I wanted to adopt for as long as I can remember. After spending six summers in Romania working with babies and children who had been abandoned or placed in orphanages, my decision was further confirmed. Then in college, I majored in social work and was reminded that I could not only be concerned with social justice issues in my career but it needed to become a daily thing for me. As someone who is pro life, I felt convicted to make sure my actions spoke louder than my words.

I married my husband and we started growing our family. We had two biological children but continued to discuss adopting. Then several major things happened in our family that made it clear to my husband and me that our next decision should be adoption. It was time. We began to take the steps to make it happen.

Now, at this very moment, I sit here holding my sweet son who joined our family through open adoption just a few months ago. 

Blessed doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. 

Since we started our adoption journey, I have talked to many people who have thought about adopting. I recently heard somewhere that over one-fourth of Americans think or talk about adopting but only two percent follow through.

This month, during adoption awareness month, I’d like to ask that if you have felt a tug towards adoption, take one little step forward. Lean in.

Maybe this means:

  • Calling an adoption agency to get more information
  • Contacting the state to look into foster care
  • Spending time online researching foster and adoption options
  • Joining an online support group for “Hopeful adoptive families”

If you are not ready for those steps or don’t ever plan to adopt, there are many other ways to lean in towards adoption.

  • Help financially support a family who is adopting
  • Provide respite to a foster family
  • Give Christmas gifts to foster children
  • Pray for families who foster or have adopted

One thing I’ve learned in this process is that God does not need a hero. These children don’t need heroes either. They do not need perfect parents who have it all together. They don’t need someone to save them.

To be quite honest, when we started the private adoption process, I was surprised to find out there are more families trying to adopt than infants who need to be adopted. My baby did not need to be saved. If we wouldn’t have adopted, I’m sure his birth mom would have had many more great families to choose from.

There is really a bigger need for people to adopt older children, special needs children, or those who are already in the foster system. We chose private infant adoption because it was what was best for our family,and our other child, at the time. So we certainly did not do anything heroic.

Don’t adopt to be a hero or a saint. However, if you feel like God is leading you towards fostering or adopting, lean in.

Lean in because adoption does not have to be “Plan B”– it can be your “Plan A.”

Lean in because children are gifts.

Lean in because the Bible talks about adoption.

Lean in because others will see your example.

Lean in because if you feel a tug towards adopting, God may just be calling you to actually pursue it.

Lean in because before you know it, you could be like me, holding your precious child.

It was clear for our family that adoption was what God had planned for us. However, it’s not always that clear for everyone. If you feel any pull towards adoption, pray about it, do some research, talk to others who have adopted. Just keep leaning in until you feel like you have gotten your answer.

The adoption process led me to my son. It has been one of the greatest blessings I will ever experience. I know it could be the same for many others as well.

So keep leaning in.

Christiana Whallon

I am a wife and a stay at home mommy to three beautiful children, two on earth and one in Heaven. I love traveling, cooking, and being in nature. You can read more about our daughter, Jaylee Hope, and help us celebrate her memory at https://www.facebook.com/JayleesJourneyofHope