’s not. So, we will share his story with all of our kids.”
After the initial shock of a new family member the new parents are able to sit down and reflect on the new blessing that is apart of their family. Kristy had this answer to what the best part of adopting is, “The best part of adoption is that we have this happy, healthy baby to love and to raise as our own. Adoption can be messy and hard, but it really is a beautiful thing. We’re so grateful we were able to experience it.”
Kristy mentioned that adoption can be messy. There is a lot of waiting and patience involved with the adoption process. First getting matched with a birthmom and then the wait for the baby to be born. The Zeller family pointed out that waiting was the biggest difficulty, especially watching the months and years go by without getting matched. Kristy also spoke to how adoption is happy on one end and difficult on the other, “We have so much respect and love for our birth mom. We know that one of the best days of our lives was the hardest for her. This was a selfless choice that we are so grateful that she made.”
The final section of adoption is the child accepting their new family and the family accepting their newest family member. Mei had this to say about her adoption, “I don’t find my adoption to be a big deal at all; I think it’s cool because it makes up my story which is unique compared to others.” When Mei was asked about if she thinks about her adoption or if she just fits right in she had this to say, “I don’t give much thought about the adoption mainly because I feel like I just fit into my family. I do think about what I would be doing or where I would be if it weren’t for the adoption. I also have an older sister who was adopted from China, so my parents treat both of us like we are their biological children. My parents are loving people and they made sure I felt like I was part of the family.”
Adoption is a journey that includes patience, acceptance, and love. Every story is different, and every child is special in their own way to their individual families. Camden and Mei both have loving families and good futures in front of them. Their stories are tied together by their respective families listening to a calling.