(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".