For National Adoption Awareness Month, we’d like to honor the adoption process by introducing you to three couples in various stages of adoption: Adriana and Jamie Howard, Kim and Ben Nunes, and our host, Carlos Whittaker, and his own adoption story. Our guests are joined by host, Kristen Ivy, to talk about their individual experiences with adoption in today’s episode of the Parent Cue Live podcast.
Voices In This Episode
No matter how easy or difficult the process is, adoption is hard. During the process, lean into your community, stay united with your spouse, and keep reminding yourself of the reason why you’re adopting in the first place.
Meet Adriana and Jamie…
The car ride home after the devastating news of their infertility is one the two would never forget. There were tears — of course there were tears — but laughter? Laughter was out of place.
Years before — before dating, before real jobs, before marriage, before 14 months of failed attempts to get pregnant — both Jamie and Adriana knew one day, whether or not they had biological children of their own, they would adopt a child. Early on, they both felt God had put on their hearts to extend their love to an unwanted child. Learning of their infertility was bittersweet because now they knew the exact road to take: Their infertility provided clarity.
“This turned out to be a true expression of God: Caring for someone who doesn’t have anyone to care for them,” Jamie shares.
So the couple began the process of domestic adoption expecting it to be terrible, really. But you know what? It hasn’t been terrible. It has actually be surprisingly pleasant. Though they have not completed the adoption process, they remain hopeful and expectant of the child who awaits them. Their story is one of hope and heart transformation.
Meet Kim and Ben…
Four children felt like the perfect amount for Ben and Kim’s family. It always has. But after birthing three, Kim didn’t want to birth a fourth, yet there was still a vacancy for the fourth child she was meant to love. They didn’t know it at the time, but their fourth child awaited them in Colombia and the journey to bring the child into the fold would be an arduous, yet rewarding one.
“Adoption will wreck you in the best ways possible,” Kim says.
With a community to support them and the right questions asked and answered, Ben and Kim decided international adoption suited them best. But once their child, a seven-year-old boy named Carlos, stepped foot on American soil, another type of challenge began: How do you acclimate a child to an unfamiliar culture? How do you overcome a language barrier while speaking to the heart of the child? Their story is one of patience, resilience, and community.
Carlos and his wife, Heather, were at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert when the singer mentioned Show Hope, the artist’s adoption aid program. The two had discussed adoption before, but hearing the message sealed it for them.
But that was 13 years ago, an age before fast WiFi and when information on adoption was hard to come by. They became discouraged about halfway through the process and thought about giving up, but provision came in the form of a grant that allowed them to travel to South Korea and ultimately bring home their new, seven-month-old son, Losiah.
For Carlos and Heather, the early days were easiest. But now, Losiah, who is nearing the age of 13, is asking some hard questions about his birth home, what it means to look and act differently from his family and community, and explaining adoption to his friends. Though Losiah feels like a birth son to Carlos and Heather, Losiah’s experience is very different, as he questions his identity and his place in life. This is a story about what to do when there are no easy answers and how to find joy in the hard moments of the adoption journey.
There are various sides to adoption. No matter where you are, we at Parent Cue Live hope you find some comfort and hope in the adoption journey ahead. We can’t wait for you to tune in to this episode of the podcast.
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