Adopted Sons

A few years ago, I wrote a piece on Adopted Dads, recounting the importance of having him in my life.  Well, I guess turn about is fair play.  He has recently started a blog and I asked if I could run part of it here:

Guest Blog by Mark Williams

Maurice Broaddus doesn’t need anyone to toot his horn for him; He does a perfectly good job of that for himself. Afterall, this is a guy who holds an annual convention named for himself. Mo-Con has been gathering horror authors together in Indianapolis for 5 years now. Maurice has been writing professionally for some time. His pontifications can be found on his blog, his reviews at Hollywood Jesus, and in columns for Nuvo among many other sources. He has had short stories, novellas and now novels published. I have had the privilege to watch his growth longer than most.

Maurice came into my life about 30 years ago. He was a studious 4th grader who took part in the Sunday School class I taught at the Eagle Creek Grace Brethren Church. The class was filled with a crew of enjoyable but rowdy boys. There was something about Maurice that drew me to him. He was polite, studious and eager to learn. He was new to the church and was just learning to fit in, initially quiet and a bit reserved. All of those qualities made me want to reach out to him, but it was more that. I felt a connection with him. God laid a burden on my heart to befriend this young man

Maurice has brought so much joy in my life. Before I had boys of my own, Maurice filled the place in my heart reserved for fatherhood. My wife and I would have Maurice over to our house sometimes just to play games in the backyard sometimes to spend the night watching movies. Over the years, we spent countless hours discussing a variety of topics finding mutual interests in comic books, horror stories, politics and most importantly the Bible. Maurice always amazed me with his thirst for knowledge. He was never satisfied with what he was being taught in school and he would go to great lengths to expand his knowledge. I remember when he was in junior high his complaining the school didn’t have a class in Latin available so he set out to try and teach himself Latin by checking out books in the Library. I also remember when he was in High School and he had to write a science paper and he elected to defend creation and argue against evolution, this done in public school. Maurice makes me proud. I watched with pride when he accepted his diploma at Northwest High School, married Sally, introduced me to his sons, took on leadership positions in his church and most recently gave me copies of his first published novel and the book of short stories he edited.
I like to think I have had some influence on Maurice’s life. I know he has had influence on mine. The most important part I played was introducing him to Jesus Christ. Maurice has remained faithful to God and has led others to the Lord himself and has counciled many in his various ministries.

I don’t get to see Maurice as much as I would like. He leads an extremely busy life and I too have limited time for social gathering. I read his blog, which is very well crafted and I heartily endorse for those who want well thought out discussions on the issues. He is certainly his own man, and where once before we agreed on most everything, Maurice now has formulated opinions I sometimes question. I have concerns about his judgment at times just like every father has concerns for a son who ventures in a direction where peril might lay. But my confidence in Maurice is not diminished. He has pursued his goals steadfastly and is now seeing the fruit of his efforts.

Maurice has become an accomplished writer. He has won awards for his short stories written a novella Devil’s Marionette and has co-authored the novella Orgy of Souls with Wrath James White and most recently signed a 3 book deal with Angry Robot a division of Harper Collins. The 3 books will comprise a trilogy telling the story of The Knights of Breton Court. Maurice has also edited, along with Jerry Gordon, an anthology Dark Faith for Apex Books.

He goes onto give his opinions on King Maker and Dark Faith.  But I’m not linking to him anymore if he’s going to keep posting old pics of me.  Sheesh.

Adoption Guest Blog

Every now and then, I turn this blog over for the occasional guest blog. Usually it means that I’m in the middle of writing deadlines and I’m crunched for time. Now is no exception, though some of my writing deadlines, ironically enough, are for blogs. Adoption is a bit of a recurring theme on my blog, mostly because many of my friends are in the process of adopting children, all of them across racial lines. Since I’ve already written about one such family pursuing a multi-cultural adoption, I thought we’d hear from my friend, Stephanie Weber, first hand.

We celebrated our first “Gotcha Day” with our adopted son Noah on October 4, 2005. Gotcha Day is the first day that you are united with your adopted child. That day is burned in our memory and one of the happiest of our lives. The often painful lead up to Gotcha Day, just as in giving birth, is not nearly important as the day that you hold your new child in your arms.

We are blessed with one biological and one adopted child. We are currently in the process to adopt again, adding our third child to the mix. We are again treading water, waiting for a child that will someday join us, with God’s blessing.

With adoption, we don’t get to celebrate pregnancy or the process. For us, it’s usually a time of frustration, doubt, worry, financial strain and emotional anguish. For most of us, it comes on top of the physical, emotional and financial strain of infertility. People don’t talk about it or, you don’t want to talk about it with certain people. How do you keep the faith thru it all?

The wonderful thing about adoption, is that with patience and the finances to pursue it, you will have a child in your arms. You can’t say that with the biological process, regardless if you have experienced infertility issues or not. There are so many children that need homes, here in the US and all over the world. Now in the US, people are adopting more often and more open about it. Via the internet, you can communicate with countless people that are in very similar situations. I was often comforted during our waiting time by people at forums.adoption.com.

We got to see faith in action thru adoption. As we are adopted into God’s family, so we add children into ours. We are not added to God until we are ready, and our children come to us in the perfect time for them and for us. Some children slip through our fingers, and we have to trust in God and his infinite wisdom. I can’t imagine making the adoption journey without God. Following is our story.

As I had lived in Japan and spoke the language, we had looked into adopting from Japan but found it generally took around 2 years and cost over $30,000. We then began the private adoption process, with the intent to adopt a black or biracial child. We wanted a child in need, whatever that need might be. As a Caucasian couple, it wasn’t important to us that our child “match” us. As an international minded couple, we wanted to add a culture to our family to celebrate.

The agency for Japan contacted us and told us they had a Japanese/Congolese baby about to be born and wanted to know if we’d be interested. We’d just finished our home study a month before for domestic adoption and immediately began amending it for this child. Two months later, as we waited for news about “our child,” we found out he’d been born with health concerns and was no longer eligible for adoption. We petitioned the Japanese agency, letting them know about our local children’s hospital and our commitment to the little boy but we were denied, told that his problems were too much for a family to handle. Devastated, we were asked if they could keep our names and that we might have another match in 6 months to 2 years.

We began our private adoption process again. Two weeks later, the same day that a local pregnant birth mother had chosen us to parent her child, we got a call from Japan. They had a baby boy born with a cleft palate and wondered if we’d be interested. We both knew that we wanted the little boy from Japan.

The next 6 months were very difficult. We were first told that we could probably bring him home after 3 to 4 months. At 2 months, they told us they wanted to keep him until 5 months for another check up. Afraid that we were going down the same path as the first matched child, we again petitioned for him, sending them lots of pamphlets from our children’s hospital, letting them know that he was “our child,” regardless of health problems and whatever the issue, he’d do better with us, at home.

God matched us 3 days shy of Noah’s 6 month birthday. We took our older daughter to Japan with us and got to spend 2 weeks together in Tokyo, adjusting to being a family of four.

Our son has some health problems but so did our daughter. I know that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. It’s written that trials bring us closer to God, to conform us to the likeness of Christ. While I don’t like the pain, and I have days where I doubt that truth, I know that God’s plan is always better than mine. When I look back at the trials that brought us Noah, I would go thru it all again, to have my son in my arms.

May God bless you and keep you as you wait for your “Gotcha Day.”

Feel free to share your adoption stories with me. I’d love to hear them, plus, I know my friends would love to see what other folks are going through.

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