Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You just can't go wrong

We have company at our house right now, my sweet mom and dad drove all the way here to hug on us for a few days. Thanks mom and dad- we appreciate and love you so much!

However, I really needed to get on here and write this post. A sweet blog reader (thanks Marti) sent me an email saying that they had hoped to adopt a sibling group from the foster system one day and wondered if I had any advice on what to ask, training to take, or what to look for. Hearing this made me realize that ‘our story’ might somehow detour someone from adopting from the foster system, adopting a sibling group, an older child… or perhaps adopting at all.

That is the last thing I would ever want- and the exact thing Satan is hoping for.

So again without invading their privacy I will share the best I can.
I won't lie,the truth is, we did ask all the right questions and we did take all the right steps. We really did. We obviously were not new to adoptions and we did not go into this blind- even if we were blindsided. We prayed and prayed, educated ourselves, took the training and then some, sought advice and then stepped out in faith. Because of that- I know that nothing that happened, happened without God’s consent- and I have peace in that.
As I stated in my previous post- I would do it again. We told God to use us and he did. We were privileged and honored to parent these children- even if the ‘end result’ was not as we had hoped. While yes we are hurting- we can also see God’s hands all over this. For years these kids have carried their abuse inside of them afraid to tell. The truth is, nobody ever knew to help these kids because they didn’t know the extent of their abuse or how they were abused. Nobody could have guessed. Yes mistakes were made, things were left out of the file, and things were probably overlooked. I won’t deny that. However, God knew and I know without a doubt He brought them into our family where they felt safe and were finally able to share their painful past. And now, despite our pain and theirs, they are getting the help they need. It breaks my heart that it couldn’t be in our family, however, what matters in God’s eyes is that we were willing and we obeyed His call.

For us this was never about ‘adopting the perfect children’. There is just simply no such thing. I know we all want to go into an adoption taking the right precautions, being as careful as we can. But truthfully, while you can ask the right questions and you should use your head- educating yourself as much as possible -there will always be the unknowns- and always a certain element of risk.

Always.

Agencies, caseworkers, etc are not perfect- and neither are you or I. Mistakes will be made- count on that. Not because someone is trying to hurt you, or lie to you, but because we/they are human. There is no such thing as a perfect agency and we should not expect them to be. I have seen people become so angry at their caseworkers or agency because things didn’t go exactly the way they wanted.

Does life ever?

Yes there are unethical agencies, which is why we should research and educate ourselves. But I can assure you that there are awesome agencies and case workers out there too. We have used Dillon International, Special Delivery and Safe Havens of Kornerstone and adore them all.

There is also no such thing as a perfect child- whether adopted through the foster system, internationally or biologically. Every time we choose to open our hearts and love there is a risk of being hurt. Our biological children have done things that left me shaking my head wondering why, and I expect the same from our adopted children. I have hurt people, I am so not perfect, and I should never expect a child to be either. So if you are only willing to adopt because you desire a perfect child, expect a perfect adoption agency and experience- then adoption probably isn’t for you.

Actually- parenting probably isn’t for you at all.

Yes we are hurt. Deeply. But I also know that when we go through the most painful times in our lives that is when God is able to change us, mold us, and teach us the most.
That is a gift in itself.

Our deepest prayer is that we will not let bitterness take hold of our hearts and stop us from serving. Of course there were times where we were angry, frustrated and physically sick. Times where I wanted to throw up my hands and say “We are done...”

And you know what- that too is exactly what Satan was hoping for.

I don’t know what the future holds for our family, but if we are done it will only be because God says so. I refuse to let hurt, fear or bitterness stop us from opening our home to a child who needs a family.

Ever.

The day the kids left I was hugging and holding them all, telling them over and over how much they were loved and wanted. I didn’t for one second want them to think that they were going because they were ‘bad’ or because they were not wanted by us. Our precious Lainey looked me in eye and said “Mommy, will they know I am a real princess where I am going?”

Lainey left our house that day wearing her tiara and knowing down deep in her heart that she was loved, she was wanted, she was cherished and she would always be God’s real princess.

So, what advice do I have?
Pray.
Trust.
Educate yourself
Listen
Love.
Be willing.
Take that risk.
And know that no matter what- when you love a child it can never, ever turn out wrong.

Mark 9:37 "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

15 comments:

Angela said...

May God continue to be your refuge during this time, may you continue to lean on him and know his is your rock!! May you find a new level of depth to the love you already have for our Heavenly Daddy...and he for you...

God Bless you--and your family

Praying for you--
Angela

Christine said...

Today my mantra is a quote from a dear friend of mine: "Courage has no meaning unless the danger is real. Safety is highly overrated."

Suzette said...

No, life isn't perfect, but I think this post is one of the most perfect pieces I have ever read. Thank you for being so real! I love your honesty and encouragement. The lessons you taught them will stay with them forever and I know God will have a beautiful tiara for you someday also. Hugs to you!

Laurel said...

Beautiful post! So well written!

I think I will put a little link on my blog today.


Hugs!

Laurel :)

Rebecca said...

Awesome post! God has great things in store for you!!

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

This is a GREAT post. Thanks for loving unconditionally.

Amy said...

Is it appropriate here to just say, "Amen." You are showing the love that the Lord has shown us in His adoption of us.

Dannon said...

I have been away from the computer for a few days and just updated myself on your past several posts. I am so sorry things ended the way they did. I have been a foster parent since 2000 and have adopted 3 children from the foster care system. What a challenge the system is!!!!!!! I have been beyond frustrated with the system and decisions that oftentimes get made for children by caseworkers who do not know the children or oftentimes have never met them. Regardless, it is what it is. My own thoughts are the God places children in my path for a season of their life and I am to plant seeds of hope, love and be an example of Christ's love to them. I may not be able to see how those seeds develop in a child's life, but know in my heart the seeds are there with the potential to grow according to God's plan. I have shed many tears in the 9 years I've been involved with the foster care system. But also have had more praises and joys from the experience that makes it all worth it. Please know I'm praying for your family and for your 4 kids as you all struggle with the changes in your family. Dannon

Melinda said...

Such great advice Amy! I just love your heart and how you have shared your heartache with us while still glorifying God in it all. I have no doubt those kids felt the love you have for them and they will never forget it. Praying for your hurting hearts today.

Melinda said...

One more thing, Francis Chan's message this week was on rejoicing always, in all circumstances because that is when our God is most glorified. He read from Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! This is when we truly show who we follow, what we do when times are really hard. Thanks for being that great example for all of us. Love you!

Dawnelle said...

I needed this post today. We just took in two siblings (out of a set of six) on Tues night. I have a feeling there is a lot going on in their little hearts, just from the tidbits they have shared while going about their day.

Thank you for loving those kids. I'm sure your house feels strangely empty, as it did when our foster baby left recently.

We're not in control, but we serve a mighty God who is!

Tessa said...

Thanks so much for this post Amy. My husband and I are in the process of adopting from the foster care system, and I have to admit that some questions flooded my mind when I read what happened with your sibling group. Those thoughts did not last long, for I know that God does not want us to live in a spirit of fear. However, it is always nice to hear encouragement and support from someone who has "been there". Your willingness to live with risk is inspiring to us all.

Michelle said...

This was an amazing post. I needed to read it today. We are just embarking on the foster/adopt program and waiting for placement and my biggest fear is attaching and losing a child. This just really showed me the value in simply loving a child.

I LOVED how you shared about TRUSTING God. This is exactly where he is molding me as we are on this adoption journey. Something from a bible study I am going through came to my mind as I read your post.

"Our only stedfast defenses against life's certain uncertainties is unconditional trust in a Savior who loves us more than His own life.

I see that in you even though I do not even know you. What an amazing witness.

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry you have had the experience to give this message, but am so glad to hear it. I've been talking with my husband about an adoption of an older child out of the foster care system and he is hesitant. I'm feeling lead by God and so can only wait for God to speak to my wonderful husband.
I'll be praying for your family as well as the sweet children who are adjusting to a new home.

Pam said...

i guess it has been ahwile since i came over here. i feel much like you do, busy, busy. i saw your title "adopted" and thought you had adopted the sibling group. then i saw you didn't. i saw there has been pain and heart ache. i get it. i hear your heart, and i understand. i too pray that your story does not scare anyone away. i have another friend who is living below the radar right now and feeling very alone, but hope the same thing once their story can be made public. blessings sister.