Why We Chose to Adopt & Grow Our Family
Believing in Psalm 68:6 (NIV) "God places the lonely in families," my husband Garrett and I wanted to adopt a child for some time. We attempted to start the process early in our marriage, but the thought of instantly (no nine-month time frame to digest the idea) being parents after only being married a few years scared the bahgeezus out of us, so we chickened out. However, after being married for 16 years and having our twins in 2003, we knew if we were going to do this, it needed to be soon.
Time was of the essence. Our twin boys were about to turn 9-years old and Garrett proclaimed, “No more children after the age of 42.” We began the process in May 2010. With much research and many recommendations, we chose the Ardythe and Gale Sayers Center for African American Adoption (Sayers Center), a division of The Cradle, in Evanston, IL. Knowing the process may be long and not without challenge, we knew with God’s help, we were ready. We were so excited about what God was going to do in our lives through this new child of his.
We welcomed the opportunity to offer at least one child-in-need a God-fearing family to love and grow with. We knew God had already chosen a particular child just for us, and we were eager to be completely faithful to what He was calling us to do.
Our Challenges with Adoption and How We Overcame
Adoption is a wonderful way to build or add to a family, but it is not an inexpensive venture. Upon deciding to proceed with the adoption, we knew we it would it cost a sizable chunk of money to bring our child home. The Sayers Center covered a significant portion of the expenses, which was another reason we chose to work with this organization, but we were still in need of additional funds. To help with those additional expenses, we planned a good old-fashioned BBQ/fish fry and a skating party to raise the cash. With the support of our church family, co-workers, friends and family, we raised the remaining amount needed. This proved – again – that it takes a village!
Over a year passed, and Garrett and I began to grow anxious and impatient with the process. Two different birth mothers took an interest in us as a potential adoptive family, but both birth mothers either chose other families or decided to self-parent. During this same time, doctors diagnosed my 99-year old grandmother with congestive heart failure.
For as long as I can remember, my Grandma (who I affectionately called Gramma) was self-sufficient and lived independently in her own home. Her Indianapolis doctors informed our family that, given her current state of health, she could no longer live alone and needed 24-hour care. My father (who is also adopted), my husband and I decided it would be best for her to come live with my family in Illinois. In light of this new situation, Garrett and I considered removing our names from the adoptive registry, as things were becoming a little overwhelming, and we couldn't quite wrap our minds around all of it. We needed more time to digest this life change. However, the good Lord decided differently.
Our Adoption Changed Our Lives in Ways We Never Knew
After eighteen months of waiting on Monday, October 17th, we received the call. She chose us. A birthmother chose the Lash Family! But listen to this: not only had we been selected, but our birthmother also wanted us to take our baby home Friday of that very same week – WHAT?! We got the call on Monday, and Gramma was also on her way to us, as well. Like the Psalmist asks, "Where does my help come from?" (Ps. 121:1), and we must be able to answer as he did. We must know and believe, deep in our bones, that "My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth" (Ps. 121:2).
We brought our new baby boy home on October 21st. We welcomed Gramma that following Monday, and we fell to our knees and thanked the Lord for one of the most joyous times of our life.
Adoption Awareness Month Raises Awareness About the Importance of Adoption
Adoption awareness is a passion of ours, especially the adoption of African American children. In 1999, The Cradle launched The Ardythe and Gale Sayers Center for African American Adoption with a focus on adoptive parent recruitment in the African American community. The Sayers Center also provides cultural understanding and connectivity to trans-racial families who have adopted African American and Biracial children, in addition to trans-racial families who have adopted Black children internationally.
In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month, PuffCuff is partnering with The Sayers Center. For every PuffCuff sold during the month of November, $1.00 will be given back to the Sayers Center in the form of a donation. I’m thankful for the experience I have as an adoptive parent and look forward to giving back and hearing other stories from other PuffCuff fans.