Typically when couples talk about starting a family the conversation includes things like which hospital to use, is someone going to be able to help mom when the newborn comes home, and emergency numbers for when momma goes into labor. Things not usually on the discussion list are FBI clearance letters, raising money to pay application fees, and international travel plans. However, for Steven and Adrienne Parks from Goodlettsville, who have chosen to begin their family by adopting from Bulgaria, this latter list is just the tip of the iceberg.
Adrienne, a teacher of students with intellectual disabilities and coordinator of the Hand-in-Hand program at Pope John Paul II High School, says many people are curious about why they have chosen to adopt when they could have children biologically. Her response may bring tears to your eyes:
"There are many, many children in this world who have been abandoned and neglected. They are living in orphanages or foster home... all of them are God’s children. I cannot parent all of these children. I can, however, be the parent of one child. I can love, support, and offer this child the opportunities that he or she would not otherwise have. I can teach this child about Jesus and help him or her grow in faith. This child may not grow inside of me for nine months, but this child is already growing in my heart."
After reading this, and many more heart-felt postings on their blog, it boggles the mind that kind, caring, dedicated individuals such as Steven and Adrienne have to go through so much - fingerprinting, background checks, financial hardship- to bring an abandoned child into a loving home while parents who "go the biological route" don't have to do so much as attend a class on diapering. We could only hope and pray that every child who comes into this world has parents as committed and loving as the Parks' are.