I’ve been thinking and thinking about what to share in a blog post this week about our adoption process. We have recently had news that I was not at all anticipating and the emotional free fall has taken a few weeks to work through.
I mentioned in this previous blog post that my hubby and I have been made aware of 2 kiddos who parental rights were terminated in November. It seemed like an adoption story that only the Lord could write. A client hired us to paint some furniture. That client happened to be an attorney. That client/attorney happened to see my blog that we were trying to adopt and knew of 2 kids whose parental rights were terminated that week. It sounded like an adoption story that was meant to be.
The only part in the story that we were unprepared for was that our family has been wanting to adopt a little girl under the age of 5….we never dreamed of a 2 year old girl AND a 7 year old brother. The idea of taking in 2 kids was at first, a little daunting.
After the initial shock wore off, visions of life with 5 kids began to warrant permission for consideration in our hearts and minds. Over the course of a few days, the Lord really tore down the walls of our hearts about taking in 2 children. Our house can fit 2 more kids . Our vehicles can fit 2 more kids. Surely the Lord would sustain our energy levels and nerves and bank accounts and bio children, right? So, we decided to give permission for our home study to be considered for these kids and we asked to have the kids files emailed to us.
When we originally started this process, I niavely assumed that if we submitted our home study for a child/children and we were the only ones that did, that we would be selected to adopt them. That is not at all how it works. The state’s process is to “recruit” other families for the adoption process until they feel like they have enough families to “choose from”. We learned that after recruiting for these kids, 12 families total had submitted their home studies for the children. So, we knew our chances of adopting them were 1 in 12.
It took us 9 weeks to receive the kid’s file from the time I first heard about them. I don’t know why it took so long. Why does EVERYTHING in the system take.so.stinking.long??? By the time I got their files, I could barely wait. I was at a client’s home when the email came. And I forgot all about painting… I can tell you that. As I read the file….I read all about the 2 year old girl. And she sounded precious and precocious and busy and adorable!!!! But, it was the boy…..the boy who resonated most in my spirit. Totally unexpected, I fell in love with the boy….just by his file.
A child’s file includes information like names, birthday, physical/medical/mental information, current living situation, mom and dad’s situation, etc. The boy sounded like a little grown up in a child’s body. He sounded like my boys when they were 7….liking all things boyish. He sounded like someone who just needed to be allowed to play. And to be a kid. And to be wanted. And to be cherished. And within 5 minutes….I had already committed in my heart to mothering him.
We then asked for pictures of the kids. I couldn’t wait to see pictures of these doll babies that I was hoping would be ours. 5 weeks went by and our social worker kept saying they had not received pictures from the photographer yet. So, 2 weeks ago, I called her again to check on the photos.
It wasn’t that we necessarily “knew” we were going to be chosen for the kid’s forever family, it’s just that we felt certain we would be interviewed in the staffing process. The bottom line is…..we were cut from the team altogether when we at least thought we would make the “B” team. I called our social worker that morning to check on photos of the kids….I had no idea the door to these 2 children would totally close that day.
If I had wrote my blog post 2 weeks ago, I would have told you how badly I dislike the foster care system in the US.
I would have told you I can see why people quit this stupid, long, exhausting process.
And yet, I never felt like quitting.
And I will also tell you, it’s not over for us.
Over the course of the last 2 weeks, my heart has scabbed over. The Lord has helped me to process many emotions. I’m no longer crying at the mention of our adoption process. I’m no longer sighing from the very depths of my soul every few minutes. I am no longer freaking my husband out. But I am wondering if I will always take a piece of these 2 faceless babies with me in my heart? And I believe I will.
Perhaps our journey is also about writing our bio kid’s stories. They have journeyed with us for 2 1/2 years. My husband and I determined early on to share our process with our kids, even at the risk of hurting their hearts too. They need to see and deal with grief and anger and sadness and disappointment and confusion in the safety of our own home…..because they will experience all of those emotions in their own lives. Hopefully they will be better, stronger, kinder people because of our journey. I am choosing to believe God will use this for their good too!
And you know how you hear of alllllllll those kids in foster care needing adopted? The latest number is that 104,000 are in the system in the US right now ready for adoption. The problem is the process. It’s the system. It’s the bureaucracy. It’s the red tape. There are 104,000 kids in the system needing parents today….but we have not gotten a call on a single one of them. What is wrong with this picture? I will save those thoughts for another post.