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.