Monday, October 22, 2012

The day I quit our adoption process

 
(photo compliments of the talented Aimee Decker at Radiant Photography)

Last week I had a rough day.  I looked one of my BFFs in the face over dinner and I told her I was done.....

I want to quit our adoption process. 

Its been 2 years THIS MONTH since we began this journey.  What a LONGGGGGGG 2 years.

We've waited with 2 private agencies for well over a year.  We've had 10 birthmoms look at our profile and 9 of the 10 have selected families with NO children (we have 3 bio kiddos).

So, we started the process of adopting out of the foster care system back in May.

It seemed like this was a better fit for us anyway since we really don't want a newborn and our youngest is getting ready to turn 5.  Plus....my husband and I are 40 & 41....not spring chickens anymore.  We'd love to have our kiddos closer in age.

So we started foster care training classes and a new home study with the Dept of Family Services with a fresh optimism.

We are so close to being done.

Then I got a call last week.

Our social worker got a new position within the system (so right now we have no social worker).

Apparently the social workers for DFS in our area are being outsourced as of January 1.

Our social worker's boss called to introduce herself and to ask if we "have a child we are interested in adopting out of the system"?  Huh?  I guess she meant....are we aware of a child in the system that we want?  But, isn't all of that information in our file?  Our homestudy? The months of paperwork we already did with our social worker?  How do they know where we store the fire extinguisher in our home....but they don't know the details of the child we are looking for?????

She wondered if we have been to the state's website to "look" for a child?  Yes we have and they have like 6 kids on that non-updated site.  4 of the those kids have health issues. One is a sibling group and the other is a teenager.  None of those details are what we are looking for.  And why does that sound like "shopping for a child"? It just doesn't even sound right!

I guess I thought the social worker's job was to try to "match" children in the system with parents.
But, it sounds like their job is to just collect paperwork. And more paperwork.  And more paperwork.  It's OUR job to find a child.  And to that..... I started to break out in a cold, shaky sweat.

She asked if we are "networking with other foster care parents"?  Nope....just the few we know personally.  Who has time to network???  We have a busy family of 3 kids already!  I'm lucky if I get to use the restroom in peace....let alone "network".

She asked if we are joining foster care groups and online lists?   Nope....I didn't know there was such a thing. 

She could tell I was getting frazzled. She told me to "not get discouraged".  Then I think I began a half sob, half hysterical sounding laugh that came straight from my belly.   She probably put that in my file..... "adoptive mother sounds frazzled and at her wit's end".

My guess is, bless her heart, .... she's never adopted.  How can I expect her to understand the emotions on OUR SIDE of the equation if she's never walked it herself?

The PROCESS of adoption....as my husband and I know it.....has been full of DISCOURAGEMENT.

I don't say that to get your sympathy.  This is the cross that the Lord is asking us to carry right now and I know you all have your own crosses you are bearing too.....many of which are life threatening and terrifying and way worse than this situation.

I just share with you because I hear lovely story after lovely story after lovely store of adoptions gone RIGHT. But there are probably more stories like ours.  I have an awesome family whose arms are open wide for another child and we just.can't.seem.to.get.her.

And so,  forgive me for the words that came from my mouth to my friend Laura last week.....

"I WANT to quit.  I am done".

She didn't try to convince me otherwise.  She just listened and loved me where I was that for that moment.  And she nodded her head in the appropriate places....but her eyes told me she was calling my bluff.  She knows me better.

The next day..... I arose early to seek the Lord and pray and petition Him for His grace another day. 

And I told the Lord EXACTLY what I think of this adoption process.

And I reminded Him that if He is still calling me (us) to this process that I feel fragile and weak and like a quitter right now.

And I begged Him for a dose of encouragement for that day.  I told Him I needed a sign FROM HIM.....that we are still on the path He is leading us on. That we are still supposed to adopt.

And then I headed to work.

I was in a meeting with one of my builders and a few paints reps and another faux finisher in the KC area that morning. 

The other faux finisher asked how many kids I have?

I replied "3.... and we are trying to adopt".

And that was the opening God used.  My friendly competitor smiled big and drew his cellphone out of his pocket.

And he showed me a video of his bio little girl with a little African American boy he and his wife adopted 2 years ago.

And then he told me their 2nd adoption of a biracial newborn will be complete in 2 weeks.

And he told me to "hang in there".  He said "you will never regret it". And he encouraged me by saying "it's the best thing my wife and I have ever done".

I think my mouthed just gaped open because I was just so grateful that God was using this near stranger to encourage me and to spur me on.

So I called my husband on the way home and I cried.

Cried because God is so good.  And I don't want to be a quitter.  But I do want this long process to be eventually OVER.

We are literally one more home visit away from being finished with our home study.

We have 2 all day classes in November to take and we will have completed our 41 hours of training to become parents who can adopt from the foster care system.

And so my friends, DFS wants us to network.  Well, THIS BLOG is the best networking tool I have.  I have almost 1000 followers and another 400 follow me thru emailed posts.  Will you share this post on your Facebook page?  Will you send it to other parents who may be aware of children in the system needing a family??  Will you keep your ears open for us?

We are interested in adopting..... a healthy girl..... of any race..... under the age of 5.... whose parental rights have been or are moving in the direction of being terminated.

Please keep us in mind if you hear of a situation like this.  It can be anywhere in the US.  Once we are licensed, we can adopt from any state.

And please pray for us and the child the Lord would ask us to raise.

Pray for God's timing.

And for my heart.

Thank you blog friends. You truly are the best.

Isaiah 40:31 "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Gal 6:9  "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up".

PS 126:5 "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy".



18 comments:

Hilary Kleese said...

Just want you to know that I'm praying for you through this process and have you, your family and your little-daughter-to-be in my prayer journal. Can't wait 'til I learn what her name is, cuz I've been praying for her and for you since I knew you were endeavoring to adopt.
Love,
Hilary

Julie said...

I love your post today. Faith brings miracles.

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Ha! I was thinking as I was reading this post. She is NOT quitting. Nope. then I thought of Gal 6:9 ...Do not Grow weary in well doing; for at the proper time you WILL reap a HARVEST IF YOU DO NOT GIVE UP.
What I want to say to you is this... (and you probably already know it)...The harvest is not the child that you will train up in the way of the LORD. The harvest is the blessing from God you will have for ALL ETERNITY.

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

...Oops! I was crying and hit the send...
I was about to say,
Yes! this is your witty comment stalker... and I don't have anything witty to say. Just offering encouragement.
...{hugs} and The grace of the LORD Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Phil. 4:23

Pat

Gypsy Heart said...

I've had you and your family on my prayer list since you mentioned adopting. I know this is not an easy road but God is going to reward you BIG time! It's all in His perfect timing and we, as humans, normally have a bit of impatience with that. :)

Expect a miracle!
xo
Pat

Kathy Irwin said...

I have been in your shoes, although twenty years ago. No one knows the frustration unless they have been through it. We were adopting through Catholic Charities and did receive a precious girl. We reapplied and waited forever. Others in our group were placed with babies. I felt this supervisor didn't like us and would almost make me want to scream at her. We finally after two years took our names off the list. I wrote a letter to the head of CC and voiced my concern, only to make myself feel better. Two days later, the supervisor called. They had a baby girl for us. I don't know if it was my letter for sure but I think it helped. I was just so sad and frustrated. But our wishes came true and the supervisor was removed within six months. I wish I could make things happen for you. Good luck and know that God will do what is right. Kathy Irwin

momma-o-minnie said...

I know the frustration and heart ache, but I want you to know that if it is God's will, it will happen. One week before Christmas we became adoptive parents to a baby abandoned in the snow, left to die. A man named Lam Madonna (don't you love his last name?) found the newborn in the snow, and our name was the first on the list. This wee mixed race baby was placed with us within 3 hours of being found - although we had to wait 3 days until he was released from the hospital. But, he was and is our answer to prayer. He's 16 now, and every Christmas we praise God for giving us this precious child.

momma-o-minnie said...

I know the frustration and heart ache, but I want you to know that if it is God's will, it will happen. One week before Christmas we became adoptive parents to a baby abandoned in the snow, left to die. A man named Lam Madonna (don't you love his last name?) found the newborn in the snow, and our name was the first on the list. This wee mixed race baby was placed with us within 3 hours of being found - although we had to wait 3 days until he was released from the hospital. But, he was and is our answer to prayer. He's 16 now, and every Christmas we praise God for giving us this precious child.

Frugal Jen said...

Praying for your family.

I think you've passed the patience test so God, please let them enjoy the fruits of their labor and get this little girl to her family, quickly!

zaccalmt said...

We have been on a 3.5 year adoption journey, and we are near the quitting point, so I understand. We took a 10 week, 20 hour course in Florida. 2 home visits, mountains of paperwork, fingerprints...then we were transferred to GA before they could get us finished. Here, we have taken another 20 hours of classes, filled out all of the paperwork again, been fingerprinted, had a home visit. We are moving again in 7 months, and as slow and ridiculous as the process is (1 year in FL, over 2 years in GA), we know they will not finish in time. Lost papers, incorrect information, days and weeks without answers or response. We are adoption only, as well..and at one point we were told there was no need for that. We aren't looking for newborns...we want a sibling group, any ages, any race. I know we must be doing the right thing, right? But door after door has been shut in our face.
I am so glad you have renewed HOPE! I hope we receive the same!

Angie said...

This was a very moving post. I just prayed for you. I thought of something our pastor says when you mentioned all the beautiful stories of adoptions "gone right." He says that in life of others (especially in the blogging world), what we often see is their "highlight reel" and not the actual story...which is usually much darker than the "highlights." I've never heard of a totally seamless adoption. In fact, I've heard more heartbreaking stories than happy ones. Whatever your outcome, you are absolutely right to just trust Jesus through it and it sounds like He is meeting you, just when you need Him most. I pray you get that beautiful little girl!

Kimber G said...

wow! How amazing God is to send someone to you, and then you become that person for me! We have also been in the process for over 2 years with no results. We have 2 bio kids, ages 12 and 14 (they were 9 and 11 when we started this), and we are with our second organization- we do have a support group thru them and they also give us the opportunity to provide respite for other foster parents- but, we have had multiple conversations that maybe we are too idealistic about our age requirements. We absolutely believe that this is a calling for us, and that God's timing doesn't always square with ours. There have been several occasions where we have felt the need to "make things happen", but each time we are reminded to "let go and let God". Thank you for sharing your story....I hope it helps you to know there are more of us working through the very same thing.

Christopher Barnette said...

I hope some of this info is helpful. I can only imagine the pain and frustration of putting your heart out there, only to have it trampled by a broken system. You just want to provide the love and family a child needs-if only it were that simple. There is an organization, you may or may not know about, called Show Hope that maybe able to assist you. You can find their information at www.Showhope.org and www.howtoadopt.org. The Christian organization was founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his family. I pray you find renewed strength to carry on, and know God is still with you whether you feel Him or not. I wrote on this subject in my blog yesterday: http://sea-way.weebly.com/1/post/2012/10/what-color-is-that.html. The labor and pain you are experiencing in this adoption may very well stand in place of the labor pains of giving birth. God bless and keep pushing. 

Lilas For Mom said...

I follow a blog called White Sugar, Brown Sugar. You should check her out. I think you will be encouraged by her site. Plus she might be someone you could connect with for support and networking. Check her out. BTW I love following your blog. Hang in there. The Lord would not have started you down this path just to have it end in frustration. I agree with the labor pains comment. Praying that is all this is for you. Blessings!

Emily said...

My heart hurts to hear of the struggles this process has put your family through. My parents were having similar struggles 22 years ago while the Lord was planning bigger things for the 3 of us. My parents got married in their forties and my mother was unable to have children of her own. They were working with an adoption agency but they were older than the ideal parents and never able to be placed with a child. Their prayers were answered from an unforseen place. My mother was a teacher and the father of one of her students was an OB/GYN. He had a patient who was a young, single girl unable to take on the responsibility of a child and wanted to find a safe home for her child. The doctor shared my parents story with her and that's how I was able to be matched with my parents, who are the the most incredible people I could ever have the blessing of knowing. Don't lost hope because God had a plan for each of us that is so much greater than we can imagine!

Jennifer Wedemeyer said...

This breaks my heart to hear you say you want to quit. I know for a fact that you will make an amazing mommy to some blessed child (already 3 blessed kiddos in your family). It's a long journey and every single adoption is different just like a fingerprint and sometimes that journey is long, hard and will be so worth it in the end. I'm praying for you, I've walked a similar path and it was 8 years of fertility treatments, 6 miscarriages and 3 failed adoptions until we finally held our sweet little Makenzie in our arms for the first time. Time stood still and it was like none of that had ever happened. Your day WILL come!
This is the scripture we used and stood on in faith that God would match us up with the perfect child.
1 Samuel 1:27
For this child I prayed; and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of him.

Also, have you read Kisses from Katie? You HAVE to read it!
Love, hugs and cyber hugs!



Des said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I know the feeling of being broken, bringing your brokenness before the Lord, and realizing that God cares that much. Can God heal broken marriages..yep. Can He heal empty wombs...(like mine) ...yep. Can He bring you the perfect little girl...yep. Could she land on your doorstep tomorrow....yep. Because our God is awesome like that. Maybe giving up in a way is a good thing. Giving up the emotional struggle is often were we end, and God does His miracles. Big hugs.

D said...

I'm so glad you've decided to press on. God is good, amen?
I will keep you in my prayers.

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