“Man Plans, God Laughs”
The Road To Adoption Doesn’t Always Go As Planned
Heather Doyle first thought about adoption in the seventh grade when she met her best friend who was adopted from Korea. Having come from an instable childhood, Heather’s strongest desire was to have a family. She knew she wanted to parent birth and adopted children. That desire strengthened when she met her husband, David, who Heather calls her rock. When it came to family, they were both on the same page. In their pre-marital counseling sessions, they planned out their future: Birth children first, adopt later.
“Well, man plans, and God laughs,” Heather said. “It is His story. Not ours.”
Heather and David struggled with infertility for six years. They started trying for birth children as soon as they got married. After two years with no pregnancy, they sought help from a specialist. Two years later, they learned they both had issues that would make having a child difficult: Not impossible, just challenging.
“We did IUI and IVF and had a miscarriage,” Heather said. “We had enough needles in our house to make it look like an addict’s home. I shed a lot of tears. My heart ached as I longed to be a mother, but my body just would not let it happen. My heart had already given birth to children, but my body would do no such thing.”
By Summer 2012, Heather and David’s church offered a Discovering Adoption class, and David suggested they attend together.
“We talked about adoption many moons ago, but had never acted on it,” Heather said. “I went, but I went grumbling. Even my body language was not open those first few weeks.”
Heather was amazed by her teacher’s commitment to adoption. At first, Heather was confused why someone would take on the adoption of older children, especially the adoption of SEVEN older kids, but as Heather learned more about the need, she realized how amazing her teacher’s heart was.
“Sibling groups are considered a special needs group, because many people adopt to get a baby,” Heather said. “One baby. They don’t want to take on an entire group.”
Heather went on to explain the hard facts about foster care adoption: Placing children over the age of six is tough. Her class taught her that 75 percent of kids over six never get placed with an adoptive family, and they spend their life in and out of various homes within the foster care system. When they age out of foster care at age 18 without a support system, they are even more likely to end up in devastating situations: 25% in prison; 25% homeless; and 60% will become parents to their own children, and those children are twice as likely to end up in the foster care system. It’s a vicious cycle.
The Importance of Siblings
Learning all of this, Heather’s mind quickly went back to her childhood. Despite moments of instability, she always had her little brother, PJ. That’s all that mattered to her. Heather thought about all the kids who get separated from their siblings in the foster care system, and her heart grew.
“My ‘let’s get this class over’ quickly moved to ‘I can’t wait for our class this week and to be around this amazing teacher,’” Heather said. “David and I left the class in tears each night, grabbed a Coke ICEE and drove around talking and praying about adoption and God’s will for our life.”
The more Heather thought on it, and the more she and David talked about it, they knew they were meant to adopt a sibling group.
More From The Doyle Family Next Week
Tune in next Wednesday for more, which explores more of their adoption journey, especially the race to prepare.