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.
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.
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?
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."