My to be adopted child(ren) are on my heart and mind. I feel like I have been praying and waiting for so long, but I trust that God not only has a plan for me, but for my (His) children as well.
About 3 years ago my husband and I seriously started to consider adoption. We prayed about it and felt that we recieved answers left and right from God saying, "Yes! Adopt!" Weekly, Mitch came home with story after story of one of his customers telling of their adoption stories, without Mitch even bringing it up! Every time we went out it seemed that we ran into a family with an adopted child, or we met people who were adopted. Suddenly we were surrounded by adoption stories. So with our yes on the table, our next step was to find an agency. I heard many great things about Bethany, but after talking with them for hours on the phone, they told me that since I seemed more interested in older children and sibbling groups that I should look into adopting children out of the foster care system. After some time in prayer I knew that this was right for our family. So I called DSS, the ladies were so sweet, helpful and full of information for me. I then signed up for the next available orientation class. That was in June of 2011, where we then submitted our application. We were told that in this process to adopt that we would need a lot of patience, and boy they weren't kidding! Our next class wouldn't be until October, 4 months away.
We were then required to take a 14 hour parenting class. We got to meet other waiting parents, that I wish now that I would have gotten their contact information. There they informed us how the adoption process worked, including how the children end up in foster care. Some of the information was quite hard and painful to hear. We filled out hundreds of paperwork and went over many parenting scenarios from infants to teens, from tantrums to runaways, to bullying to discipline options. We watched videos and heard stories from other adoptive parents and adoptees. We were told of the pain and trauma that a child goes through before coming into our home, I can only imagine the loss of your parents, home, friends, life, everything that you once knew, gone. We were trained on how to deal with this grief, but how can anyone truly be trained on such a thing? I can only love, how can I understand? Homecoming may be a happy day for me, but a confusing day for the child, of course, I can only imagine. How can a stranger be considered a mommy on day one? I'll have to earn their trust and love, but my love, they already have now. The classes were very informative and I'm glad we took them. I left the building on my last day hopeful and optimistic that we would be adopting soon, but there was still much to be done before we could even start our waiting period.
With our classes complete I now had a parenting certificate in one hand and a long to do list in the other of what I must do to complete our homestudy. We needed a copy of my, Mitch's and our 2 children's birth certificate and our marriage certificate to turn in. We needed our finger prints submitted along with a SLED background check. We had to fill out paperwork after paperwork giving detail descriptions of our family life, our marriage, our discipline style, what our family life was like growing up, and details on what our relationship to our parents and siblings are now. We had to turn in our family medical history, answer "what if" questions about our future child...the paperwork was endless! It took weeks to complete it all, and even then there was more. We had our home inspected by the fire department and then by the department of human health services. After all that was completed we were then able to meet with our private investigator who then interviewed my husband and I together, then separate, and then the children separate. This took a total of 2 days, weeks apart and hours at a time. By now I am drowning in paperwork, but we have now completed our homestudy and we are now approved to adopt!! Our entire homestudy took 6 months to complete. We turned in our application 14 months ago...and I'm waiting.
For some reason I thought it would happen right away. Our homestudy was completed in April and I was told to wait for a phone call, that phone call of course would be news that we have a waiting child, a waiting child for a waiting mother, a waiting father, and two waiting siblings!
Every time the phone rings my heart stops, leaping for the phone I think, this could be it! But that call hasn't rang yet. I was told to check out adoptuskids website. I have and I have inquired about several children. None of whom have been chosen for me ( but God has a plan). Each day my heart seems to break for the child I long for, and yet I am still optimistic that my awaited phone call will ring. It's hard to explain missing a child that I haven't even met yet, but I do! And I'm waiting and expecting, without a known due date. It's weird to think that we could be welcoming home our child next week, or it could be next year. It's the waiting and not knowing that is so hard, and I wonder, what is my child thinking and feeling now? They must be out there somewhere, how is my child doing? All I can do is pray and wait and trust that God is faithful, for He is, He is a God of goodness and of great love.
I think about my to be child(ren) everyday. And I am so grateful for the many blessing that God has given me, which makes me feel guilty for asking for patience :) but He is just so good and generous like that and I am just so ready for our welcoming home day. I trust that God has a plan for our family, and I know that once the phone rings everything will seem to happen so fast after that, but in this time of waiting I could sure use some encouragement.
(all photos above were found on pinterest)