Now that you know how we came to the place of adopting, it’s important to know how God led us to the sweet little red head.
Since making the decision to adopt and letting our trainers at the agency know about our decision the topic filled much of our conversation at home. One night on the way home from MAPP class we made the comment that it would be neat to adopt a local child that we knew or had some type of connection to. Maybe a local family that couldn’t care for another child, a mom from the local pregnancy center, or a distant family member. We made these comments and moved on. Didn’t think twice about it.
A few Sundays later V had a children’s ministry leadership meeting with some ladies from our church. One of these women is a close family friend. We’ll call her A. I have known A for many years and her husband and his family all my life. They have three children of their own and also foster several children. They are actually one of the resources we reached out to early on in our own process to get more information/direction. Before the meeting, the group was having casual conversation and someone asked A about her foster kids. She shared that they had been praying about adopting one of the children whose parental rights were in the process of being terminated, but really felt like their purpose was to foster at this point in life. She shared how torn she was in this decision, but also knew adoption wasn’t the direction the Lord was pointing to right now.
V came home after his meeting and shared with me what he had learned. Our friend, A had no idea at the time that we had changed our application from fostering to adopting. V and I had helped A and her family by providing respite care for her foster kids several times over the last year so we knew her 3 foster kids fairly well. We also worked with them at church. Through knowing the kids and some of their stories we were able to narrow down which child A was referring to that was soon to be in need of a forever home. It was a four year old little boy we’ll call Red. We knew right away we wanted to get some more information and go from there.
We were encouraged to begin getting to know Red by getting him on Saturdays and taking him to the park. After doing this once or twice we kept him for a weekend or two and then before we knew it we were wanting to keep Red as much as possible.
We loved his little personality! He’s very curious and always sitting on go. The term all boy describes him perfectly. He plays hard and gets dirty faster than anybody I know. He has such a great memory! Depending on where you’re headed in the car he can tell you where to turn to get there (typical back seat driver). He’s quick to pair people together. He likes to know who goes with who…who is their daddy, brother, grandmother? At his daycare when they gave out individual awards Red was given the “Most Informed” award. They said that he always knew the latest gossip at the daycare concerning both teachers and children. His red hair, freckles, and translucent white skin are just adorable. Needless to say it didn’t take us long to fall in love with Red. It didn’t take our families long either. Now the question was…can we love this child forever….no matter what…as parents do/should do for their children?
V and I hashed a lot of things out. We tried to intentionally talk with one another about feelings as they came up and we tried to intentionally spend time on our knees together praying. We were both confronted with a lot of selfishness. I had to work through the idea of not having a season of life where it was just us and a new born baby. V had to work through the idea that his wife was now going to be a mother too. Adopting a toddler would forever take this current season of life away from us and take some future seasons of life away. Were we really ok with that? We were also confronted with the the very real fear of not being able to love Red when he is 15 years old, pimple faced, and has raging hormones. Can we really do this? Can we really give ourselves, our known and unknown expectations of our future family, and our unconditional love away to a child who someone else gave birth to?
We’ve learned that alone we can not. None of these things (and more) can I or V do or be “ok” with on our own. Sure, maybe we can hold it together for a few months or maybe even a few years, but our strength, love, and grace would soon wear out. It just would!
In working through all of this the Lord gently kept pulling us back in with His words…
I will direct your steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
It will be worth it. (Romans 8:28)
I have not given you fear. (2 Timothy 1:7)
I will never leave you. (Hebrews 13:5)
My grace is sufficient for today. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I can do all things through Christ. (Philippians 4:13)
His word was full of answers to every question, doubt, and fear we could think of. There was no doubt in our minds about God’s call up to this point and after working through our emotions and applying God’s word the best we could we were in. We were committed to taking steps towards adopting Red and loving him forever…no matter what.
Once we knew we were still in, we were about 3 weeks from being done with our MAPP class at this point and still had a home study to pass. Those typically take 3-4 months to complete. It didn’t take us long to begin to picture our future with Red as our own. However the road ahead was still very long. Over the next 10 months (November 2014-August 2015) we would continue spending time with Red, completing adoption paperwork, praying, and picturing our future as a family. Emotionally those 10 months were like a roller coaster of emotions! The more we were around Red the more attached we became and the more we learned about his heartbreaking past.
For so many months it seemed like the adoption was never going to be final. For awhile we weren’t even sure if it was going to work out. V and I had to get to a point where we could let Red go and know that he belonged to the Lord and trust He was going to do what’s best for Red. We had to accept that we weren’t in control (so hard!), but trust in the One who is. The verse about God working for our good became our motto (Romans 8:28). Red’s case changed hands within the system several times and another family showed up at one point interested in adopting him. Finally on August 5th 2015 we met with Red’s Adoption Unit Supervisor and began final paperwork on his adoption. He was going to be ours…to be LOVED forever…no matter what!!