1. Why did you adopt? What led to that decision?
We were seven years married and still no children. Friends and family members however did not seem to face this challenge and were bearing children both planned and unplanned ! In the seven years we visited various specialists for different procedures. By God’s grace we were able to get the very best care, although some of the procedures were cold and clinical and not the joyful experience that we had imagined making a baby would be! At one time I remember one of the specialists sharing the good and the bad news: there was nothing wrong with us and therefore there was nothing they could treat! In the meantime the clock was ticking and still – no baby.
By this time we were in our late twenties and we could feel the pressure from friends and family beginning to mount. But somehow by God’s grace, even at that young age, we knew we could not afford to succumb to this pressure. I instinctively knew that if I equated the ability to give birth with my womanhood or sense of God’s favor and blessing it would lead me down a path of despair and desperation and I did not want to go that way. My husband and I therefore chose the path of adoption.
2. How was the experience? What fears did you have before and during the adoption process?
It was not easy either. There was scant information at the time and I was also anxious about the process: what would our families say? Would they love our children as if they were biological? Would we bond with our children? And lastly would there be things in the children’s spiritual background that would affect them later in life?
Not wanting to let these questions dampen our resolve, we embarked on a journey of discovering answers to this mythical process. We bought books on adoption, talked with friends who had undergone the process and even got a counselor friend to agree to hold a seminar for would-be adoptive parents at church. Some of our questions were answered and for the the ones that were not, we knew God wanted us to discover them as we journeyed with Him.
Fifteen years and three adopted children later, we have absolutely no regret about the journey God has taken us through! It has been a journey for everyone including our extended family. I think some of them may have struggled at first although they were very gracious. We chose not to take it personally but rather pray for them in their journey with us. We also chose to be open with our children right from when they were babies about our adoption story. Our family narrative is one of joy at having the privilege of choosing our children!
One of my key lessons is, children are a gift from God but we cannot demand how this gift comes to us!
Wanjiru Kihusa is the Founder of Still A Mum. She is also a writer and speaker on child loss and rainbow motherhood.