I know that several people had questions about our recent adoption announcement. I didn’t answer these questions in the comments of my last post, because I wanted to answer thoroughly. So, I decided to make a new post about it. So, let’s get started.
Are you adopting internationally or domestically? Our family feels called to adopt domestically, meaning that we will do an adoption through the foster care system. We want to give a home to a child who is already waiting. In Arkansas right now there are over 500 children waiting for forever families. That means that there are 500 children who legally have no parents and are open for adoption TODAY. This is heart-breaking to us. We are anxious to give a home to at least one of these children.
What program will you go through to adopt? We will be going through The CALL for Faulkner/Conway County. We are really excited about this. This is a Christian-based program in Arkansas which works with the Department of Human Services foster/adoption system to train parents to take in children from the foster care system. The thing I love about The CALL is that even if your family is not called to open your home to fostering/adoption, you can still help. From donating clothing to the Call Closet to preparing meals for families in training to being a point of contact for your church, there is a way for everyone to fulfill the biblical command to take care of orphans in their distress. I would highly encourage everyone to look into seeing what you can do to help the children in need in our state.
What age/gender do you plan on adopting? There has always been a noticeable gap between Isaac and Hannah. Isaac is a great big brother, and if it’s God’s will, it’s our desire that he always be the oldest of our family. He holds that position very well, and we believe that he is a good sibling leader. However, Isaac has always wanted a brother, and we’ve always wanted another boy too. It seems that those desires have worked out well so far. According to state laws regarding adoption, our house only allows space for one more male child at this point. We would like to adopt a little boy around the age of 5-6 ideally. However, for the past year, it has been a consistent prayer in our family that God will bring us exactly one child, that he will be exactly the right child for us, and that we will not be asked to look through different children and decide between several. I know myself well enough to know that I could not handle looking through several kids and feeling the weight of that decision myself, so we are entirely trusting God to bring us exactly the right child.
Do you plan to foster first? It is not our intention to foster at this point. I think that we will likely foster one day, but right now, strictly adopting is the path that we feel most comfortable with for the sake of our children and the stability and consistency of our home and routine. Also, because we homeschool, it would make it difficult to send foster children off to school while keeping our own kids home. There would be some separation there which we are uncomfortable with.
How do your kids feel about it? Isaac is thrilled. He has trouble understanding why this couldn’t have happened yesterday. I think of all of us, he is the most frustrated with the slowness of the process (although it hasn’t really been all that bad). Hannah had some confusion at first. She seemed to think that we would be trading in Isaac for a new brother. She was not nearly as upset about that as I would have liked her to be, however, I think she is much more content knowing that she is simply adding a brother, not trading one out. Lydia is oblivious. I feel like of all our kids, she may be the one to have some adjustment issues, particularly having to share some of the attention she has become accustomed to getting as the baby of the family. But, we understand that this will be a transition and a process. There will likely be hard times, but as my husband often says, “Things worth doing are almost never easy.”
How do you feel about it? Tim always comes to decisions long before I do. And he’s been ready for a long time to do this. It always takes me time….and a lot of it. So here’s how I feel right now. I am excited. I am kind of nervous. I am a little scared. I want to tell you lots more about my feelings throughout this process, but that is enough material for an entire post in itself-maybe a series. But, what I will tell you is that several months ago, I’d say the beginning of 2014, every time I talked to Tim about adopting, I would cry. I don’t mean those cute little movie tears either-you know the kind you wipe away with a dainty Kleenex and your makeup is left untouched. I mean the kind of tears that surprise you when they come bubbling forward, they wreck your makeup and they soak your clothes. You couldn’t mop them up if you tried…those tears. I couldn’t even control them. I wasn’t even in a weepy mood. It was just my immediate response just to the thought that it might be time to open up our home and our family. Then, as we sat on Tim’s cousin’s couch and talked to her about adoption (she is an adoptive mom) and the tears came flowing there too-I knew then that something was happening. God was preparing this mother’s heart for a new season. And nothing less than obedience would do. So, that’s where we are-on a quest to obey God and do His will. And THAT is thrilling. It’s exciting to know that your life is being directed by God Himself in such a tangible way. I am in awe of how I have seen Him at work in our hearts over the past year…from our children to this blubbering momma to working out Tim’s schedule to be more available-God has everything in control. That feels good.
What’s the latest on progress? Our home consultation was delayed another week. We tried to take it in stride though, and of course it worked out well, as we kept extra kids this past week, and I was down with a cold. So, we are scheduled again for this Thursday. Please pray that nothing stands in the way this time. I really need this to happen this week. I need it to start feeling real and to start seeing some progress. I’m now subconsciously counting that I have four children, so I constantly feel like someone is missing, and I know that feeling won’t go away until we do have our fourth with us. If all goes well, we will start our CALL training the weekend of Sept 12-13 and one more weekend in September. We will have to pass our home study and then we will be officially open for adoption. It could be really fast and it still could be a year or more away. We ask that you pray that we will continue to trust God’s perfect timing and please stand with us in our prayer that God has exactly the right child ready for us.
I think this covers most of the questions I got the other day. Of course, if you do have a question I didn’t answer, let me know. We want to be an open book, as you have probably noticed. I have to tell you that making that adoption announcement last week was a HUGE step for me, and when I looked at my blog stats and saw that 575 people read that post, I was overwhelmed. I am blown away by the encouraging words that were spoken to us, things that we needed to hear. I am in awe of the fact that many people are now praying for our family as we start this process. So let me just say from our family to you…THANK YOU. You have no idea what your support, and most of all, your prayers mean to us. We aren’t doing anything big, but knowing that we have the support of a community of people is so reassuring. I hope to keep you posted on the progress here. If you want to stay up to date, you can follow my blog through RSS feed (check the sidebar) or you can follow our page on Facebook. Just go to the link in the sidebar. If you’re on the mobile version, click on the menu button (the three tiny lines all together for those of you like me who are technically challenged) under the title of the blog, and you should see an option to follow us on Facebook so you can stay up to date. Again, your sweet words mean SO much to us, and your prayers mean even more. Thank you.
For more information about waiting children in Arkansas, please go to:
The CALL-Learn more about fostering and adoption and how you can serve the waiting children in our area.
Arkansas Heart Gallery-Find out more about fostering and adoption and search through their photo listing to see waiting children in the state of Arkansas.
Project Zero-See lots of photos of precious waiting children and find out how you can help.