Our "Yes but not yet" adoption journey (guest post)

"We hope to adopt someday, too!"

Sometimes when John and I share our adoption story we get this response and I love hearing it. Every adoption story begins with an act of imagination. You imagine your family looking different- another face in the family photo, another pair of hand prints smudged on the front window, another space in your heart for both joy and sorrow, and another reason give thanks to the Giver of life.

Arie's hand print on our front door. An adorable smudge.
Over a year ago my friend Leanne wrote a post in her blog about this act of imagination and I have been wanting to ask her to guest post for me ever since. Well, the day has come and Leanne has agreed to share with us a bit of what it is like to feel the call to adopt but know that the time has not yet arrived. I'm so honored to have her words appear here because I know that so many of you will be able to relate:


I’ve read somewhere that if something makes you cry, it’s because your heart is
connected to it. It’s part of it and within whatever it is lies a resonance you shouldn’t

This concept perfect fits my heart for adoption. I can’t talk about it without crying and I
can’t relay my friend’s stories of adoption joy without tearing up. I often envision our
future family portraits on the mantle and they have a couple more children in them, and
they’re not necessarily ones I gave birth to, and I love that.

I’m currently not in the process of adoption, but I wish I was. I am however an adopted
Aunt to an 8 year old Ethiopian boy named Fetinet and my daughter started calling him
her brother without any prompting from us. He comes over on days when his school is
closed and he’s so comfortable in our home that he bosses my kids around a bit, but
that wasn’t always the case.

Leanne's husband Kel and daughter Leanne welcoming Fetinet home!
Again with the tears, I often tear up while I make him a turkey wrap for lunch because
he’s only been here for 9 months and is was just this past July that he was so
overwhelmed with his adoption that he wouldn’t speak to anyone, not even his adopted
mom, my dear friend Joely.

I remember the first evening he came over and fell asleep on our couch for the fourth of
July. He watched the rest of the kids swim in the pool and sat next to us in silence. I
couldn’t imagine how overwhelmed he was that night, I’m not sure if I would have
spoken either.

But now? Now he informs me that I buy the wrong eggs at the store and have dirty
ceiling fans. He bounces around our house and holds my children’s hands when we go
grocery shopping. He gets excited when I pick him up from school, he’s a part of my
heart forever and always, I love being a part of his story.

In the evenings my children and I pray for orphans around the world, “children without
mommies or daddies” in 3 year old speak. A few months back we sponsored a child,
Jhon, from the Phillipines. I may have oversold it because my daughter spent weeks
telling people about “Jhon who has a mommy and daddy but had to eat food out of the
trash... but not anymore because he’s on our fridge.:

I don’t want them to think we’re American superheroes swooping in with money to
save, but Christian brothers and sisters, mommies and daddies running in to help
children in need with hands full of God’s love.

I’m an orphaned adult, our children have no biological grandparents alive and yet we
don’t lack love or a place to go on holidays. Why? Because we’re an adopted family,
God works through love thicker than blood even when no legal documents are in place.

And I want to spread the adoption love around, like right now. When I see the photos
and hear the statistics my heart is frantic to help. I want to bring these children home
yesterday, or preferably sooner. Yet I know how long the road of adoption is and I know
that we’re simply not ready to start today.

I wonder how long it will be until another set of Pajamas jumps into our laundry routine.

I imagine the sound of a new set of feet bringing their unique chaos and cadence to our
breakfast routine.

I know that there are too many unknowns for us in the next few years, we are moving
1,000 miles next month and my husband may be starting grad school. I know that the
call to adopt is wild and real, yet I know that God’s words for us right now are: wait guys.

So I wait and I wonder about those little people of my future, have they been born
already? Are they mere miles or massive continents away? Can they feel God’s love
through surrogate hands? And am I making excuses or listening to God’s timing for our

Anytime I go to the airport to help welcome home a sweet new child I find myself a daze
on the way home. Crying (of course) and wondering when when it be our day to adopt.
Will it come through international adoption or foster care? And as always... am I doing
enough now? Should I have gone out to dinner or given than money to help so
and so’s adoption?

For now I have to be content knowing that my calling to help orphans is real, but for now
it must lie in a supporting role. For now I offer prayers to God, Advocate with passionate
words and support adopting and Fostering families directly through friendship and
fundraising help.

Every part of life is a season, one which comes and goes, and this is my waiting,
wondering season when it comes to adoption. It will pass and give life to something
new, probably something terrifying and full of paperwork.


Leanne Penny is a full time wife, mother and all around creative spirit who spends her days raising two beautiful children and trying to find a quiet time to think in between sessions of coloring and matchbox cars.  She also loves to write and does so often on her own blog in addition to writing occasional pieces for online magazines and blogs.  Her favorite writing topics are grief, grace, motherhood and redemption.

Follow Leanne at her blog leannepenny.com
You can also find her on twitter and facebook


  1. Anonymous11/03/2014

    I needed this so badly. I, too, have a very real calling to adopt. I currently have 3 biological children all under the age of 3. People think we are crazy for wanting to adopt with our hands so full and sometimes I think so too. However, knowing with every bone in my body that I am called to take in a child, I am often left in tears wondering when? When do I start the process? When my babies are older? Now? Ten years? My baby could already be in this world in another country hungry and alone. It's truly heartbreaking. Thank you for this article. It left me feeling not so alone in my journey.

    1. I'm so glad Leanne's post helped you feel less alone. The fact that there are children without families in this world is absolutely heartbreaking; it is right for us to feel such sadness when we reflect on it. You will know when it is time. It's not usually a "100%" certainly, but it is a compelling feeling inside. I am already excited for you to begin your own adoption journey, whenever that may be!


I love reading your comments! Those left on posts older than 2 days will require moderation.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...