It’s been one year since we were approved, one year since our PRIDE training, home study, record checks, medicals, fingerprinting, home inspections, and baby proofing were completed.
But no, we haven’t adopted yet.
They say the waiting is the hardest part, and “they” are usually correct in matters like these.
To be fair, we have been able to have a great deal of interaction with the social workers that may be in a place to match us with a child. Because of our training and adoption approval, we’ve been able to be involved in a situation that has allowed us to see the entire process from various different perspectives. It has opened our eyes to so many things that we would not have seen otherwise.
But at the same time, we’re no closer to adopting.
I look at pictures of children that are available for adoption and wonder if they “look like us”. But it’s funny because the children that “look like us” don’t necessarily look like us physically. There’s something in their eyes, or something in their profile that makes me think that our family would be perfect for them.
Still we wait. And we have learned lots during our wait that we were never taught during our training.
We’ve learned to advocate for ourselves, to speak up when something needs to be said, and to not try to be everything to everybody.
We’ve learned that social workers work hard! They need to be ready to intervene at the last minute when there’s a situation with one of the children they’re working with, they need to travel all over their area to meet with families, they often go to appointments and meetings for those families and kids, and they need to remember all of the details.
We’ve learned that not everything is as it seems. There are always multiple sides to every story and more going on behind the scenes. Those horror stories about child abuse that hit the news every once in awhile are a big part of what social workers deal with, but that isn’t what happens in every situation. Each situation is unique and every family is different in the challenges they face.
We’ve learned what it means to experience the consequences of actions entirely out of our control. I’m strong-willed, which means I naturally see things as black and white. But real life doesn’t always work that way. There are so many grey areas, and there is much more to consider in situations when a child’s upbringing is at stake. What’s best for the child must always be the priority, even if it means drawing out making decisions on the child’s behalf.
We’ve learned to trust God’s timing and His plan. For a Type A planner like me, this is SO hard. But it’s a lesson I need to learn over and over again.
We’ve learned that our resources will stretch much farther than we thought they would. Our space, our money, our time, our patience and our energy – by God’s grace, we’re all still here, still intact, still sane (most days!).
And we’ve learned that obedience to God’s plan isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s hard and painful and convoluted (to our way of thinking) and really, really trying. And sometimes it’s beyond our understanding. Sometimes it involves just putting one foot in front of another, just doing the mundane things that make up a day because that means we’re one day closer to where we need to be. Sometimes it means conceding to the fact that we don’t know what’s going to happen, that the future is unsure and that we really don’t know what next month or next year will look like.
Is it worth it? Is the intrusion on our lives, the interviews, the background checks, the personal questions, the impositions, the expectations – are they all worth it?
Jason Johnson’s blog has reminded me that yes, it really is. Take a look and see if he doesn’t convince you too.
In the end, our call is to fully love these children while we have them and accept the costs we may incur as worth it for the gain they may receive. This is nothing more than what Jesus has done for us. He joyfully laid down the infinite value of His own life so that we might know the immeasurable worth of being fully and unconditionally loved in Him.
Have you ever considered adoption or foster care? What made you decide to move ahead or step back?