So, here’s the post where I step out from behind my opinions and just tell the facts as they are, that is, why I even have this blog to begin with.
Let me skip some of the boring stuff (you know, the wedding, honeymoon, post-college jobs, moving to a new state) and fast forward to the 6th year of our marriage, the year my husband Kent and I decided we’d get pregnant and have kids. We expected to have no troubles whatsoever, however, as it turns out, pregnancy is more elusive for us than we ever would have imagined. Many tears, procedures, tests, doctor’s visits, etc revealed we are infertile. And not just a little. We’re like humankind-would-not-exist-if-we-were-Adam-and-Eve infertile. The issue is genetic and there’s nothing to do about it except pray.
So, that’s what we did. And, certainly we were hoping God would work a miracle and we’d be like, “Yay! Thanks God! You’re awesome! We knew You could do it!” and we’d live the perfect life with our kids and it would be great. But, that didn’t happen. Instead, God led us to adoption. And, you know what, I secretly wondered if it was headed in that direction for a long time, maybe all along, because I used to say flippantly, “If we ever find out we can’t have kids, we’ll just adopt.” And, I could slap myself in the face a million times for saying that with such tomfoolery in my tone, as if I were completely confident that Kent and I would be million-dollar-baby-makers. But, anyway, we weren’t and God told us to adopt. Well, He told me first and I had to do some serious convincing to get Kent on board (which apparently is how many couples come about adoption).
We started looking into adoption options. Turns out, the options include:
1) The path to destitution, aka, adopting through an agency.
2) The path to insanity, aka, trying to find a birthmother on your own.
3) The path to jail, aka, stealing that cute baby at the mall food court (not that I ever thought about doing that, you crazy people!)
4) The path to paperwork hell, aka, adopting through the state’s foster care.
So, we looked into our options and tried number 2 first, which included canvassing the local college campus with flyers advertising us as the perfect couple to raise your unwanted baby… Yep, we got zero feedback on that attempt, although I’d still venture to say it’s one of our more brilliant schemes as a marital unit. And, we also had a facebook page, which still exists if you are so inclined to creep on us. It got some traffic, but nothing ultimately came about from it, or anything else we did.
So, we reexamined and decided to brace ourselves for the torrential waters of option number 4, which, let me inform you, is really the scariest of all because you’re dealing with burnt out, jaded people who work for the government and, all you’re hoping to get out of it is a kid who comes from a messed up background- at least that was my first impression (and, actually, that impression still stands, however my impression of Kent and myself and what we are has been altered in the meantime).
Let me skim over the next few months and save you the agony of detailing hundreds of pages- and many hours- of paperwork, dozens of phone calls, and many prayers and just inform you that we finally made a contact at a fostering agency that works with members of the Church of Christ in the state of Arkansas. At last, we got our home opened and, our first foster kid arrived the next day. He was actually the oldest of three siblings that would move into our home- and permanently join our family nine months later through adoption.
These were crazy, crazy times, people. It’s kind of a blur, those nine months of fostering. We hoped for adoption all along, but obstacles arose along the way which looked as though they might be insurmountable. Honestly, I realized within a month of the finalized adoption that none of the five of us had ever fully allowed ourselves to love the others because we were scared it would all fall apart. But, God had planned for us to be a forever family, and He made it happen. We sighed relief and started living like a real family.
Now, I don’t say all this because I’m interested in hearing how awesome we were for adopting three kids from foster care. I’ll be the first to admit that we adopted three kids from foster care because we selfishly wanted to be parents and raise little mini-me’s. But, sometime during the past year and half between our finalized adoption and now, I’ve discovered a whole new level of love in myself, that is, the ability to love children just because they need someone to love them. This is revolutionary, people. It’s the stuff God was talking about. It’s what the Good Samaritan did for the man who was beat up along the road- he loved that man simply because that man needed someone to. And there are thousands of kids in foster care who need us to do that for them. So, here I am, an advocate for fatherless children to get them into Christian homes where they will learn God’s love and brotherly love. It’s what we want for our own children. It’s what God wants for His children, too.