This is one of those blogs that I am not even sure how or where to start. My hope is to use this blog to fill people in as to how our adoption process is going and what to pray about. The other use is to give our new child(ren) something read to see how long we wanted them and what the process is like. My prayer is that they see and feel how much we have prayed for them and loved them even before they came to be in our family. So with that said..........
We are adopting! It super exciting for us and this is not something we just decided to do one day. This has been a process for almost the entire 17 and half years we have been married. We have always had a heart for adoption and thought someday we would find a young girl who didn't want a baby and stop her from having the adoption. Then help her, and adopt the baby. Now years later and Drew is 10. I don't want to go back to those baby days. Up all night, diapers, formula, cribs, and all that that entails, is not for this almost 40 year old. (I applaud all those who are having children at older ages-it's amazing and I just don't want to do it again) ;-)
The story goes like this. In September (I think it was Septmeber) we were sitting in church and our pastor begins to talk about a "family meeting" we are having in a few weeks and that he wants to talk about something important. He then mentions the word "adoption". I out of nowhere burst out crying. It's not like I haven't heard the word in last 17 years. But today it was different. As I am crying I look over at Mike and expect the "you are outside your mind" look. That's the look I usually get when he knows I want something like an expensive outfit or a puppy. Admit it, you know that look. You have either seen it given, or maybe even given to someone. Back to the story. So I look over at Mike and the look I get from him is "Yes, I know". Now if God had not kept me in the chair, I think I would have fallen out in shock. That was the first "God-moment" that I knew we were on our way to this adventure.
The next week, Pastor Brady talks about the adoption initative New Life is partnering with Focus on the Family on. So we know we have to go the family meeting that Sunday night. Mike and I don't really talk about the possiblity as I don't want to bring it up and say it out loud yet. It just seems to special to talk about yet. We just decide we are going to the meeting. As we park our car in our very large parking lot we notice a twenty-something girl pull up next to us. It's Tiffany, a girl we have prayed for a couple of times after church. We say hi and start to walk with her asking why she would be at this meeting. She begins to tell us that she was adopted and is one of the representatives for the "Wait No More" event. We start crying as she tells us a bit of her story. This is another God moment. Of all the times to arrive and all the parking spots, we park next to her. All I can do is smile and cry. We still had not said out loud "we are doing this". That night God tells me to fast and pray about this and I agree to fast until the "Wait No More" event at the end of November. I did not fast food for those 90-100 days. I am not that Holy. I gave up something dear to me instead. I just want to be clear, so you don't get to intimidated by my righteousness....lol
If I wrote down every time we ran into someone who was adopted, had adopted, or was involved with adoption, this would be the longest blog in history and you would stop reading it. Let's just say, God kept this thing in our mind and hearts every day. His fingerprints were everywhere and we began to believe this was really Him calling us to adopt.
What I haven't mentioned is that these are not young, healthy, emotionally stable kids. These are foster care kids. Their birth parents have either died, have given up their rights as parents, or worse, have behaved in such a way to have the state permanently revoke all rights. These are kids who have been through more pain (both emotionally and often times physically) than any human should have to go through in a lifetime. They often act out in ways to reject those around them in order to protect themselves from more rejection. You can imagine. Any we want to love them, share our world with them, and hopefully show them the way to Jesus'. Even as I sit here, I can't put into words how I feel about our future child(ren). I want them now. We even have a Christmas stocking hanging on the fireplace along with ours to remember to pray for them. For now (as we don't know the age or sex of our little one), we call him/her/them "Chris", "Pat", "Alex", "Jesse" as those could be either boy or girl. We got tired of referring to him/her/them as he/she/they.
Back to the story....So finally Nov. 22nd arrives and Mike and I head to adoption event. The first part was worship and guest speakers (Tiffany was one of them). For the entire 2 hours of the first session Mike and I cried like babies. The Lord was so all over us, we couldn't get a grip. it was like our hearts already belonged to our new child and we couldn't take Chris home. We didn't even have a picture of one we think we wanted. It was an amazing time for us to worship God and hear with the state and others had to say about the process. Earlier in the day, we had received a bag with a book to read, forms and such. The green form asked if you were interested in adopting from the foster care system, your info., if you wanted a boy or girl, age, etc. and if you had an agency you wanted to work with. Filling out that form was painful. We didn't want to eliminate anyone or anything. We wanted whatever God wanted for us. So I filled out the paperwork fast. I just put we wanted anyone over 5 and siblings were ok too. Then about the agency....we had no clue...we were going to have to trust God to tell us who to work with...and he did...read on.
Once that form was filled out, I wanted it out of my hands and wanted to start the process...every second was a second I didn't have my child. That was the first small lesson of many, many, many other large ones in waiting I would have to learn. And still are.
So the first sesson is over and it's time to go talk to the agency. Mike stays in the hallway to finish up his Chick fil-A sandwhich and I walk in, too eager to eat. At this point I am overwhelmed with the amount of booths and people. "Where do I start?" My heart sinks as I have no idea what to do. I walk around for a few minutes blankly staring at something when a nice man asks, "Can I help you?" We start a nice conversation as he begins to explain the long list of "to do's" we need to complete as soon as possible. Mike walks in and joins me in the conversation. As they begin to talk, I see a friend there. This friend and I have crossed paths in a few different circles. I had forgotten where I had known him before until that moment and I needed to tell him. I leave Mike and the nice man talking, much to the displeasure of my husband. I say "I'll be right back, I just remembered where I know Jedd from." I walk over to Jedd and say, "Do you know where you know me from?" he says "Of course, from the movie". "Nope", I say from......... the long and the short is, we have crossed paths working with kids that are in the state system and we both forgot. The point is, he then tells me he adopted twins a few years ago and he used Maple Star adoption agency. The lady was standing right next to us and Jeff introduces us. She knows my aunt and we have mutual friends. God led me straight to who he wanted us to use for our adoption. It's crazy, all we have to do is follow His steps and He'll lead you where He wants. It really was incredible. We never even talked to another person in that room. We left knowing we had found the right agency and that we were doing this.
So...here are the answers to the most asked questions.
Are you getting a girl? We don't know. We are leaving that up to God
What age? Anyone over 5
How many? 1-3 We are not against siblings
How long will this take? Longer than I want, but could take as short as summer and long as 2 years. It just depends on how fast we get done the piles of paperwork and CPR classes and physicals, and immunizations for our dogs, and home visits, and training, and the list goes on....our prayer is by the start of school in the fall.
Where are you in the process? We are at our second round of paperwork (it's a ton of paperwork). We have CPR classes in Jan., 20 hours of training in Feb., and home studies in March. Not sure from then on. We'll keep posting.
How can I be praying? First, pray for "Chris". Pray that God is showing him/her/them even now how much they are loved and wanted. That He is softening their hearts and bonding us even now. That the social worker would hear God's voice and give us the kid(s) He wants us to have. Pray for the quickness of the paperwork. It is a daunting task. That we don't lose hope and that we stay strong through all of this. Pray for Josh, Tyler, and Drew. This radically affects them too. They want this too. They they would be the siblings God created them to be to "Chris". That they would hear His voice in all of this as well.
Well, that is it for now. I am tired and if you are still reading this, you are probably tired too. Not every blog will be this long, I just wanted to put down the details this first time. Thank you for your interest in our lives and what God is doing through us. May you be blessed.