We chatted with adoptive first-time parents Bob and Katie Ruth about their journey and what it’s like to adopt as first-time parents!
“We had been married for 7 years and struggled with infertility throughout that time,” said Katie. “Bob and I had thought about adoption but, we hadn’t put that much effort in. We were still wondering about biological kids, and whether or not we should have kids at all. We were praying about it, but I just wasn’t feeling up for any more fertility treatments. We were waiting for God to put us on a path for what we were supposed to do. We weren’t stressed about it; we were focusing on enjoying our marriage and waiting to see what God had planned for our family.”
One day, Katie stumbled upon a Facebook ad for All God’s Children International and clicked on it. She ended up signing up for the email list and started thinking more about adoption. They continued to receive emails about waiting kids, but they just weren’t ready to begin their adoption journey. But then in April of 2017, the Ruths received an email with a picture of their now son’s face.
“We didn’t know anything about adoption, but when I got that email, as soon as I saw his face, I had this moment of clarity and just knew that he was my child,” said Katie. “I had so much clarity that I didn’t even talk to my husband, I just called AGCI to ask about him. That’s when I learned that he had been diagnosed as autistic and had microcephaly.”
Amazingly, Katie’s answer to this was, “I don’t care, we’re ready to move forward. All children come with a gamble. There’s no such thing as a perfect child. However he comes, we want to move forward.”
Bob had the same reaction. They just felt that he was their son. They immediately contracted with AGCI and started the process.
As new parents taking on a 4, almost 5-year-old, Bob and Katie’s biggest concern was how do they actually become parents? What’s everyday life going to look like?
“Something that I really want people to know is how similar adoption is to having biological children,” said Katie “I feel like there are so many stigmas about adoption being so different from having biological children. While there are differences, there are so many parallels between them. I would encourage anyone that is struggling with infertility or thinking about bringing a child into their home for any reason, to consider adoption.”
Katie and Bob feel that all children are a gamble. Whether you have a biological child or adopt, there are no guarantees—but you shouldn’t assume that a child is “broken” either.
“When you sign up for parenting, you sign up for parenting. There will be surprises and good times and bad times. But it’s so worth it. Whatever way you decide to become a parent, it’s worth it. We just felt like if God wants us to have this child, we’re going to have this child,” Bob said.
Cesar has now been home for 18 months. Amazingly, Cesar is not autistic and has no special needs besides a small speech delay. He is attached and bonded and doing wonderfully! Bob and Katie credit much of this transition to TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) and intentionally integrating connected parenting.
“It’s important for people to understand that these kids come with trauma, and that trauma changes the brain. The good news though is that with love, stability and the right parenting their brain can change again to move away from the trauma and into a secured attachment,” Katie said.
“The moment we met Cesar, all of our fears and anxieties about becoming parents melted away. When we came into the room, the first words he said were, “ma, pa” and gave us a big hug. These were actually the first words he had ever spoken. All of the paperwork, all of the stresses, the work—it was all gone. It was all just worth it,” said Bob.
“This was the biggest gift he could have given us,” said Katie. “He didn’t get to choose us as his parents. These little kids are so much braver than any of us could ever be.”
Bob and Katie feel that adoption chose them. It unfolded naturally; they chose Colombia because that’s where their son was.
To learn more about adoption, reach out to us.