*** Updated at the bottom
You may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything of great, um, personal insight in quite some time. I have been working on it. Trying to figure out how to say it all. Praying about the timing. And so here you go. Here is the update of what is really going on in our lives right now.
For several years, Tim and I have felt a little nagging deep inside towards foster care & adoption, but we both put it off as neither of us really WANTED to do it, you know. I mean really, who wants to go through all of the training, live in a way that you are daily encountering the “uncomfortable” and confronted with the marginalized of society – let alone face the inevitable pain that will come from letting go of a child you have loved on for weeks, months, or years go back to be “reunited” with a set of parents that you know will not give that child the same care you have, knowing you will never see that child again. Hearts ripped out.
So who wants that? Who actively seeks that out?
Well, after the lost pregnancies, and the failed adoption (for lack of better term) last year, we felt like we needed to heal for quite some time. Tim is very VERY, uncomfortable with doing another private adoption within the USA. Understandably so, he is very hesitant to commit again and have something horrendous happen like what happened last year. I can look back a year later and almost laugh at the preposterousness of all that went on surrounding that adoption. Almost. And Tim is getting there. But he is no closer to being open to private, domestic adoption again. So our only choices are foreign adoption and state adoption. So we are in a position of having to save for a foreign adoption (or at least half of it and then take out a loan for some of it) – but that will take some time to get there financially. By the time we have that 30,000 saved up, who knows what things will look like in our family….so we are not like, holding on to that as our solid plan!
But I digress.
As the end of Lent approached, we both began feeling called to look at this with new eyes, for a fresh perspective. Perhaps it is not that God is not answering our prayers for siblings for our children, but that He is preparing our family for something new and different.
I began to sense that we were being called to give homes to the orphans who already exist here in our own backyard – not in some foreign country.
I talked with Tim about it and he felt the same, it was like this was the mission we’d been waiting for as a family. God had brought it to us…we hadn’t had to go looking for it at all! And he didn’t need to bring us to the mission fields of Mexico when the poor and helpless are right here. He made it very clear in prayer that the love and commitment we had poured out to Zachary last year had fertilized the soil of our hearts…preparing us to receive each foster child in His name. So it is that we have decided to be licensed for foster care and state adoption. It’s the state’s Foster to Adopt program. Basically, we are open to fostering any children ages 0-3yrs and we can take up to 3 at a time. (because we already have 2 kiddos and they have rules about this sort of thing). Then, most exciting of all, we are also in the pool for prospective adoptive parents for any child within the state system who needs to be adopted (again ages 0-3, sibling group within that age restriction is okay with us, and we are open to any race). So, if God chooses to bring us a permanent placement sooner rather than later, then our fostering will be limited to none. If he chooses not to, then we will be simply fostering children for the unforeseeable future. Exciting, huh? The thought of having wee ones in the home again is thrilling to me! Even if just for a short stint at a time!
Anyways, once we made the decision is when the floodgates opened. I have cried almost every day for these children. My heart grieves for them and for their circumstances. Weeping for the love I know that we have for these little ones that so desperately need it. Weeping – overwhelmed and humbled by the fact that He chose us to this mission. Weeping at the blessings we have been given and with gratitude for the opportunity to share them with children who lack the basics. It rips my heart out to think that there are children in this world without someone who thinks that they hung the moon, someone to snuggle with them, hold them, pray with them, listen to them, play games with them, and rock them to sleep. Someone to make sure their clothes are clean, and that their shoes fit. Someone to ensure that they get healthy meals and snacks and allows them to eat until they are full. Someone to ensure they have a warm, clean place to sleep each night with their own blankets and stuffed animals, and their own pillow. Someone to take them to the doctor and dentist to make sure they are growing up strong and healthy. Someone to be there when they are sick, or sad, or lonely. Someone who’s going to just be there. Period.
Every child deserves this. To me, these are the basics. Food, and shelter, yes. And most importantly LOVE, TENDERNESS, and COMMITMENT.
Pray that we can be the vessel of grace God wants us to be for this mission. Pray that we can be open to His promptings. Most importantly, please pray for the children who we will be placed with. We have started praying for permanent placements (kids in the foster system who are needing to be adopted) that are still in our age range (0-3 years). I believe that we can pave the path to our door with prayers for all the little ones who are supposed to join our family.
Cool quote from my mini-retreat (ACTS) yesterday:
“Mother of God, you offered the hospitality of your womb as the dwelling place for the Holy One. May I continually open the womb of my heart to all who need a welcome there.”
THAT perfectly articulates my prayer for this journey of ours.
And so begins the process of jumping through hoops. Looks like our caseworker is coming here on Wednesday morning to do a walk-through of the house, to make sure it fits the state requirements. And so I clean. I mean, I just did a Spring Cleaning so it shouldn’t be a problem, right? Yeah, but the room that will be a new child’s room is kind of full of junk right now. Just need to get it all put away and then I can be at peace. Yeah right. I will be cleaning like mad for the next 48 hours until she arrives!!! I’ll let you know how it goes!