Adoption of the Month - July 2014
My name is Beth and my husband is Mark. We have three children, Calvin is 4 years Lydia who is 3 and Malakhi is currently 3 months old. We recently moved to Spokane from Cincinnati Ohio because Mark was offered a job teaching Sociology at Whitworth University. Our favorite things to do are travel to cool places, be outside, have family movie night, and play Uno. We talked about adoption almost as soon as we started dating. I explained to Mark that I had wanted to adopt children since I was young, and that if we were going to get serious, he would need to be okay with that. Mark agreed that he was okay with adoption and the rest is history.
When we got ready to start a family, we discovered that we had fertility issues. We decided to begin addressing those issues and pursue adoption simultaneously…three months later, we met a birth mom who wanted to place her son with us; three months after that, our son Calvin was born and changed our lives forever. We haven’t stopped adopting since.
Adoption is an amazing and special journey. It is the richest way to build a family that anyone can imagine. Our love for our kids is fierce beyond what we can describe, and daily we are thankful that they, in all their uniqueness, were chosen to be part of our family. It is incredible.
However, adoptive parenting is not the same as biological parenting in all ways. There are challenges that are unique to adoptive kids and adoptive parents, and these challenges need to be embraced and addressed rather than ignored in order to best support our kids as they grow into their identities. We have been intentional to educate ourselves on the topic of adoption and to surround ourselves with other adoptive families, and this has been one of the best decisions we have made for ourselves and our kids.
Mark Iverson is a great resource for adoptive families. The first thing that struck me about Mark is his approachability. Since the first phone call, he has spoken with us personally. He helped us become fully comfortable with the adoption process in Washington, which was huge for us because we were doing an interstate adoption and had tons of questions. Mark never made us feel rushed or like we were a burden to him, but rather seemed genuinely excited to help us build our family through adoption. This type of personable professional is rare to find and made our process so much more enjoyable!
We have witnessed love beyond what we could have imagined prior to adopting…we honestly shake our heads often at the wonder of how amazing our kids are and the fact that we get to be their parents and watch them grow up. It is just such a privilege.
In addition, we have had to grow personally in ways we would not have without adoption. We have had to navigate the grief of infertility. We have to be constantly aware of the adoption-related comments, questions, and beliefs surrounding us so that we can help our kids know how to handle those things. As we have adopted children of different racial backgrounds we have had to be intentional about building relationships with people who come from different ethnic backgrounds, and about learning history and cultural practices pertinent to our kids. These things have all been challenging but incredibly enriching to our lives.
Finally, we get to walk with other people who find themselves in various stages of the adoption process. It has been amazing to watch several of our friends now build their families through adoption.