Out of the 7,266,760 children in Texas, 66,572 were confirmed victims of child abuse/neglect in 2014. These are staggering statistics. Yet they are just one among all the noise we hear all day, everyday about whatever new social injustice some one wants to bring to light. Unfortunately with social media, we become numb to the stark realities of our world today. I know I do.
When my husband and I decided we were going to grow our family through domestic adoption, we were not necessarily moved by those numbers - even though it obviously tugs at the heart strings. I really wanted a baby. Not to mention, we had a 2 1/2-year-old we wanted to be the "big brother."
I thought I wanted to go through the "easier" version of adoption. I never ever thought I would adopt through CPS. That just seemed too messy and had too much room for disappointment.
We actually wanted to go through the African-American, Infant Adoption Program with an agency called Gladney out of Dallas,TX. We were not accepted into their program. Their explanaion was since teen pregancy is not socially looked down on as much anymore, they did not have as many birth moms entering their program.
So we decided to explore how adoption through the state of Texas worked. We attended a local meeting just to see - hoping maybe they had an infant program we did not know about.
There were about 100 of us in this informational meeting. And the director, who had been there for years, gave a beautiful presentation about the kids waiting in CPS who needed forever families. It made our hearts hurt that African-American children over the age of 2, as well as sibling sets who need to be adopted, are put in a "Special Needs" group. That did not sit well with me, but that still wasn't what got us.
At the end of the meeting, the director asked if any one had any questions. The first question someone asked was, "How much do we get reimbursed a month for fostering?" and was directly followed by, "Do we get paid for their clothes as well?" After these 2 questions were answered, the room cleared. The 4+ couples who wanted to adopt were all that was left in the room.
It was then we knew, God called us to this meeting we never wanted to attend, to a calling we had no idea we needed to answer. And we decided to start looking for an adoption agency to begin the process of adopting through CPS.
Spoiler Alert: We had no idea what it meant to adopt through CPS. So more about that later!
We were matched with the most beautiful little 8-month-old boy we could have ever dreamed of. This was us just about a month after we were matched with our son Nathaniel.
I always wanted girls. I had no idea God's plan for my life was to be a boy-mom. And I for SURE did not know God wanted me to be an adoption mom. I always pictured those moms to be the ones with 10 kids, all from different countries, all wearing matching smocks. Thankfully God knew his plan for my life, and I could not be more excited to go down the path He planned for me.
And even though I am a Type A planner, I have to admit it is a little fun taking surprise detours. If you would have told me 3-years-ago I would be an advocate for adoption, I don't think I would have believed you to be honest.
Please make no mistake, just like any type of motherhood, its not all shiny, perfect rainbows and butterflies. But it is a beautiful life and a beautiful story of God's love for us.
My prayer for sharing tidbits of our story is that people will see the realities of adoption and the realties of children needing a home. I pray your heart feels a little bit of a tug =)
Holly Nicole James