So here, in all it's verbose (cause this is me) glory, is our story so far. We can't wait to see where God will lead next - after all, He continually surprises us!
Last November, when ReC was about three months old, Tony and I went on a date. We wound up on the topic of adoption, something we had discussed in a vague, "Yeah, I think I'd like to do that sometime in the distant, cloudy future" sort of way many times before. This time though, we abruptly realized that the cloudy future was here. It was not a gradual transition. We just suddenly both knew now was the time. We had always said, "When we are done having biological kids, then..." But nope. Apparently not.
It's hard to explain how we felt, or why we suddenly felt such an urgent need to get. it. done. We knew we wanted to adopt domestically from foster care.You see, we weren't that anxious to add to our family. We had a new baby, and no reason to think we wouldn't have more in the future. We just felt compelled to move forward, with hearts hurting to help. That's what it boils down to I guess - there are children in our country who are hurting, and how could we not be ready and waiting to help them in any way we can? And of course, adopting a child, loving on them, teaching them, keeping them safe, dealing with their trauma, helping them. That would be helping.
We really had no idea.
I made a request online and within a day I had a packet of info in the mail, and a social worker on the phone. Yes, you can adopt from foster care, lets get going!
We officially started the process in January, and finished out certification in July. Throughout all the training, orientations, videos, meetings, interviews, the topic of fostering kept coming up. In Oklahoma, all "Resource Parents" get the same training and go through the same application process, whether they are doing fostering or adoption. And it was weird. Because we went from,
"Fostering is definitely not for us. That is beyond our capabilities, not even something we would ever, ever want to do."
"I had no idea that's what fostering was like."
"You know, that kind of sounds like something we would like to do eventually."
"Wow. We feel a definite call to foster. Unless something changes majorly, we will be doing that when the kids are much older."
"Wait a minute. They need foster homes that are only for emergency, very short term, placements? That sounds like something we should look into."
"We will probably be fostering within the next six months to a year - maybe we'll chat with our worker again when ReC is sleeping better and not so clingy. Maybe in January?"
And then one day in October our case worker called me, and the conversation went something like this.
"Hi Sally, this is -----. I'm so sorry, and I know this is very strange, but I have three little girls, ages 5, 6, and 1 month sleeping here in my office, and would you and Tony be able to keep them until Monday?"
After a lot of stumbling around in a daze and praying, we came up with an answer. A scared, shaking, adrenaline sort of answer.
It had taken us so long to decide they had blessedly found another place for the girls, but in the conversation she asked if we would be willing to do something like that if they needed us again. I said sure. And she called back ten minutes later, to ask if we would take a 5 year old boy until Monday.
So we did. And it was shockingly, miraculously excellent. And so we got put on the emergency foster call list.
We've been called a couple times a week since then, but for the sake of our children we've decided to only take about 1 case a month, max. So far we have had our first little boy (who turned out to be such a sweetie), did a respite care for a 10 month old in a pre-adoptive home, and just today returned a 3 week old girl back to her parents after having her since she came into care last Tuesday.
It's been crazy. And not at all what we planned at the start. And yet, God's timing has been so evident in the way He guided our hearts and prepared our minds. We don't know how many we'll do, or what our family's role will be in the future, or if this will be something we do 'forever.' But it is comforting to see His will so plainly, so in the middle of "baby's crying, other baby's crying, why did we say yes?" we can feel His peace. We are still willing to adopt, of course, should that be God's plan - we are still on that list too - but it is not a likely thing, due to the age range we would accept.
And now I wonder… maybe God’s plan for our family was quite simply so far removed from our wildest imaginations He had to use a familiar path to help us dream a little.