There are many couples out there waiting to adopt a child. It is estimated that there are between one and two million couples in the United States wanting to adopt. More than 100,000 children in foster care are currently waiting on their forever homes. While there are plenty of children waiting to be adopted, a majority of couples and families looking to adopt are waiting to adopt a baby. In the United States, there are about four million babies born each year. Within a month of their birth, 62% of infants are placed within their adoptive homes.
So how do these infants find homes so quickly? These infants placed within a month of their birth are most likely in foster care or the birth mother chose the family before the child’s birth. No matter how a child was placed, the families looking to adopt a baby have undergone home studies and submitted paperwork to be approved to adopt. For many families looking to adopt a baby, they have chosen to pursue private domestic adoption. For these families, they have to submit a family profile to an adoption agency so that a birth mother may choose them to raise her child. A lot of the families I have talked to are still waiting for the birth mother to choose them. The following five stories are true stories of families that are currently in the waiting period for a baby to adopt.
The Varner Family
Robert and Amy Varner are a sweet couple who have been married for nine years. Robert currently serves as the Student Minister at South Gate Baptist Church and Amy is a stay-at-home mom in Springfield, Missouri. They currently have a five-year-old daughter named Sarah. Sarah is a joy to be around. Robert and Amy would love to add more children to their lives, but due to unexplained secondary infertility, they have been unable to have more biological children. They turned to foster care with the goal of fostering to adopt. They had the opportunity to foster a sweet boy from the time he was born until shortly after his first birthday. Due to the terrible experience they had with the foster care agency they worked with, Robert and Amy have decided to no longer foster children.
Still desiring to adopt, Robert and Amy turned to private domestic adoption. They have been approved and have submitted their family profile to their local agency. Now they are waiting to be picked by an expectant mother who wishes to place her baby for adoption. To Robert and Amy, adoption had been on both of their hearts and minds for over a decade before they met at Southwestern Baptist University. Once their relationship became serious, they began to discuss their future as a couple. During this discussion, they both expressed their desire to adopt one day.
As Christians, Robert and Amy believe in the Holy Bible. The Bible highlights adoption throughout its narrative as God has chosen to adopt us into His family and make us coheirs with Christ. The love God has expressed to and for them has been their consistent motivation in their desire to adopt. Amy and Robert believe that God has used their infertility journey to affirm their desire to adopt. They strongly believe that earthly adoption is a way for us to mirror God’s gift of adopting us into His family.
The Edwards Family
Melissa and Peter Edwards are a wonderful couple who have been married for five years. Melissa has felt called to adopt since she was little. Before getting married to Peter, Melissa only wanted to adopt and did not want any biological children but Peter did. Once married, Melissa decided that she would try to have biological kids. For nearly two years, they tried hard for children and finally became pregnant with their first child. Benjamin was born in February of 2018. When Benjamin turned one and a half, Melissa and her husband began to discuss whether they should try again for another child.
After discussing it for some time, they decided to go ahead and try for another. They tried to get pregnant for a year and a half and had three miscarriages. Melissa and her husband were referred to a fertility specialist who gave them a one in ten pregnancy survival rate. The fertility specialist recommended that Melissa receive in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination to get pregnant. After considering it, Melissa and Peter decided that receiving IVF or IUI was not the best option for them as a family. Melissa and her husband began praying about what their options were.
Knowing that they wanted to adopt, they looked into foreign adoption, domestic adoption, and foster care. They felt that since they are going to adopt, they would rather adopt from the United States. They looked into adopting from foster care but with the desire to have Benjamin as the oldest and having four miscarriages, Melissa and Peter decided against it which led them to choose domestic adoption. Currently, they are still waiting for their baby.
The Dunnam Family
Rebekah and her husband always wanted to have children. They tried for three years to have biological children but after many unsuccessful attempts, the Dunnams decided to look into adoption. In 2010, Rebekah and her husband felt God calling them to consider adoption so they researched all of the options – international adoption, domestic adoption, foster care, and embryo adoption.
After considering each of these options, the Dunnams settled on embryo adoption. In order for Rebekah and her husband to complete an embryo adoption, they had to undergo fertility testing. While undergoing fertility testing, much to their surprise, Rebekah discovered that she was expecting. What a miracle! They put their adoption plans on hold at that point so they could focus on raising this little one.
At that point, they were not sure if or when they would adopt but they knew that God had a plan. In 2012, their little girl was born. About a year later, during Caleb’s deployment, the Dunnams felt a stirring in their heart about adoption again. How amazing is it that even though they were miles apart, they both felt the same stirring in their hearts? The next several years brought multiple changes for the family. They moved multiple times cross-country and changed jobs multiple times but in 2019, they felt that stirring again.
With that stirring, they decided to move forward with their adoption plan and got set up with Lutheran Family and Child Services. They are still waiting for the right mom to choose them to raise her child. Rebekah notes “Sometimes it is hard to be patient, but we are praying that God will work out all of the pieces to bring our child home” (R. Dunnam, personal communication, February 4, 2021).
The Smith Family
Madeline and her husband have been married for five years. A year after they married, they decided to start trying to have biological children. After struggling with fertility and a diagnosis of endometriosis, Madeline and her husband ultimately decided to pursue adoption. They didn’t want to spend the time and money on fertility treatments or private adoption, so they decided to go through foster care.
By going through foster care, they desired to provide a home to a child in need. They began attending foster care classes in the late summer of 2019 and became licensed by November that same year. In the spring of 2020, they accepted a set of brothers knowing that this would likely be a reunification situation which is the ultimate goal of foster care. About six months later, the two brothers returned home to live with their mom. For Madeline and her husband, it was amazing to see the reunion but also heartbreaking as these would not be the children they would adopt.
Despite the heartbreak, they still wanted to be parents; they were still among the many families looking to adopt. On January 31st of this year, they got their second placement, a newborn straight out of the hospital. Even though they know reunification is foster care’s ultimate goal, they hope they will be given the opportunity to adopt this newborn. They understand that there are no guarantees.
The Walsh Family
Kylie and Kent Walsh have been married for eight years. As a couple, they have always considered adoption or foster care and had hoped to adopt someday. Before welcoming a child into their home, they decided that they wanted to have a biological child first. For about three years, they tried but God had other plans. Kylie underwent testing and knew that it is very likely that she has a similar hormone condition as her mom so they gave up their desire to have a biological child.
Not long after that, Kylie and her husband decided to pursue adoption. It did not make sense for them to spend the time, money, and emotions on the expensive medical procedures since they were already considering adopting. God has placed this calling on their hearts. They believe that His plan all along was for them to start their family through adoption. The Walshes are currently on the waitlist for their baby.
I appreciate the time spent by and the willingness of these families to share their stories with me. I love hearing stories of why people choose to adopt. Choosing to adopt is a big decision many families make to expand their families. This decision must not be taken lightly. Families who have chosen adoption to grow their family have a huge heart for it and it definitely is needed. As an adoptee, I myself have a huge heart for adoption. While I am still single, I still desire to marry and adopt children. I intend to begin fostering in the next few years; I hope I will be able to adopt a child looking for their forever home.
As you have read above, many couples choose adoption to grow their family. There is a different reason for each couple but as you have read, many couples and families looking to adopt struggle with infertility issues but also feel called by God to pursue adoption. Perhaps that struggle with infertility is God’s way of saying that there are too many kids without a home that need you. It certainly seems that way. If you are struggling with infertility issues, maybe you should consider adoption.
If you are a birth mom considering what to do with your child, consider these couples that wish to have children and cannot because their body is unable to give them a child. Think about if you were in their shoes. While these five families are waiting to adopt a child, they are not the only ones out there. There are so many families on the waiting list to adopt a child. Families looking to adopt a baby are already prepared for your child and have been approved by adoption agencies. If you are trying to find a family for your child, I recommend that you reach out to your local adoption agencies for assistance. There you will find a trained adoption options counselor and ready to walk you through your options.
If you do consider adoption, I do recommend that you take the time to really consider whether you would like to have an open adoption plan or a closed adoption plan. This decision depends on if you want to remain in contact with your child as they grow up. If you would like to meet the family that is going to adopt your baby, it might be best to consider an open adoption plan. Remember, you can always change your mind later. I pray that as you consider the options for your baby, you will choose the best option for you. Adoption is a wonderful adoption, but it may not be the best option for you.
For more information on adoption and your options, consider these articles:
What to Do With Unexpected Pregnancy?
Pregnant and Considering Adoption: What You Should Know
Choosing Adoption for Your Baby Guide