The practice of adopting offspring, thought to be about as old as human civilization, is celebrated annually in the United States during National Adoption Month every November.
Nineteen years ago President Ronald Reagan followed the state of Massachusetts’ lead, and proclaimed a National Adoption Week during which communities hosted programs and events to share adoption information and positive stories, dispel myths and shine the spotlight on young Americans who need permanent families.
Ten years later President Bill Clinton instituted National Adoption Month. In 2014, under the aegis of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Children’s Bureau and its partners fund the November-long federal project to move 102,000 of the nation’s children from foster care to permanent families.
“My husband and I saw a video at church about adoption,” Lindsey McGregor said.
Lindsey is a former Double Oak resident and daughter of Double Oak Councilwoman Anita Nelson. They are members of Crossroads Bible Church in Double Oak.
“We have two children of our own, but realized children out there need families. We prayed about the idea, and God changed our hearts.”
The McGregors applied to Holt International Adoptions for a child from the Philippines. Why an international adoption?
“Reputable agencies are concerned about the quality of the adopted child’s life. They insist the child fit into the family’s birth order. Our son is 4, our daughter is 2. That means our next child should be an infant. The average age of domestically available adoptees is 7,” she said.
Karen Capson of Highland Village had been married 8 years before she and her husband decided to adopt.
“As a dedicated Special Needs school teacher, I felt entitled to the blessing of children of my own womb. After several miscarriages I still wasn’t open to adoption. Then I attended a conference at which someone bore touching testimony about a personal struggle. The presentation ended with a beautiful photo of the woman’s family: Dad, Mom and adopted child. God opened my heart up that day.”
The Capsons applied for an international adoption, but the process was interrupted by a family illness and death. “After the dust settled our mountains of paperwork had expired.”
The Capsons turned to a private adoption attorney who maintained a small caseload. About 90 days later they brought their newborn daughter home.
Adopting through an international agency, Lindsey McGregor said, is not for the faint-of-heart.
“You’ve got to commit to the decision. We had to provide copies of all our birth certificates, our marriage certificate, our health histories, proof of income, our biographies, our passports, psychological evaluations and do the home study.”
Reputable private adoptions are also thorough about prospective parents. Adopting couples’ concern for their child’s welfare means not hiding information about themselves and their lives. Reputable adoption facilitators do criminal background checks.
The McGregors would like to do church ministry work in the Philippines someday. Adopted children often grow up with the desire to visit their place of origin, so adopting a Philippino child feels like a good fit with their life’s desire.
The Philippines Adoption Board approved the McGregors’s application last month. By the time the couple picks up their child, two and a half years will have elapsed since they made the decision to adopt.
“Our child will be between 2 and 3 years old at that time.” Lindsey laughed. “And no, we haven’t chosen names yet.”
Karen has written a charming book about her experience for other adopting families, titled This I Know For Sure. The illustrated tale is about how God answered a couple’s prayers through their adopted daughter. The 53-page interactive story is intended as a way to open communications between adoptive parents and their children. Check it out online at Amazon, or the publisher website at www.createspace.com.
Noelle M. Hood can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.