Photo: Michelle King/Facebook
Adoption is an often-discussed subject on social media and in church circles today. When I was a kid, I had plenty of adopted friends, but it wasn’t discussed all that often. And I didn’t know ANYONE who was a foster parent. Today, many of my kids’ peers at school and church are adopted, and it is much more widely discussed because many are adopted from foreign countries or foster care. We know many transracial families and many children adopted from foster care as older tikes, not infants. And we’ve had the opportunity as a family to come alongside people we love who are fostering or adopting and support them financially and in other various ways.
With this background, it sort of surprises me that people still speak negatively about adoption…but they do. One Oklahoma adoptive mom, Michelle King, whose two oldest children are adopted from foster care, saw some negative comments about adoption on Facebook the other day and knew she had to take action and speak up. King realizes that there are struggles with adoption, and that it is not going to be easy, but she wants adoption critics or skeptics to understand how TRULY worth it her children are. She asked that her story be shared so that others might learn from it, and I pray you will pass on her powerful words as I have. She says:
I saw a thread the other day, where someone had commented that they would like to adopt, but it was just too “inconvenient”…my heart literally broke. Inconvenient?
Here’s a little bit of our adoption story. As most of you already know, Kary Ann and Logan (my oldest 2) are both adopted. Since I could remember I had always wanted to adopt, so I found out what it would take, and I did it!
Kary Ann was just over a year old when she moved in with me from the foster home she had been living in. She was taken from her mother at birth due to drugs being in her system. Yes, my sweet, wild, free spirited 8 year old… is a drug baby. She tested positive for amphetamine and alcohol at birth. I knew there may be some struggles, but I loved her anyways.
Fast forward 4 months, we were settling into our new little life, and I got an unexpected phone call while at work. I remember my stomach turning as her case worker said, “I have some unexpected news”. I thought for sure, they were going to take my baby from me….boy was I wrong! The call was to tell me that Kary’s birth mother had just had a baby boy who was also being removed from her custody due to drugs. The state, of course, wanted to keep them together, so she asked me if I would be able to pick him up from the hospital in 24 hours. WHAT? I wasn’t prepared to take on a newborn… I was still adjusting to motherhood with one child…
So here I am, only 4 months into being a new mom and I suddenly have a 16 month old and an absolutely amazing new born baby boy. I wasn’t able to take any leave from work (I was back at work when Logan was 4 days old), I was going through a divorce, I lived in a 2 bedroom apartment, my job required me to travel, I didn’t have a lot of friends or family who were able to help me with my 2 babies, I was worried about the effects the drugs and alcohol were going to have on my babies, my newborn was bi-racial and I heard a lot of nasty comments because of it (not that I let any of that have an impact and it didn’t matter what race he was to me, others still had their opinions that they felt the need to express 🙄), I was literally working and momming on about 3 hours of sleep per day, I was struggling to pay bills… the list of reason that made adoption “inconvenient” was pretty long…
You know what is more “inconvenient” though…. the life these kids would live in shelters or foster care. The chance of them becoming another statistic and ending up in juvenile hall, prison, on drugs and homeless… that’s inconvenient!
There are almost half a million children living in foster care who need loving homes. I understand that not everyone has the desire or ability to adopt, but I also know a lot of people think about it but never act on it.
Here is some information on adoption assistance that I didn’t know about prior to going through the experience myself….
1) adopting through your state agency doesn’t cost you a dollar… they pay for the whole process.
2) Kary and Logan have state issued insurance that pays 100% of their vision, dental and health until age 18.
3) Child care was covered 100% until they reached the age of 6.
4) Classes that are required and the home study that is required to adopt are painless and don’t take more than a few months to complete.
5) Until they reach 18, I am sent a credit each month to help with costs of raising them.
6) There are so many resources to help you with post adoption needs.
(I can’t speak for every state. They all do things differently. This was just my experience in oklahoma)
The point of this whole post, is that these 2 beautiful children get a real chance at life. They aren’t burdened with all of the “inconveniences” life could have dealt them in foster care. They know love, they know security, they have every opportunity in life now. If I would have been concerned with what was “convenient” for me, who knows what would have happened to Kary Ann and Logan.
If you have thought about adoption, I’d love to chat.
Feel free to share… l’d love for our story to encourage others to consider adoption ❤️
I love how she sums up WHY the foster/adoption struggle is SO worth it, and I think it bears repeating:
…these 2 beautiful children get a real chance at life. They aren’t burdened with all of the “inconveniences” life could have dealt them in foster care. They know love, they know security, they have every opportunity in life now. If I would have been concerned with what was “convenient” for me, who knows what would have happened to Kary Ann and Logan.
THANK YOU, Michelle, for sharing your heart! Like I said, I hope you will all share Michelle’s story on Facebook and spread the word about how the “inconveniences” of foster care and adoption are so worth the little lives they change for the better.