The Journey to our Adoption
A year ago, I posted here about losing an adoption placement we pursued for 5 months. Now, a year later, we have had our new kids for 5 months. It has been such a whirlwind, I am only now beginning to really delve into writing about and processing the past few months, and I want to tell you a bit about how God brought our kids into our family.
Last May, I was still processing the loss and grief of the kids we loved and never got to meet. Grateful they had a place to go, but heartsick from nearly 3 years living in limbo (there is a lot of backstory as to what happened those three years), and really thinking these kids were going to be ours. Around this time, we decided our family needed to take a vacation. We lived life “on hold” so much because of the whole “we don’t know when a match might come” thing. So I decided to call our social worker to run some potential vacation dates by her and get some input on timeline factors. She answered the phone with, “Hey, we’ve been thinking about you guys this last week because…”
I remember exactly where I was when I got that phone call. I was backing out of my parent’s driveway, and her words are forever etched in my mind. “We’ve been thinking about you guys this last week and talking about your family because we received a file on some kids that PANI (Costa Rican version of CPS) may want to match with you, but they are a little bit outside of the parameters you said you were comfortable with so we put it on hold…but we felt like after praying, we should present their file to you anyway. Is this something you would be open to?”
All that before I even said the word “vacation.” I remember feeling the overwhelming emotion of “I’m not ready. This is going to be too much.” We had just been through a harrowing few months of loss both to multiple deaths and the lost adoption placement. The grief of losing the placement had only just begun to subside, and I felt tired.
Back in the fall of the previous year, we changed our home study to accommodate the ages of the children we were then pursuing, with a little bit of cushion. Our approved age range for children had been moved up to 11 years old. However, after we lost that placement we had told our agency that we wanted to go back down to an age range of 8 and under. We really felt like we were only supposed to expand our age range that one time. The kids that were now being considered for placement with us were 10 and 7.
I asked to see the file anyway.
We proceeded to spend the next week reading over the file, having long phone calls with social workers, and getting as many questions answered as we could. I wrestled with my emotions trying to determine what was related to grief from so much recent loss, what was related to processing the information in the files (heavy in its own right), and what was related to fear of the new, unknown, and hard.
We asked God for the courage to say “no” if needed, but equally prayed for the courage to say “yes” if that was His will for our family and asked a few friends to pray with us.
Caleb was ready to give an answer much before I was, but gave me space to do the necessary processing to come to my own conclusion, since I would be home more doing the bulk of the trauma parenting. He didn’t want his thoughts to cloud my own until I had more of a sure footing. In the end, we came to the same conclusion –– we were going to say yes to a potential match with these kids. We were going to take one more step of faith.
The next couple of weeks I was incredibly nervous. I felt like I was reliving the wait of to be matched with the kids we had just lost. Perhaps after all of the emotional laboring to change our plans and say “yes”, the government would essentially say “Just kidding…”
Then, I got the phone call I was scared to hope for…”You’ve been officially matched!” And thus began this whirlwind season we are currently in. We spent the next few months doing loads more paperwork, finalizing our home and the million other details it took to move our family to another country for a couple of months, and we adopted our two beautiful kids.
So now, we’ve been home five months. The stories I already have to tell…living as a family in another country, answered prayers, what it has been like to adopt out of birth order, parenting and schooling kids from hard places––the happiness, the tears, the fears, the broken, the beautiful, the extremely hard but rewarding work…it could fill a book.
God used what a year ago was a huge loss to us as a mercy to our kids––our homestudy was pre-approved for their age because of the lost sibling placement. We are still in the throws of adjusting and forming this new family of ours, and I expect we will be for many more months. But, I’m encouraged to already look back and see progress and growth where once we all barely knew each other.