Saturday, January 28, 2012

Too Many Buts

I feel like we've been in limbo one too many times but I know that this time won't be the last. Part of the adoption process is just that, not knowing what's going to happen or when you'll receive your placement. Because of our recent change of plans we knew there would be a different sort of emotional challenge that we have been trying to prepare for. Children who are placed by CPS are placed for a reason. They've been neglected, abused, hurt by someone who is suppose to love them unconditionally. I'm not sure there's really a way to begin to understand that, but we're trying to wrap our minds around it. We also know that with the amount of children in the state of Texas, close to 6000 that we'd have a placement quickly. Unfortunately, we got a really big BUT after we we heard that were had been approved this week. My brother passed away back in Sept and because there has been a death in the family we were told that we'd have to wait 7 mo's to even begin our training. Although I understand a waiting period for "life changing events", I felt I had the obligation to at least try and explain my family dynamics to them. Long story short, I ended up crying on the phone with them and passed off the communication with them to brave and less emotional husband :). So, he called yesterday and they do feel that our situation is different than any other that they've really experienced so we're hopeful to have the decision appealed and start our training. It's hard not to feel like a Mama Bear, knowing that our daughter is out there somewhere waiting for us. We want to protect her but know she has a struggle ahead. It kills us to think that we'd have to wait for her to be in an abusive situation for 7 more months just because of my brother's passing. We're trying to remember to praise God this weekend for the great kiddos we have and be thankful for their health, empathy, compassion so when our daughter arrives, we'll be there to love on her.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Reality Check

"You'll be dealing with emotional abuse for sure. For instance one of our children's father would lay her down behind the back tires and put his truck in reverse. He'd spin his tires to make her think he was going to run over know, things like that." R. had been doing these meetings for almost thirty years. Speaking to prospective parents about foster care and adoption. I turned to Chris and said, "that could be our daughter." It starts to get really easy to not notice the amount of pain around you. The amount of children who need homes. We have nice cars to distract us, nice homes, happy smiling kiddos, warm food, high fives, an awesome church community. For a short amount of time I think I forgot how messed up our world really is. Chris and I made the prayerful decision to begin the process for adoption through the State of Texas a big change from where we started. We knew that starting this process would mean dealing with the effects of abuse and neglect. It's a biggie...the effects are usually life long companions to the children and there is loads of research that shows that children adopted from the state just don't do well. Scary? Sure...from our perspective most things are. Meeting new friends is scary, trying new foods, helping friends through grief is scary but we do it and it makes us stronger. It gives us tools to do things that are more challenging later on down the road. So we'll do it and God's gonna walk us through our emotions. He's the peanut butter in our PB sandwich. Right in the middle. So we're putting in our preliminary paperwork to get started. After that we have training hours that we'll have to fulfill and in that time we'll have our home study completed. It's a short amount of time, normally 120 days from start to finish then our caseworker will begin to find a child that will fit our family. We needed to remind ourselves that we're not looking for the "perfect" child. Just like our kids don't ask for the "perfect" parents. There's no such thing. We just know how to love each other, for now, that's enough. We're all God's children...thank goodness He takes care of the perfect part.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When's My Sister Coming Home?

It was quite on Sunday afternoon, not the scary quiet when you know your kids are really doing something terrible, but good quiet. The weather was phenomenal, had the windows open and the kid were playing in the backyard. Our middle son, who's four, ran in with pink cheeks and grabbed a juice to reboot so he could go jump on the trampoline some more. He's jumped over to me and asked a very simple and frank question. "When is my sister coming home?" Chris and just looked at each other, not ready to answer the question. He saw us take the car seat out of the car, not head to the hospital and put the baby girl clothes back in the garage. I knew he was thinking about her. We all do at some point. As honest as we could be we've told our boys that she'll be here. That God is good and in His timing we'll see her. We tell them that God asks lots of things of us. To be patient, kind to people who others would assume to be outcasts. He never promises that we won't hurt, or suffer or cry. But He's there to walk us through our sorrow. Our oldest two would really love to have a sister. It started out as a calling for Chris and I to extend our family and it's blossomed into our family needing her. We have a meeting tomorrow about adopting our daughter. I feels to be a familiar place, but different at the same time. Our skin is tougher, our expectations are different and we've surrendered this to Jesus. Time to be molded and shaped into what we need to be for all of them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Today We're Happy

This is not an inspirational, “this is my New Year’s resolution” post. I actually don’t really do resolutions. I have a really bad short term memory so things like that are useless. I use most of my brain power to remember more important things like what I’m cooking for dinner or what happened on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I just feel like I haven’t written anything down in such a long time and so many people have asked or emailed about our adoption. The past six months, maybe longer we’ve had a lot going on. I’ve had it all categorically organized in my head but the past months have proven to be quite emotionally challenging and to be perfectly honest I think I needed a little time to process and reflect. Bottom line we’ve had major changes in our lives. We’ve dealt with a divorce in my family, mental illness, the death of my brother, a big move and of course the last adoption that fell through. I like to think that my eternal optimism gets me through most things in life and to some people it would seem like everything, for me, is a grain of salt. But things such as these can’t be grains; they’re more like boulders that you’re continually rolling uphill with three kids on your back. You can’t stop moving them because they’ll roll right over you. I actually find it very interesting parenting and having children during times of sadness or trauma. I remember loosing a very close friend of mine in college and I was able to take the time, be introspective, to walk to the chapel on campus and pray, say the rosary or just sit there when I needed to. With children you have to make the choice. You can be honest and describe your emotions or you can hide them and cry in the bathroom, laundry room or your car when you’re alone. We chose the first option. I think of our short journey of almost 10 years and there’s one thing that we’ve always done. Cope with things together and that’s what we do now, just as a family. Feelings are feelings, it’s good to teach children how to describe them and remind them that God is faithful. We learn through our tears and our sadness. He never told we’d always be happy but He always says He’ll be there for us, we just have to call on Him.
So with that said, there’s definitely hasn’t been a lack of joy the past 6 months. Chris got a phenomenal job that he loves and we’ve moved back to Houston. The kids are happier than ever and we feel settled and surrounded by friends and family. Chris is able to spend more time at home with us and it seems like there’s a big weight that has been lifted off his shoulders. I’m so very proud of him and I can tell he’s much happier and most importantly, proud of himself. We live just 20 minutes from my sister and nieces and nephew who I’m very close with so it’s such a blessing to be near them. We’re also back at our old church and we absolutely love it there.
            We did a lot of praying the past six months, as a family and individually. We had to put the adoption on the back burner because of the move but we prayed and asked for guidance on how to move forward because it was really hard on our hearts dealing with the last possible adoption. I think it was harder than I ever wanted to admit. So we just let it sit for a little bit until we felt ready to move forward. So we’re ready…we’re changing things up a bit and can’t really explain much as this point but let’s just say I have butterflies. We have an adoption meeting next week so I’ll post more about it then but as always, we appreciate all of the prayers and support from our family and friends. We always remember you and are so thankful.