Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Adoption Update: The kids we just said "no" to....

I got what could have been “the call” last week.  I have heard other adoptive families talk about “the call” so fondly and my heart has longed to be able to type those words.

It was a normal day.  I sat down to my computer to check emails.  I receive emails daily from “The Loop” as it’s called in Kansas City.  It’s a mass email list to all foster and foster-to-adopt parents in the Kansas City area.  95% of the emails are looking for foster parents to accept placements of kids. The remainder are for adoptions.   

The emails are depressing.  They break my heart to read.  Kids upon kids upon kids in horrible situations whom need a safe place to live.  Sibling groups of 6, 7, 8 kids…..abused, neglected, needing treatment, needing therapy…needing what my family feels we can’t give them.  They need a temporary safe place.  We feel like we have been called to offer a permanent safe place.  Judge us all you want.  Unless God changes our hearts....that's the path we are on. 

Somedays I just can’t even read The Loop emails through.   There.are.just.so.many.kids.people.

That morning, I saw an email that caught my eye.  A sibling group of a 5 year old girl and a 1 year old boy.  I recognized the little info the email gave us.  I’ve been blessed to talk to the kid’s current foster mom in the last month or so.  The foster mom was wanting the kids to be moved into a home that will serve as their last placement.  They are not currently “adoptable”…..but  the bio mom’s right are going to be terminated….so they will be very soon.

My husband and I had expressed interest in these kids last month….but had been told because we have our foster/adoption license thru the state of Missouri and these kids under a private agency, that we couldn’t get them.  I didn’t even know that when kids are in foster care they could be in anything OTHER than state care.... did you????  So, they said to get these kids, we would have to redo our home study and take a few additional training classes to be sure our training was "up to their standards". 

To which I politely told them..... to fly a kiteWe’ve done 2 homestudies in the last 2.5 years.  I am notttttttt doing another one.  The End.  If you've done a home study, you get it.

So, we assumed this was a closed door.  And went about our way.

Then The Loop email comes thru.

Suddenly, these kids who we thought were off limits to us because of where we got our license.... came up again?

So I responded to the social worker.

This was last Wednesday. She said they wanted the kids moved into a new home by the weekend.  Do you have any idea how terryifying that is to hear????? Days to prepare.  Just days.  Yikes.

So while my hard working husband is at work and has nooooooo idea of what’s going on here at the homestead,   I proceed into “mom mode”.  I hear of kids that need home.  I am mom who wants to give kids a home.  I just couldn’t help myself. I got all the info I thought we needed.

Do they have clothes to come with them?
Are they in therapy?
Do they sleep thru the night?
What other appointments do they have?
We have a vacation in September, how  would we handle that?
How do they deal with abandonment issues?
Any dads in the picture?

Any bio family in the picture?
And on and on and on cuz’ after almost 3 years, my momma heart heard “these.kids.could.be.it.”

Then......after gathering info, trying not to puke, feeling crazy nervous.... I called my husband….who just wasn’t quite on board with my excitement.
It was a total buzz kill if I am being honest.
His questions were completely different:
Do we have time for speech appointments and therapy every week?

Can we handle a barely-one year old again?

Are we prepared to go back to diapers and a stroller?
Do you realize we will be 60 when this boy graduates from high school?

Do you know it will be 4 more years before you can go back to work?
And on and on.
The little girl has a speech delay that requires appointments and patience and time.  She needs someone who can really work with her and teach her and give her attention.  And the little boy is just barely one.
And then came the kicker.
His other concern was that he and our bio kids would get even less of me than they do now because these kiddos will just require so much more time than just one "under the age of 5 girl" that we were searching for.
I knew it in my gut.
I would either have to convince my husband of otherwise. 
Or I would have to manipulate him.
Or I would have to beg him.
None of which is my nature.

Now before you go thinking my husband is needy or selfish or any of that....I will tell you that he is none of those things.  He is the most generous, selfless man I know. But what he also is.....is brutally honest.  He will call a spade a spade.  He will call "too much"..."too much".

And he thinks these kids would have been too much for our family.

Let me tell you what "too much" can look like.  "Too much" can look like resentment from your other kids.  "Too much" can look like bitterness from your spouse.  "Too much" can be breakdowns for momma bears who have big, big hearts..... but who just aren't equipped for said kiddos.
The Lord reminded me that my first, my very first responsibility…..over our kids….over any kids…..is to the man I married.  The man I said yes to for life.  And he wasn’t being selfish.  He wasn’t being pessimistic.  He was just being honest.  And  the truth is....he needs me too.  If I fail at wife….I will be doing my kids a huge disservice.....all of our kids.
I remember when we were looking for houses 10 years ago before we bought the one we are currently in.  We each had our laundry list of things we wanted.  One of my husband's  requirements was a 3 car garage. His reasoning was that the kids have so much stuff and I have so much paint stuff (go figure).
But we found a few houses that were 2 car garages that were absolutely perfect otherwise.  I tried to convince him that we could survive with a 2 car garage.  But he was adamant.... We were waiting for a 3 car garage.  I probably pouted because I didn’t understand authority and headship and submission like I do now.  But I gave in to his stance and now I am sooooooooo glad that I listened to him.  He knew what was best for our family even if my decorating-self had already fallen in love with a house that just wasn’t a good fit for us. God gives the men different eyes with which to see. Had we bought those houses, we would have missed out on the perfect one that we did end up agreeing on.  We would have settled for 2nd best.

I trust that the situation with these kiddos is the same thing.

And if I am being totally honest, I think one of the reasons I wanted to say yes to these kids so much was just to have the wait be overThis was the closest we have gotten to be “chosen” . To being “selected”. To getting “the call”.  I could see the end in sight.  I could see our family complete. I could see an end to these dreadful blog posts about how we are still marching on when on the inside I just.want.to.sit.down.and.give.up.
When we started this process almost 3 years ago, we gave the adoption process until our youngest starts kindergarten.  Then we agreed to give it up and embrace the next season of life.
She starts kindergarten in 7 weeks y’all.
And the situation last week looked like God coming thru at the 12th hour.
I have begged God to open a door for us. And one opened. It just didn't feel  like the right door.
And so we said no.

Please continue to pray for us for this journey that has been way longer and way more emotional that we ever would have thought.

You bless me.

14 comments:

Nicke Briscoe said...

And you bless me. And He will bless you for honoring your husband. I promise. :)

Lynn@FernAvenueBlog said...

Remain strong. Sometimes we need our significant other to be the voice of reason even if we don't always agree at the moment. But, look at the garage situation...he was right. From reading this post and others about the status, you've given it to God to control. Let him have complete reins and surrender it all to him...which I think you have. He is good and He knows what the right thing is...in His time and in His way. I am and will continue to pray for you and your family! I pray that doors open and that the doors that open are made very clear to you. Big hugs!!

Janice said...

Jennifer, your words expressed the emotions of everyone in your family.... I could feel your excitement, your confusion, your "is this the call"......

I'm in awe that you allow some of us who are total strangers to be privy to your adoption "process".

I know you've heard "let go & let God" and it can be oh so hard to do.... but if you feel any hesitation in your gut, I believe it's not God's plan "right now".

I'm sending a huge hug, a steady shoulder and an enormous amount of understanding.

I know it hurts deep... Hug your wonderful, kind, supportive husband, hug those beautiful children, but most of all hug yourself.

You've been navigating through raw emotion, hesitant to open your heart while dealing with endless bureaucratic " stuff". It's overwhelming.

I hope it helps that a stranger who "stalks" you on FaceBook and reads your blog feels you are a most loving, kind woman with a huge, huge heart.

chandra farmer said...

You will find the girl that youve wanted .god hears you and maybe the close call is his way of saying begin to b prepared!! Prayers

abuenin said...

As I have told you on FB, God is saving you and your family for a very special girl!!! We tend to get inpatient when life doesn't go our way but we forget that God is in control and EVERYTHING will take place when he wants us to receive it.
Continue to listen to your husband's wisdom and loving your three treasures!!! Continued prayers for you and your family.

mumziepooh said...

Here is what I take from this. I believe that God has given to us, the perfect spouse and he is to be the head of the household. What that looks like in my life is the guy that is supposed to inject some reality into my pie in the sky ideas. Not to shoot them down, to give them some reality checks, because the Lord knows that I am a crazy idea generator and, if I ran with every single solitary idea that I had, we would be a train wreck. Sometimes I feel deflated but I usually sit back and am very thankful for the wisdom. My husband NEVER tells me no or that I shouldn't do something or that I can't do something but he does ask just the right questions that sometimes lead me to making that decision. Sometimes not. But he backs me, too. In your case, your husband showed some wisdom that was hard to hear and hard to see but really important. I have a tendency to try to push God into things. Those don't work out so well. I am thankful for your transparency - you really did put your heart out there. You have your priorities in order, you have God in control. I'm praying for peace for you.

Cindy * Daisies and Crazies said...

This was such a meaningful post, Jennifer. I have never been in this situation, but I felt myself nodding along and agreeing with every word you said.

Love you. xo

Richard's Fan said...

Your post sounded so familiar to me! When I was 36 years old, my husband and I started down the same road you are on. We had 2 biological sons who were 11 and 7. I realllly wanted a daughter, and my husband did not want any more biological children. We went through all the training, etc. and began "the wait". I put a personal deadline of turning 40 for the process to end. Well, after several "near misses", I called a halt when I turned 42. God had another plan for me. Sadly, I lost my husband 2 1/2 years ago, which would have left me raising a teenage daughter alone and probably struggling financially had an adoption worked out for us. But my oldest son and his wife have given me a precious granddaughter and grandson, with another grandson due in just a few weeks. I adore them, and get my "girl fix" with my granddaughter. This is what God had in mind for me, and I'm glad it worked out the way it did. I wish you all the best in your personal journey.

Lindsay said...

First off-- I am so incredibly impressed with your raw honesty! It is really important as you share this journey with so many that you be an open book. Remember...you are embarking on something so many wouldn't dare to begin. It requires audacity and courage so this blog doesn't disappoint.

I also applaud you for championing your husband in his role at the head of your home and the voice of reason. 10 times out of 10 my hubby is vastly more sensible than I am! I am all gusto and no backup sometimes! :)

Along with that I want to toss the idea out (because I am living it , as perhaps some of your followers are) - foster adoption will not ever be "easier" than another version. Not just the waiting, not just the painfully incompetent matching process, but the actual now-we-are-your-parents-and-we-are-family part.

This foster adoption thing is not a walk in the park. These kids are deeply wounded with a grief we as adults do not want to begin to try to understand. Even if this one girl match comes together, she will come with a lifetime of disappoinment and hurt. And baggage. And therapy. And resource professionals.

Right now we have four kids (you know--two bio, two adopted) and even though it is summer, we are shuffling between weekly PT for B who has a persistent toe-walking issue, weekly play therapy (which is finally getting somewhere a year later!) for A, and every other week play therapy for E and B. We are in constant communication with case worker,play therapist, classroom teacher, etc about their needs. There are four of them. (which would be your scenario if you added one sweet little in). And it is a LOT.

But this year it is easier. We crossed the year since move in in April. Somewhere around there, we all cruised into a more we-know-each-other mode.

But hear my heart on this.

A year ago I was done. I felt it was wrong. I thought we signed up for something we couldn't handle. TWO KIDS???? What were we thinking!?

And I can't even get into what is being covered in therapy. Just know that what you think you know about a kiddo is just the surface of the deep wound they have suffered and it will take a long time to dig into to heal.

Did my bio kids take a backseat? Yes. Did they suffer? Yes. Did they have an 8 year head start on bonding and attachment that my new daughters never got while suffering the loss of their immediate family? Yes.

And today I had a long convo with my one and only son who wanted seven brothers ...eek! I asked if he was okay with just sisters and he answered, "I love them so much. We have a lot of fun together. Plus, I have Dad. And my stuffed animals that are boys. And my cousins and neighbors who are boys. I love having three sisters."

I hear your heart and validate it with all I can for how I felt in the season I was in that you are in now.

But I beckon from the future...there is no "perfect" match. There is a good match. A good fit. Something miraculous God intends to do with a seemingly hopeless situation.

I know from what I have read that you signed up to be a miracle to someone with no future. My hope that is that you would take from this...there may be a "maybe" match that turns out to be all God intended and He might mightily blow your mind at what He plans to do in it.

Again--disclaimer-- this is a mama post 12 months toghether. A year ago... nevermind. Tuck and run! This year...I see what He has had in mind all along and it is bigger than I dared to imagine.

I WILL KEEP PRAYING for the ideal match! I love your heart and your authenticity!

Paula Basnett said...
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Paula Basnett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula Basnett said...

Jennifer, NO bashing here. Although I haven't been through the process you're experiencing, I have experienced waiting and testing and obedience. I don't know the pains and heartache of what you're going through. What I do know is that God has His own timetable. He opens and shuts doors. He is a last minute, time's almost up, miracle worker. He knows best for us when we want to trust our own hearts. Keep listening for His direction and still small whisper. After all He's usually not into earthquakes and fire. (1 Kings 19: 11-13)

Laura Ryan said...

I am so proud of the woman you have become! Blessings to your current family and your future one! I teach in a school were sadly many of our kids are in foster care or live with adopted parents. You have a long, hard road ahead of you - but you are living the life God has called you to live. I don't think that life can get better than that.
Laura Ryan

Christy James said...

You have an amazing heart. It shows in every word you wrote in this post. My mom always says, "what's meant for you, won't go past you" and I am a true believer. Even if you don't achieve your dream of bringing another child into your family, your willingness to embrace and love a child who so desperately needs it, is a beautiful lesson for your own child.

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