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Our Adoption Journey

Before we were married,we decided on a large family of at least 12 children. I wanted 12 and Curt wanted 14. Family members thought we were either kidding or insane. Wonder if they ever figured it out :-)

Right after we were married, we qualified for foster children. We wanted to do foster adopt. We did the homestudy, the classes, and all the other red tape that was necessary to get going. We waited, and waited, and finally called to see where those children we were told were coming right away went. That's when we found the agency just disappeared! We were very disappointed, but in just a couple of months, we had the wonderful news of our first child.

We had our first, then our second and then was given the news I couldn't carry any more safely, so we made the hard decision to stop having our own. Being a Christian made it feel wrong to take matters into our own hands, but there wasn't much choice. So after our daughter's second birthday, we decided to look into adoption again. This time with a local and well known agency.

We did the clearances, and started classes, and were again on a roll, when our daughter came down with a virus. She ran a fever of almost 105 and we couldn't get it to break. We were on the phone with the doctor many times, and were waiting to see if we needed to take her to the hospital. This was the day of our final class, so I called the Social Worker to see if we could take the class another time - or just me, and Curt would go in that day. The Social Worker read me the riot act, telling me that those waiting children needed me more than my own did. Just take our daughter to the neighbors and if she needs to go to the hospital, they would take her. That's what she does with her 3 adopted kids. HUH? I'm sorry but any caring mother would NEVER do that when the Dr. has said we may need to run at any moment. She became quite nasty and said for us to forget the adoption thing as we weren't serious about it. That was the last time I spoke to her, and soon after, I saw that the branch near us closed down. Imagine that!!

I was devistated and Curt and I talked and talked about what happened. Two times we had tried, and two times we had not succeeded. Was God telling us not to go forward? Or was Satan throwing these obsticles in our way to discourage us? We weren't really sure, but we did know that we needed to put this off for a while and reexaimine what we were really doing and wanting.

Durning the next few years, the want for more children kept nagging both of us. We prayed and just tried to center ourselves to see exactly what God's plan was for us. Then when our daughter was 6, we decided to try again. We found a nice agency, and we even liked the contact person, and were just starting again, when Curt's mom had a heart attack. We stopped for a bit, meaning to return as soon as things settled. Again, Curt wondered why something would be thrown into our plans. He wasn't really sure this was God's plan now. It took 2 years for him to come to a conclusion.

Our daughter turned 8 and our son turned 10 when we decided to adopt - no matter what- this time. We went house hunting because we live in a little 1008 sq. ft. home. We made offers and really thought we had one - when we found out that there was a problem and we couldn't get it. House after house fell through - only this time we decided not to give up this time. We got all the paperwork, classes, interviews, etc. all over with, except for the homestudy. Then, the kids decided to start acting out. They wouldn't let us know why or what was going on, but during this time, the homestudy was put off. We finally found out that the children thought we wouldn't love them as much when we brought the adopted children in, because we chose which children we wanted - and we couldn't with them. They said that since they were born, we had not choice and had to be happy with what we got. We took our time to make sure the kids were ok with what we told them - and that we wouldn't love them any less and now we are back on track.

We were blessed with a wonderful adoption coordinator at Catholic Social Services. This man has been a fantastic blessing to us. He treats us like an equal, like we actually know how to parent, and very much like we would like to be treated. He has time for us, talks to us, and is always there to answer questions. Yes, this time must be right, as the Lord blessed us with such a great person to work with. A total difference from what we had before! And now, we can appreciate what kind of working relationship we have with our coordinator.

We are just a couple weeks away from the last of our qualifications - the homestudy. Our adoption coordinator is now looking into a few children for us, and after the homestudy is complete, we will be able to find out more about these children. We are going through SWAN (StateWide Adoption Network) to adopt an older child or sibling group, or a Special Needs child. Those that we have chosen to look into are a sibling group of 4, 2 different sibling groups of 2, and a beautiful boy with Down Syndrome. Hopefully one of those will come back as a good match for our family.

As time goes on, I'll keep you updated on our progress and what happens next. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and read about our Adoption Journey. God Bless.

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Adoption Links

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All items 2003 by Curtis and Theresa Dunlap, except for the following:
Graphic Images are Copyright Danny Hahlbohm.
Background Sets 1999-2003 Our God Reigns Ministries
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