It seems before we can jump into India specifically, we need to talk a bit about international and domestic adoption. We have been told multiple times in a variety of ways that we should rethink our location because there is a massive need in our own country. There is definitely a need, this is true and we intensely appreciate all of the people who work to meet this need. Personally, we are not adopting domestically because our child(ren) are in India. This has been made incredibly evident to us in our particular story. I am pumped for those whose children are in Africa or China or Haiti or America and I’m genuinely thrilled that so many are going to them. Ours are in India.
The God thing that started our journey towards India specifically was a stumble upon a Netflix documentary called Blood Brother. The documentary follows a man that pursues a life loving on children in an orphanage in which all of the kids have HIV. You should watch it. It might change your life, too. It’s on Amazon Prime now. We dove quickly into learning more about India and the orphan crisis present there. There are almost 32 million orphans and abandoned children in India. This is the highest percentage compared to overall population in the world. Not all of these children are eligible for adoption and if you want to watch another documentary that follows abandoned children, check out Mother India (also on Prime). Again, prepare for your heart to be moved.
Another defining detail in adoption from India is the consideration of special needs. All adoptions from India to America involve children with at least one identifiable need. There is a significant stigma present there that considers people with special needs as less than, which sometimes transforms to unwanted. There is a wide range of what these needs look like, but again, we felt the heart tug with this element, too. We have always felt strongly that we would parent a child with special needs and this affirmed the call.
We’d be lying if we said logistics didn’t play a role as well. When we started this process, we could immediately write ourselves off of most Hague Convention countries due to our age, length of time married, or the amount of time necessary in country (which is tricky with two kids and full time positions). India hit who we are now pretty ideally, checks all of our standards of ethical behavior, and offers a relatively manageable timeline and process. Both our hearts and are heads were drawn to India and our prayers slowly, but definitively began to surround the country as well.
The intimidating factors of all of this are that we don’t know many people who have adopted from India and we have a lot to learn and experience about the culture. Of all of the considerations with adoption though, we are prioritizing this piece and making intentional decisions to widen our connections to honor and do life with these beautiful people. We have fallen in love with this country and consider it a true blessing that we will be connected to India always.