When adopting or fostering wasn't your idea
Co-authored by Matt Donovan & Jason Kovacs
What do you do when your wife asks, “would you ever want to adopt?” There’s no playbook answer. It’s not like “how do I look?” or “which paint color do you like?” In some ways, it’s not even the same as “do you want kids?” A lot of us know the answer to that before we even get married. For a lot of very real reasons, adoption doesn’t look attractive to men right off the bat. Never the less – your wife wants to and you feel like you should take her seriously. You’re not alone. A lot of guys find themselves in the passenger seat on the road to adoption, feeling anxious, guilty, and totally out of control.
HOW DO YOU TAKE THE REIGNS?
Have you considered praying first? Prayer is often overlooked in the frenzy to “do” something (anything!). The fact is, God has a plan for your life. Strive to be gripped by it before you make a life-altering decision. One simple thing to do would be to lookup the words orphan & fatherless in the Bible. Read those verses and their surrounding passages and ask God to give you a heart like his.
Perform a serious gut check. Maybe God is leading in another direction or saying wait. Maybe you’re worried about what others will think. Maybe you’ve got a white-knuckle grip on your ideal of a what a family is. Maybe you don’t think you could love a son or daughter that isn’t your flesh and blood. Maybe your just ticked that your wife is driving this train. Try to separate serious concerns from cowardice. God knows our hearts better than we do and He is good at helping us change and grow.
Talk to someone who’s done this before. You’re not the first man to find himself in this spot. Other people have gone before you here and they can help you understand just what kind of impact it may have on your life, including the joys and challenges. If you find someone honest, they’ve probably worked through a lot of the same junk you find yourself faced with. Find another adoptive or foster dad, buy him a beer and pummel him with questions – hard ones – the ones it seems like you shouldn’t ask another dude.
Take it a step at a time. Pray, reflect, converse, and make a move. It may just simply be a decision to start investigating the process a little more seriously. Going to an informational meeting is not a commitment to be a parent. It’s a good first step and God has promised to direct your steps (Proverbs 16:9). Your wife will probably appreciate your leadership and you can move ahead with confidence – whatever direction that may be.