Friday, March 9, 2012

God Is With Us

We got THE call again. You know - the big call for adoptive parents. The one that says you were picked to be a little boy or girl's forever parent. The first time we got the call, it went like this.

Our new son's name is Emmanuel. Emmanuel means God is with us. He is 22 months old and he is beautiful.

Here's where it began for him. About a year ago, last February, we were considering a legal-risk placement named Miracle. On the intial email we got about her, there was info about another child in her foster home named Emmanuel - which is unusual. Ultimately, we didn't get picked for Miracle. We moved on and continued submitting for and pursuing adoptions as they came up. We started feeling like maybe the next child we were going to adopt would be a teenager, so we started pursuing teens.
Flash forward to February of this year.
We had just submitted for a 14 year-old named Will and I got an email from my adoption caseworker about a child named Emmanuel which asked: "Is this the same Emmanuel who was with Miracle?" It was. They hadn't found him a home. On a whim, I told her to submit us, thinking nothing of it. We submit for adoptive placements as often as we change underwear. Seriously. We have NEVER been picked for one; even Isaiah was a foster placement.

Weeks went by and we heard from Will's caseworker. They wanted to move forward with us. The next step was a selection staffing which is a meeting where everyone discloses more info about the child and everyone has the opportunity to ask more questions. My caseworker had said to us: "If you move forward and end up getting Will, you will not be able to move forward with Emmanuel." We felt peaceful about that. We believe God brings the right kids, at the right time and for the right amount of time. We went into that Tuesday selection staffing thinking we were submitting for a fairly typical teenager who had been in fostercare. This turned out to not be the case as the meeting disclosed some shocking info. We were heartbroken about his story, but ultimately did not feel that he would be a good fit.
The very next day, we got a call that we were chosen to go to Emmanuel's selection staffing the following Tuesday. Tuesday came and we waited and prayed. I didn't even realize how much I wanted him until I was faced with the possibility of not getting him. On my way to get my foster daughter from school, on the side walk pushing Isaiah in a stroller, and holding the hand of my foster son - halfway between my house and the school - my caseworkers called me on speaker to tell me that Isaiah would have a brother. And that I would be a forever mom again. I cried right there on the sidewalk. Humbled and awed by the plan that God has for me and my family. Cried from thankfulness that God is with us, and He just gave us a daily reminder.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It is only a season...It is all a gift (my current mantra)

This life, this season, where I am right now...I have a tendency to bless it and curse it in the same breath.
The other day, I was walking into the CPS office with my kids - foster and adopted - so they (fosters) could have a bio visit. There was a little boy crying and crying, his foster dad was stoically putting him in the car while the boy's bio mom stood behind the dad and cried. The boy kept saying, "I don't wanna leave!" I thought, I hate this place. Hate that I know these things happen, and by know, I mean I've been the foster mom stoically putting the screaming kid in the car. Hate that I can't unknow. Hate all of it. Hate that I'm dealing with baggage other people packed. Hate how it inconveniences me and affects my family.
Then, that afternoon as my husband was teaching our foster daughter memory verses, and Isaiah and my foster son were playing peacefully (rare). I was humbled that this is what I get to do with my time, my resources, my heart. Sometimes I am drowning, sometimes I am swimming. It's all a gift. The two foster kids who we have now are hard. This placement is hard. It has taken a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and seven months to get to where we are. And by the way, on a good day, where we are is still as uncomfortable as a pair of cheap shoes. When I complain about it, some people have said: "Well, this is what you wanted." So, let me be clear...this is what I want. Even when I feel like I am drowning, this is what I want, because in radical obedience to Jesus, the blessing always outweighs the burden.
It is only a season. I am trying to learn to unclench my fist and let God complete the work. It is only a season. To open my hands and recieve just what it is that he has. It is all a gift. Because my hope is in Jesus I know that it is a long hard road (season) with a good, good end (gift).