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What Adoption Professionals Wish You Knew

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I have written this blog a thousand times in my mind. It is brilliant each time. Now, as I am putting the words to paper (or computer screen), it is terrifying. 


Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. 


I am wife to the best husband in the world and the mother of five amazing children. Two of those kiddos I grew in my womb - all by myself (OK, my husband helped, but I did all the work). The other three were born on the other side of the world. Thanks to God, my family, my friends, and a couple of great agencies, we were able to bring them home. 


They were 4, 6 and 11 years old when they joined our family. 


Yes. I am one of those weirdos who adopted. Not only internationally, but also adopted older kids. 


I know, Crazy. 


I am also the Ethiopia Program Director of an agency. Yup. I am one of those people that are criticized, glared at and judged quite severely from the adoption world...and often those outside the adoption world as well.


I help unite children and their forever families. Best. Job. Ever. 


Most days. 


So. Here is a list of things we adoption professionals would want our adoptive families, their friends, and those who give us the stink eye, to know. 


We hate corruption and child trafficking. Hate it. We hate it even more than you do. We want nothing to do with it. It makes us sick. We wish neither of these things existed. 


We care for the birth families of our children. The greatest day will be the day I am out of a job because there are no more orphans. I pray for that day. 


We are not in this for the money. Do you want to see my tax return from last year? Trust me, it won't blow your mind. 


We do this because we LOVE it. But, it isn't easy. 


You know those days when we call or email you with bad news? Yeah. We hate that. Almost as much as you do. You know THE CALL?? The one you have been waiting for? Yeah. LOVE those days. It may be your best day ever - but I am floating on clouds right along with you. 


You know that phone call, where you are angry and frustrated because of delays? When things are just not going the way you think they should. That call where you yell at us, and accuse us of not doing our jobs, and vent your frustration until you have no more words? Yeah. It's OK. We understand. This job is more than a job. We are working with your heart. Sometimes it gets broken. And it hurts. It's OK. We forgive you. And we will keep on working until you have your child in your arms. (We may still break into cold sweats the next couple times your number shows up on our caller ID. Just being real, here.) 


If you want to know the truth. I was afraid (terrified) to write this post. I was afraid I might say something wrong. It seems like even Christians (sometimes ESPECIALLY we Christians) can get mean and ugly where adoption is concerned. There is an "Us verses Them" mentality. Well, I am both us and them. I am an adoptive mom. I work for an adoption agency. 


How do we resolve this conflict? We need to see each other as friends. As teammates. As family. We are working toward the same goal. 


Do we fight corruption and trafficking? Absolutely. Bring on the battle. 


Do we let fear stop us from adopting? Never. These kids deserve a family. 


Do we work together with love and compassion? Yes, please. 


I know there are some agencies out there who do this for the wrong reasons. But, those are rare. Most of us are doing this for the kids. And the families. 


We believe and live James 1:27.

We believe God puts the fatherless into families. 

That he will not leave them as orphans. 


We are passionate about this job and will pour our heart and souls into it. We will work odd hours to keep in touch with overseas staff. We will take emergency phone calls from our families with flight delays at 3am. We will work diligently to bring your child home. We love you. Because we are you.


Now, lets start down the road that makes my job obsolete. Are you in???


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Blog Entry by Randi Shetley, Program Director at International Family Services:  READ MORE from Randi on her blog at: www.randisadventures.blogspot.com/




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