We are the Jordan family: Jonathan, Christa, Kai (and the “furry brother” Sirius). Jonathan and I are both social workers turned writers and entrepreneurs, and we brought our son Kai home in March of 2014 from Japan through a private international adoption. Because of our social work backgrounds in child welfare, we chose to grow our family through adoption.
At the time Jonathan was still working in foster care, so it wouldn’t have been ethical for us to pursue adoption from foster care, and we also believe that foster care is meant for reunification.
International adoption was where we felt led, but it was important to us that we be able to incorporate as much of our child’s birth culture as possible. That led us to Japan, but we had never heard of anyone adopting from there. After a solid year of research and lots of prayer, the possibility was incredibly small and rare, but we decided to pursue it.
Our process was unconventional and you can read more about that in my book Moving Mountains, but we landed back home with our son in Texas one year to the day that we officially started the adoption process. The hardest part of our journey (there have been many!), was the lack of community and understanding. We were the first in our family/friend group to grow our family in this way, and we didn’t have community with other families that most people get with their agencies. We were on our own, and it was incredibly lonely, both pre and post adoption.
It took a long time for me to find where I “fit,” both in motherhood but also in the adoption and foster care community itself. My biggest piece of advice to anyone who is thinking about or wants to pursue foster care or adoption is do the work. Don’t blindly follow anyone, don’t push hard conversations to the side, don’t skip going inward and understanding why you even want to do this in the first place.
Education is a forever journey as a parent, and especially as a foster or adoptive parent. This is why I wrote a workbook called Before You Adopt: A Guide To The Questions You Should Be Asking. I wish something like that had been around when we were adopting.
The most rewarding part of motherhood for me is just getting a front row seat to watching him grow into his own individual self, to be able fan that flame and guide and direct him is both the biggest weight and beautiful miracle. It is the most growth filled journey for me as I shed what I always thought “should be” and continue to open and widen my lens to see him for who he is and celebrate that. I love being a stay at home, homeschool mom and the privilege of spending all of my days with him. I do also work from home as an author, blogger, and speaker. It took awhile to get to the point that I felt confident that I can both stay home and pursue my dreams. It doesn’t have to be one or other, and I think it has been so good for Kai to see both of his parents using their gifts, taking risks, making sacrifices, but pursuing what they love in different ways.
My encouragement and advice for moms is to run your own race. Stop comparing and looking around to what everyone around you is doing, do what is best for YOUR family, even when it is different. Fill your cup-you have the ability to both be mom and not allow your entire identity to be wrapped up in that title. Cherish these days, even the worst and hardest ones.
They too are filled with grace and growth.
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