You know how you make plans for your life and then God has something completely different in mind (and probably laughs at you for thinking your plan would measure up)?
That was me. In fact, I had my whole life figured out.
I was going to go to college, fall in love, get married, and start my family. Adoption has always been part of my “family plan” – although my story is playing out a little differently than I had imagined.
My sister, Grace, was adopted from China in 1997. We bonded instantly. I loved everything about her (and I still do). I knew that someday I wanted to adopt my own little girls from China.
I imagined and dreamed of what my little ones would look like, how they would act, and who they would grow to be. When I imagined my kids, they were always little girls. Back when my parents adopted my sister, it was mostly girls who were available for adoption. Like many, many others, I believed the myth that China only allows girls to be adopted.
So, that family plan I mentioned earlier? Well, I did not fall in love and get married. I’m as single as they come. But the desire to be a mother has only gotten stronger. I don’t want to wait around for Mr. Right (who might never come along) to become a mother. Knowing that there are so many orphans in the world, it just makes sense for me to adopt, regardless of my marital status.
When I began the process, I started by joining groups and looking at advocacy sites. I started to become educated about the current population of children available for adoption in China and was surprised by what I found.
Boys who needed families just as much as girls, if not more so. The number of boys in orphanages outnumbers girls. Young girls with special needs are more likely to be inquired about and adopted than boys with the exact same needs. Families prefer to adopt girls over boys (even in domestic adoptions).
This went against what I had always imagined my family would look like, but I couldn’t ignore the sweet boys’ faces that were just as deserving of love as girls.
Some families have gender preferences for various reasons. That is an important decision that each family must navigate for themselves. I, too, had some things to consider before making my ultimate decision.
I am single.
I don’t have a husband to help guide a young man through today’s world.
I know nothing about boys (really… nothing).
I get girls.
I was one.
I helped raise one.
But, again, I couldn’t ignore the fact that so many boys needed families. So, I checked the “either gender” box and left the rest up to God. Even though I had always wanted a girl and imagined being a “girl mom” I wasn’t going to limit God. If I had gotten pregnant I wouldn’t get to choose which gender I wanted so I figured it was God’s call whether I would be matched with a boy or girl.
I kept my eyes on my agency’s “waiting child” photolisting and on the advocacy sites. I found myself being drawn to so many little boys! I felt my dreams changing (which I am so thankful for). Over the course of about a month I requested to see two files that my agency had. The first was an adorable little boy who was matched before I had a chance to view his file (yay for him finding his family!).
The second file was a sweet little boy who was 17 months old. I saw his picture and noticed how adorable he was. I thought to myself, “He’s so cute and his needs don’t seem that scary. He will surely be matched quickly.” I went to the website and checked on his picture daily.
After about a week, seeing that he hadn’t moved into the “matched” category, I decided to ask my agency to let me see his file. They said they would put me on the list and I’d have to wait my turn. Like the first boy, I thought he would be matched before I got a chance to see his file. Literally three hours after I emailed my agency, I got a reply letting me know that it was my turn to view his file!
As they say, the rest is history. I had his file reviewed by two doctors and did a lot of praying. This was my son.
Talking about adoption with others, I’ve heard so many comments of “How did you get so lucky to get a boy?” or “Wow! A boy? From China? Is that allowed?” People have the preconceived idea that you cannot adopt boys from China. I went into this whole process not knowing the facts.
I traveled to China to get Asher Gideon in mid-November. We met for the first time on November 21, 2016. And now, as mother and son… we’re beginning our forever family journey!
For my next adoption (yes, I’m already planning on going back, and I’m not even officially done with the first) I will remain open to either gender. I also plan to consider increasing my age range, as that is another huge need…. older child adoption.
I would love for families who are considering adoption to keep an open mind when deciding on gender. Maybe the dream you’ve always had needs a little reevaluation. There is nothing wrong with tweaking a dream and keeping an open mind. I’m so glad I did!
God’s plan for my family is so much better than anything I could planned.
– guest post by Katie