3.2.11

Taking the First step

We were driving to my in-law's house on Friday night and I was telling Aaron about the kids at Drawn from Water in Ethiopia that some acquaintance of ours, Jesse and Levi, were rescuing. They were putting those children up for adoption. Then I moved to tell him about some information my friend sent me about getting funding for international adoptions.

In the middle of my telling he turned to me, looked me in the eyes and knowing where this was going said, "Yes."

Then he teared up for second or two and said, "It seems impossible, but so much of our life is impossible right now. I'm open to it happening since it wouldn't really happen unless God makes it happen."

I wrote to Jesse and she told me which agency they were working with and what we had to do. At the same time she asked if we had considered adopting through the state as they had done. "I feel like a traitor mentioning this..." she said, "But it worked out really well for us."

I went ahead and contacted the international adoption agency and started to figure out if we qualified. I was filling out forms and researching all that November, 2009.

Dec. 2 we had a meeting with our lawyer to hammer out details of incorporating The Charis Project and applying for non-profit status. I was 2 days late.

I am never late.

That's when we found out that Jellybean was on his way. Talk of adopting faded into the background. We would not pursue that with another baby on the way.

Once he was born I could not stop thinking about adopting. We wanted to adopt someone older, a boy 2-4. Boys don't get chosen as often as girls for some reason, but we're willing to take a boy. I thought we should do that before Jellybean got too old and too settled in his position in the family so the transition to one more older sibling would be easy.

One day in September I looked around at all the stuff I was already doing, barely, and realized that it was absolutely foolish to think of adding another child to the mix when I could barely keep all the balls I am already juggling in the air. I let go again and sat back to settle into getting on top of everything around me.

An aside: If there is one thing I realized taking a 3 week vacation and trying to come back into things full swing when we got home it's that my life is hard work. Really hard never ending work. And when I  lose my rhythm the whole thing falls apart. I almost have my rhythm back. Almost.

But then there was a conversation, a phone number, and I started thinking about what Jesse said about adopting locally from foster care. Only thinking though, remember. I'm too busy.

That all changed the day I read this post from 6yearmed. I thought to myself, "I may be busy but I can do better than that for a child. I've got room for one more."

I got up, found the phone number, and made the first phone call.

When I told Aaron about it he responded by telling me that he heard something about a local child the day before that was so awful he refused to tell me. "You have stuff you have to get done today," he said, "This would wreck you for a really long time."

"So it was bad?"

"I was shaking when I heard it," he answered, by way of confirmation.

I still don't know what it was.

Tonight we are going to the first orientation meeting to find out more about foster adoption. Our hearts are open. Now we learn what's involved.

We'll see where it takes us.

7 comments:

  1. If i might make just one piece of advice. This comes from my husband whose family did foster care from the time he was 2.. Never have a foster child older than your children. Related, don't have foster children unless your children can already talk.

    A child who can walk, that is, even a toddler, can abuse another child.

    Wait till Jellybean is older.

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  2. Thanks for your advice Ann Marie. We know this is possible so we're proceeding with caution, not expecting this process to go quickly.

    I'd like to think that because we have other, older kids who are really protective of our baby brother that it will be a control for another child coming in who is younger than them, especially since Jellybean is still in arms. But I don't know. It will be one of the things I am asking about.

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  3. When our two children were 8 and 10, we became a foster family. For nineteen years we fostered close to 25 kids....7 stayed...we adopted them...some came as newborns..the oldest we adopted was 10 yrs...she's now our youngest at 15-1/2. Every child that came into our home we prayed about before they came...every child we adopted, we prayed about before we agreed to do it...we wanted to be sure that it was God's plan and not ours..(I'm such a sucker for kids needing a mom and dad, so it doesn't take much to convince me that it just has to be God's plan!) It is a big step that's for sure but I'm sure you'll tread carefully and put it in the Lord's hands.

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  4. I just wanted to say that I'm not surprised to read about this. I'm teary. This is on my heart too..for one day.

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  5. I hope everything goes well for you. It's such a blessing to both sides to give a child a better life in that way. I know a couple from our church that are heading out tomorrow to adopt a 4 year old boy from Ethiopia...I'm so happy for them, as they have wanted children for so long.

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  6. I've been to that open house meeting twice now. Each time we got pregnant before the process was over. Just saying. Hugs to all of you.

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