Adopting Amo – Part 4: Counting the Cost

Christmas Day 2009 - 14 months old. This little fairy dress barely fits her dollies now, let alone her.

In my last post, I gave you an idea of the choice one has when adopting a child. Questions of gender, age and race, as well as others, have to be considered when walking this road. When you realise the weight of these choices, you need to take an honest look at what you think you are and are not able to handle.

After processing all of these choices we realised something important – we needed to decide how far we were prepared to go with this. We spent some time discussing this and working it out. We realised that there were some things people could get over or work through. Other things were “a bridge too far”.

Readers have responded well to this blog. Some have posted comments on the articles and others have spoken directly to me about what they thought. These conversations have been very interesting. The people who have spoken to me, have been honest and I appreciate that. The most intriguing comment made is, “I just don’t think I could adopt a child of a different race.” For them, crossing culture or ethnicity is a “bridge too far”. One of the things I have learned, when it comes to adoption, is that it is so important to operate within your parameters. Don’t be manipulated into doing something you don’t think you’re capable of.

In the end we decided that if this was how God was leading us, we needed to be prepared to do whatever was necessary to provide the best home we could for a child. For us this meant disregarding issues of race. It meant being prepared for potential heartache. It meant being prepared for the possibility of long legal battles. It meant we needed to make finances available if they were required. It meant dealing with people who were not very nice. Essentially, we were prepared for anything… with one notable exception.

I trust this doesn’t offend anyone but Liezl and I had to decide whether we could take a baby with AIDS. For us the answer was no. This was our “bridge too far”. While some of the reasoning is practical (children with AIDS may need special care), what it really came down to was this; our journey had already been a painful one and we didn’t think we could deal with the possibility of losing a child. Admittedly, we were ignorant at the time and were not aware of the treatments available. Many people have felt God lead them to adopt children with AIDS and God has given them the grace to do this.

The time between saying yes and actually taking the next step was so important. It showed us the need to work out what we wanted and what we were prepared to do. Knowing what you are prepared to do is vital because it makes navigating the ups and downs of the process that much easier. For us, we were prepared to fight this through. We committed to the process to the point where there was no backing out. Our course was set.

Prev: Adopting Amo – Part 3: Not Everything is Black and White

Next: Adopting Amo – Part 5: We’re Keen, but Pick ‘n Pay is All Out of Orphans

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17 thoughts on “Adopting Amo – Part 4: Counting the Cost

  1. Craig says:

    I want to encourage you my friend – a great way to share your heart, and with such class and skill!
    Maybe a case of “have blog, will travel?”
    I love it & what Father is doing thru you, not just this topic but I think it may be just a start….
    – we believe in you!

    • nick says:

      Thanks CM. You’re a legend. Dankie vir die opbou! I am really enjoying the writing. It’s beginning to feel like a part of the future, if you know what I mean.

  2. Zinola Moodley says:

    great article! so important when you’re undertaking something as life-changing to follow your heart and go where God leads you and not just do what you think others expect of you. very encouraging and very true words.

    • nick says:

      Thanks Zinola, I appreciate you taking the time to go through it. Yes, follow God’s lead – where He leads, He equips.

  3. Katy says:

    love your blog and your honesty Nick! Such a special message you’re articulating. I was wondering how you feel about Amo losing her ‘African’ culture? I know that this is a big concern for many around adoption. Where will Amo fit in when she can’t speak her original (African) language and so fit in with her race and may be rejected by her new (white) culture because of her skin colour? Perhaps I’m being to small minded and not looking at us having a greater Kingdom culture but in the world these issues are very real.

    • nick says:

      Hi Katy. Thanks for reading and thanks for engaging the topic. I’ve spent the last hour responding to your questions but before I knew it, it got to 300 words. I’ve decided rather to turn the response into a post. I wont post it just yet but will let you know when I do. Thanks for the questions, they are good, important ones. Keep a lookout for the response.

  4. candy says:

    Ur posts are so insightful and so touching regarding adoption…but this last post left me hanging, as if there should have been more to the post…lol 🙂

    • nick says:

      Hi Candy, thanks for the feedback. Can I ask you to elaborate? What do you think is missing? What were you expecting?

  5. Sue Tipper says:

    I love reading this! I am very proud of you both. I find your writing tender and so from your heart, I am often left with a lump in my throat. I wish we had spent more time contemplating how we could best parent our children, we took so much for granted! Fortunately God, has His hand on them too! I believe our Amo will grow into a well adjusted, very loved young lady. Waiting in anticipation…

    • nick says:

      Hey Aunty Sue. Thank you for the kind words. It’s true, we do the best we can for our kids, but at the end of the day we trust that God will see them through. Love to all of you Tippers.

  6. Janet says:

    Thanks Nick I am really enjoying your story and admiring both of you more and more as it unfolds. What an encouragement you are to us.

  7. Love reading your story! What an awesome God we serve! Amo is so beautiful and what a special family you have to be treasured. The Lord has trusted this sweet girl to an amazing couple because He knew all along, you were the best choice for her and visa versa!

  8. Your story really touched my heart. The decision to adopt opens so many questions – many which are scary to answer. As we were making our decision to adopt, the question of race was an easy choice – yes! However, we were faced with an opportunity to adopt a little boy who was born three months early and was hospitalized an hour away. It would have meant driving back and forth every day, a choice I felt would have been difficult for our three children. We said “no” – that was our ‘bridge too far’. Months later, we met the parents who adopted him. We made the right choice. We were not his.

    I think many people don’t consider adoption because these choices are difficult to make. But God gives us children that are meant for us – through birth or adoption, we must prayerfully and faithfully trust Him. Sometimes that means opening our hearts and minds to things we are fearful of; other times it means saying no because the privledge belongs to another. Tough choices.

    • nick says:

      Hey, thanks Jessica. It’s crazy but we went through a similar thing at the end of last year. Meeting twins that we decided against taking. We were devastated that we had left them but through our connection another wonderful family was able to take them. Thanks for sharing.

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