Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Road Ahead

A few years ago my husband and I embarked on a journey; a journey in adoption.  I wanted to share that journey with you.  

February 2, 2012

Well after 5 months of working toward becoming licensed foster parents, our part is done.  We have finished the paperwork, interviews and got the house ready.  Now we wait AGAIN.  

Fortunately this time around we have our hands plenty full of an almost 3 year old to keep our minds occupied.  Now have only to worry. 

Worry about the fact that somehow in the craziness of life, when my husband was offered a new job with more room for growth I did not stop to think about how all his paid sick leave would also be gone.  In the back of my head I knew that if Nadia and another child got to be too much for me to take alone while working full time and trying to run a small business on the side (like anyone could handle that) his paid time off would be my safety net.  

Now, though I am happy for my husband’s new job and the fact that he gets to be home every weekend, I have to say I am worried about my own sanity.  I have always been the kind of person to put too much on my plate, and this seems to be no different.  

My prayer in this is for patience (for the possible foster care as well as to deal with my 3 year old.)  I could pray for God's timing but something tells me He has that under control - He seemed to have that down when it came to Nadia.  I did not fully see the beauty of that timing until she was with us.  And I am sure that someday I will look back at this time and laugh at how worried and scared I am right now.  However, it is hard to see it like that in the middle of the situation.  

Let me back up for a minute and tell you a little bit about how we got here.  At the end of the summer of 2011 Scott and I (after having another unsuccessful go at conceiving) decided to try for our foster care license again.  We sent in the initial application and was stunned when we received a phone call less than a week later.  We met with the licensing worker and shared our previous experience.  

We found out that not only have several things changed in the past 3 years but that many more things were changing in the next 2 months.  As it turned out families are no longer allowed to become licensed for adoption only if they are only willing to except a child under the age of 4.  It was suggested to us that we could have a greater chance at a smooth adoption with little risk of reunification with birth parents if we were willing to accept a child over 4 right now or we could apply for something called a dual licensed for a child under 4.  Dual license meant that we would need to be willing to consider placement for a child that could likely return to their birth parents.  

Scott and I considered these options and others.  We re-investigated private adoption and went to a introductory meeting for a local agency.  We agreed that it just did not feel right to us. 

We considered the impact this next child would have on my work situation and which option would cause the least amount of confusion and turmoil for all the children involved.  By considering placement for a child that might leave our home we would be putting at risk not only our own hearts but also the heart of Nadia and the children I care for.  But, by considering placement of an older child we would likely be bringing a child in with very “needy” behaviors.  This then could put the children in risk for physical harm.  

So anyway we looked at it, risk was inevitable.  Either we risk our emotions or we risk physical harm.  It was not an easy choice.  In the end after weighing all the possibilities, Scott and have chosen to consider placement of a child under 2 that could very likely return to his or her birth parents home.  We have discussed ways to make that possibility more bearable including building a strong connection with the child's birth family.  

We understand that Nadia could be heartbroken along with my charges and our selves.  However, we really feel this is the best option for our family now.  As we have begun discussing this upcoming transition with Nadia, we have talked about a potential sibling.  We talk of how there are many children who need a home for a little while and some that need a home forever.  We will discuss it further when we have a placement.  

We are well aware that the road ahead of us will not be easy.  A life well lived rarely is.  Scott and I hope and pray that through it our family will grow - in faith, in love, in connection, and in numbers. 

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