why we're not "just adopting"

It had been about 9 months of trying when I first got the question. 
The one makes me have to pray for grace. 
The question itself just flows out so nonchalantly... in such a "just what you say" kind of way. 

'"Why don't you all just adopt?

To many it seems like the obvious next step.... 
as if adopting after infertility is as expected as baptism after salvation.
 I know the intentions are well behind it. 
I know the words aren't supposed to hurt or anger. 
But the truth is... they do.

So how do I answer that question? For me the answer comes out something like this...
"Joel and I feel led to adopt... whether conception is ever part of our story or not. However, right now is not the time.

And I leave it at that. They usually start telling me about every story they've heard where someone adopted and then got pregnant. They usually want to offer information about this adoption agency or that one. Once again, I know they're intentions are good. I know they mean well. I know that infertility makes them uncomfortable the same way it does most of us.

But here are some reasons why we (and many other infertile couples) aren't "just adopting." 
Why adopting is not something you should put the word "just" before.

1. Adoption is not everyone's calling.

For some reason it is assumed that if you want kids and can't get pregnant right away, automatically God is calling you to adopt. Obviously, Joel and I feel called to adopt. We did before infertility was ever part of our story. But even still the timing and the child and the means must be on His timing and His leading.... not the automatic result of us not getting pregnant. While I do believe that infertility opens many hearts to adoption, not everyone who's barren feels called. There are many who do not feel peace about adoption the same way that we currently do not feel peace about fertility treatments. When you say the words "just adopt," it makes it seem like it's a simple decision that all infertile couples should make.

2. Adoption is expensive.

Worth it? Yes. But expensive. Adoption costs typically range from $8,000 to $40,000 dollars. When the time come that we feel peace about the timing of adopting we'll cross that bridge knowing He provides. However, I say this point so you realize the huge financial strain that comes with it. I don't know about you, but we don't have 20-30 grand hanging out in our account. 
When you say "just adopt" it makes it seem like we can go to the foster home, pick out a kid, and drive away as a family of 3. 

3. Adoption is a long process.

I love love love to  read adoption stories. I always have. While there are there a few couples that get their home study and have a child in 6-9 months without any major hurdles, this is the exception. Most spend a year + waiting to have their child or waiting to be picked by a birth mother. Not to mention that I've been hearing from many sources that most states want you to foster now before adopting. I admire the people the Lord equips to foster and if He ever led us that route, I would undoubtedly do it. However, He would have to make it very clear. When I get my cycle every month I grieve the child that was not. I feel like I'm losing my baby every month.... All that to say the thought of taking in a child, loving it as my own, and having it stripped from me makes me want to hyperventilate. I'm not saying I wouldn't do it if it's what the Lord asked of me... I'm just saying it's not for everyone. Adopting is a huge process. 
When you say "just adopt" it makes it seem like I can buy a baby at Walmart and it be mine forever. (Trust me if it were that simple/cheap, Husband would need to be worried how many crying infants he came home to each day.) 

4. Adoption is not a cure.

I get the great privilege through this blog of hearing many stories. Beautiful, tear-jerking stories. Just like in my last point, there are exceptions. There are women who feel completely healed and totally satisfied with adopting.... but this is not the majority. The longing to carry a child in the womb, feel it kick inside you, hear it's first cry, see your husband's attributes perfectly meshed with yours, are God-given desires. For most women, we're simply wired that way. It's why you see little girls rocking baby dolls and stuffing balloons up their shirts. Adoption is so wonderful and I know the Lord uses it. But while it might cure childlessness, it doesn't cure infertility. Also, everyone who adopts doesn't get pregnant as a result. The exception stories are awesome, but please stop suggesting we'll get pregnant once we adopt. 
When you say "just adopt" it makes it seem like adoption is the solution for everyone.

5. Adoption is precious. 

I cry over adoption stories the same way I cry over birth stories. They are miraculous all the same. It is a marvelous gift to receive a child not of your flesh but still of  your heart. It is valuable and brave and so so precious. I praise the Lord that He adopted us and that He sends children to parents and parents to children. 
When you say "just adopt" it makes it seem like it's no big deal. 

If you have asked me or someone you love "Why don't you just adopt?" or even thought it, I'm not writing this to make you feel guilty. 
I'm writing this to give a different perspective. 
I'm writing this because that question causes me (and many others) such a strange range of emotions depending on their situation. 
Sadly, in addition to all of these things, the question makes me feel like you're giving up on me ever conceiving. The first time I was asked that question my immediate thought was, "we've only been trying 9 months. Don't give up on me yet." I know that's not how most many it, but let me tell you.... when your womb is empty and longing and grieving, you think some crazy things ha. 

So what should you ask instead? 
Ask about their next steps. 
Ask if they feel led to adopt at any point. 
Ask how you can pray for them.
Ask what they are struggling with. 

They'll appreciate you and likely open up to you instead of feeling defensive, frustrated, or defeated. 

post signature



  1. I loved this post!! Some of the most obvious thoughts that go through some people's heads have a lot more behind them than they realize when they ask them. Thanks for sharing as always Brandy!!

  2. Great post! You definitely hit the nail on the head. People are so quick to judge couples struggling with infertility, even when they don't have the facts about adoption. It really is up to the couple to pray and decide what God is leading them to do. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees. Thanks so much for writing this post! Ditto for me! :)

  3. I've had this question said to me so many times I can't count them..and although, like you, I would love to adopt and give some little baby or child a forever home. I also long so much to have one of my own..one that has my little ears and nose and my husband wonderful eyes and heart. It's hard when you feel people have given up that you will have a baby of your own. Thanks for speaking to my heart again...love you and your blog so much! :)

  4. They absolutely do Amberly. Thanks for all your sweet encouragement.

  5. Yeah... It's such a huge issue for people to just be interjecting (mindlessly) about. I know people mean well, but it's a question that needs to be left unspoken unless prompted by the Holy Spirit.

  6. I knew they're had to be others out there that could relate... and I wasn't surprised you were one of them Faith :) I'm so glad blog land has connected us! :)

  7. Monica Hilliard-GilbrethApril 6, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    When people say "why don't you just adopt?" I want to say "why don't YOU adopt?" I'm sorry. Did Jesus say "if you're infertile then care for the Widows and orphans"? No. It is not solely the responsibility of infertile couples to adopt. We actually started down the path of fostering and God absolutely slammed the door in our face. I always thought I would adopt some day but now I'm not sure if that's my path. Thanks for your thoughts. Super appreciated!!!!

  8. This is my first time to read your blog, and I'm wondering how you got into my mind. :) I'm sharing this on my personal FB page AND with my infertility support group. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!! Thank you for writing this!

  9. SO SO true! Haha... I love that response! Praying for direction in your journey.

  10. :) Thank you so much Laura!!!! It's feelings I think many of us can relate with!


to top