Pastor and Mrs. Karsies share their experiences adopting their two children.
At the time we adopted our children the United Way and the Salvation Army both had homes to care for unwed mothers in our area. The Florida Children’s Home worked with both of these organizations.
Once a year the Florida Children’s Home would take a certain number of applicants to interview. These interviews were very thorough. We were interviewed together and separately. We were asked questions about disciplining children, type of job, income, religion, our relative’s feelings about adoption, and would there be a “stay at home” mom to care for the child. The most difficult question was when we had to make a list of “qualifications” for our baby. Our list was very short—drug free, and healthy. The interviewer made us tell what our least favorite color of hair was! We said it was green! They were serious about finding a child that would meet our expectations. There were also two home visits to see what our home was like and if we had a separate bedroom for a new family member. The promise from the home was that by the end of the year a child would be placed with us if we were approved.
After its six week check-up and all the legal papers were filed, the case worker called and described a baby to us. We were asked if this sounded like a child we would want to adopt. Of course, we said, “Yes!” At the Children’s Home we waited in an office and the baby was brought to us. The case worker told us that she would leave us alone so we could decide if we felt “drawn” to this child or did we want to wait for another. We could not convince her that we didn’t need anymore time to decide. Our decision to adopt this child was made before the first interview! They insisted that we needed this time. So, we played with the baby and waited for her to come back.
At the end of a month there was a final visit to see how things were going and if we wanted to finalize the adoption. To finalize, we met with a judge. He had to meet us and see the baby. After a friendly talk we signed papers, paid a court cost, and paid the adoption fee to the Florida Children’s Home. This was a closed adoption. The cost at that time to adopt was 7% of our annual income. It is quite different now. There are no homes for unwed mothers, a long waiting list, and the cost for adopting is $10,000 or more.
Although adopting a child is exciting, it is not for everyone. There are some very important things to consider before you apply to adopt a child. Remember, this is a child that will become a part of your family and not a pet that you can give away when you are tired of any inconveniences. This little child will require your time, money, understanding, and a rescheduling of your life. Be sure you are ready to love a child who was not born to you as though you were their birth parents!
We have never regretted adopting our two beautiful children. What special times we have had explaining to them how much we love them and how thankful we are that the Lord made them a part of our lives. Sometimes we go months and years without ever thinking they are adopted. Such a privilege it has been to share the gospel with them and to help them to fulfill the purpose God has for their lives. They are God’s gift to us!