Saturday, June 30, 2012

We're Expecting!

Yep! We’re expecting…again! Isn’t the unknown so exciting in times like these?

Will it be a boy, or a girl? What color eyes will they have, what color hair? Will they be sporty or artsy or like nature? What will our 3 kids think of them? Will it be an easy wait or feel like eternity? What color should we paint their room?

Will it be one, two or three? Wait, huh? Two?? Three? Twins? Triplets??? Well, not exactly.

Soon the sound of laughter will be louder, there will be more little feet scampering around and more laundry for sure!

After a long 6 month process, John and I are approved adoptive parents through Bethany Christian Services. We are going through the Older Child Adoption Program, which means our kids are already potty trained! Yey! How awesome is that?

We are so excited and nervous about what is in store for us. The wait may be quick or may take longer, but since we are open to many different ages and a wide range of specifics, so it’s likely our kids will be home soon.

We are approved for a sibling group of up to 3. Some might wonder what in the name of all things good and holy would possess a couple with 3 children to adopt a sibling group?

 A few years ago John and I became unable to ignore James 1:27 any longer (“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” ESV), and became foster parents. After 21 months our beautiful girls left, leaving a huge hole in our hearts and lives.

We decided it was time to add again to our family permanently. We chose to redo our home study with another agency and took it slow as we worked through the grieving process of losing the girls. This is about God’s kingdom and glory. It’s about Him equipping people for what He has planned. It’s about Him providing a big, beautiful house that we know was given to us to fill with beautiful children who need a home.

Unlike being pregnant, my kids are already born and I wonder even now what they’re doing today. I hope they have popsicles and get tucked into bed. I hope they know we’re praying for them and can’t wait for them to come home.

John and I could have easily chosen to increase our number the regular way. But several years ago we made a conscious and deliberate decision to forgo having any more children biologically. It was our very own spay and save program (please don’t be offended by that, I’m not being crass, just a little silly. We truly felt that we were not to have more children but to open our home to children who needed one. Not that people who have more biological children than we do have aren’t doing it right). We felt a strong calling to care for the orphans and making it so they are no longer orphans. What a beautiful thing to give a child  family—we can’t wait!

Why an older child adoption program?
There can be many motivations for adoption. Many people are not able to have biological children but have so much love to give and want to create a family. Many people long for infants to care for and bring up from birth. That’s a good and valid inspiration for adoption, but it’s not ours.

We  do not necessarily have the sole desire of adding to our family or have a itching for more kids per say. Rather, we recognize a huge orphan crisis and have said YES! to the calling of God for us to care for some of these. We are excited about God’s plan for our life, and are excited that He’s directed us to adoption of older children.

Often, older children (any child over 3 basically) get looked over simply because of their age. How sad! Many people fear these kids and assign all sorts of flaws to them simply because they are older. They need families as much as anyone else.

Throughout the Bible there are numerous references to caring for  ‘the least of these’. In many ways, older children, foster kids in general and especially ones with some sort of diagnosis, are the least of these. They are the last ones on the list. There are few people fighting for them.

For every infant available for adopt, there are numerous waiting, hopeful parents. Meanwhile there are over 123,000 waiting children, available for adoption, right now. Yet, they are overlooked because of their age, the way they’ve spent a lot of their life (in foster care) and the stigma that accompanies the hardships they’ve faced.

By God’s grace and gentle leading, we’ve been put on a journey to be blessed by these kids. We know firsthand the frustrations and difficulties that children from foster care can carry, but we also experienced the love they have to give, and joy they oozed from being in a family. It was a blessing to be the parents to our foster daughters and even with the hard times, we look back on it with happiness.

I’m praying that our kids are well cared for and loved in their foster home, as that is where they are most likely right now. It saddens me to know how many foster homes don’t cherish the kids they are entrusted to care for, and I hope our kids are loved where they are.

We are now in the matching process. This will be a time in our lives we have never gone through before. Looking through hundreds and hundreds of pictures of kids that need homes and match what our homestudy approves us for, we’ll have to say ‘no, that’s not them’ and that is heartbreaking. It’s hard knowing we can’t save them all, we can’t bring them all home and give them the love God intended in a family. But as my eyes meet each one, I’ll pray that they will have parents that step up and say “YES” to God’s calling. 

I hope you’re as excited as we are about us adopting and will pray our kids home quickly.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I think my original comment didn't make it through on the iphone... We're praying that the process is speedy for you all! We know how hard it is to feel a strong calling and then have to wait. But God is not slow as some consider slowness... Praying his grace and peace for you and his care and protection for the young ones he has planned to be a part of your family.