Adoption is an option. What are you waiting for? (column)
WEST OLIVE, MI – Smiling and in ties, Keegan and Caleb sat on the lap of the Chief Justice of the Ottawa County Estates Court.
In the manner of the minutes, hammer blows and the signature of Judge Mark A. Feyen signaled the adoption of the two young boys into the Bogardus family – joining mum Rebecca, dad Cam, older sister Audrey and older brother Jacob.
Moments later, they joined 10 members of their extended family to take photos.
Adoption is love. Adoption grows and creates families. Adoption is an option.
Have you thought about adoption? If so, what are you waiting for?
My family has been affected by the adoption. It made me a father. If you need a push to adopt, here’s your push.
Keegan, 6, and Caleb, 4, were among the many children who received their Forever Homes on Michigan Adoption Day Tuesday.
Shortly after officially becoming a parent to two more boys, Rebecca Bogardus was asked if she thinks people tend to overthink adoption or becoming a foster parent. She paused for a moment, then smiled.
“You just have to get the information,” she said of her advice to others thinking about it. “It will never be 100 percent.”
She’s right. Emotionally, financially, spiritually, you will never have everything perfectly in place. If you are a birth parent, did you have everything prepared before you brought your child home from the hospital?
Stop overthinking it. Do you want to give a child a loving home? If so, then take a look at it.
Maybe you are the kind of selfless person who can be a foster parent and provide a loving home in the hope that the child is eventually reunited with their biological parents. This was the initial plan for Cam and Rebecca Bogardus.
Perhaps you are ready to be a foster parent with the intention of eventually adopting. Michigan’s foster care system has approximately 13,000 children, some of whom are now ready for adoption.
You may be ready to adopt a baby and work with a birth mother through the open adoption process. This was the case for the Meinema family who finalized the adoption of Tallulah on Tuesday.
The world is full of children who need parents. It could be you.
Adoption Day, like the one in Ottawa County, is an annual event for many counties in Michigan. Special hearings, open to the public and the media, are designed to draw attention to adoption and need. The Kent County event is scheduled for December 5th.
Adoption Day is an inspiring event. Unless you’re a doctor or registered nurse, we don’t have much opportunity to see the exact moment a child is part of a family. For many of us, this happens in a hospital room around the time of birth.
On adoption day, we can see it happening.
Parents shed tears, share heartwarming stories, and describe joys and struggles.
The judge pointed out that Thanksgiving week is a great time to hold these adoption confirmation hearings, as adoption and children placed in adoption homes are worth grateful for.
If you’ve thought about it, now is the time. Don’t let another year go by and you read about Michigan Adoption Day 2020. Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange is a good place to start.
Your son or daughter could be living with a foster family or just being born. Your son or daughter could be thousands of miles away in another country or just down the street.
Your child is waiting for you.
Eric Gaertner is the News Leader for MLive / The Grand Rapids Press.