God is so amazing! Just when I was ready to give up all hope of ever adopting God stepped in. (NOTE: Before you get too excited - we have not been choosen.) A week ago I wrote in my journal about how frustrated and confused I was with our journey to adopt. When I read it I can feel the confusion, sadness and plain hopelessness in the words I wrote. At the end I prayed that God help us. As always, my prayers were answered but in an unexpected way.
Saturday Dave and I attended an adoption seminar put on by a local church. I had read an article in the paper about it and decided to go. I was hoping to learn more about foster care thinking maybe God doesn't want us to adopt, maybe he wants us to be foster parents instead.
The seminar included some inspiring testimonies from several families who had adopted internationally. Then there were 2 women from an adoption agency who spoke about their agency and specifically about international adoption. I began to wish that Dave and I had pursued international adoption, I thought that if we had maybe we would already have a child. Then, at the very end of their presention, they mentioned that you could adopt from the Oregon foster care system then they sat down. One of the seminar organizers asked if they could speak more about that topic.
As the woman explained how it was possible for MI families working with their agency to adopt thru the Oregon foster system I started to feel excited for the first time in a long time. Hope began to rise inside me and I wondered what Dave was thinking. Was he as excited as I was? Someone asked if you could transfer your approved homestudy from another agency to this program and the answer was "No" - you have to be with that agency. So I asked if, in that same situation, you could have them do a whole new homestudy. The answer was "Yes!" In addition, because of the low fees for adopting thru the foster care system, it would actually be less money than if we were to adopt domestically thru our current agency! Dave and I looked at each other and I knew we were on the same page. He was feeling the same excitement and hopefulness I was!
We had a break shortly after that and spoke briefly to the women from the agency. I could tell that they felt bad for us when we told them how long we'd been waiting. However, they spoke of waiting on God's timing and His plan. They were very nice, encouraging and genuine. One of the women gave us a book to look thru with the pictures of the children available for adoption in Oregon. As Dave and I looked at all the beautiful happy faces of the children my heart ached for them.
Then I turned to a picture of a little boy and girl laying in a wagon and my heart stopped. I felt such a pull as I looked into their beautiful innocent eyes. (They are brother and sister, he is 3 and she is 1.) I paused at the page but then continued on to the other pictures in the book. But my mind kept going back to those 2. I could picture them as part of our family! I wanted to be their mom!
The only thing keeping me from that are three things: 1) a new homestudy which will take 3-4 months to complete, 2) an okay by the committee responsible for picking the families for the children (there may be other families interested in those kids - the committee chooses who they think would be best for the children), and 3) most importantly, my husband's okay. You see, Dave has always said he only wants 2 children even though I've always said I wanted 3. But I agreed to only have 2, that is until we decided to adopt. I've told him that if we adopt we need to do it twice, so that the children could have someone else to "relate" to, someone who knows what they're going thru. Also, I didn't want our kids to be called "the adopted kid" and "the biological kid." But this reasoning still hasn't changed Dave's mind so why would he change his mind now?
After we got done with the book I couldn't help flipping back to the page that had tugged at my heart. I had one last look with Dave before giving the book back. We then spent the next hour and a half listening to a woman from Bethany talk about the thousands of children in the MI foster care system who need a family. It's so sad and I felt like I should want to adopt thru MI but I kept thinking of the kids in Oregon.
We were barely out the door at the end of the meeting when I asked Dave, "So, what do you think?" As I suspected, he was as ready as I was to pursue an Oregon foster care adoption! On the drive home I reminded him of the little boy and girl in the wagon and asked what he thought about them. To my surprise, he didn't immediately say no. In fact, he asked a couple questions that lead me to believe he isn't totally opposed to the idea!
We have already submitted our pre-application and we will now wait to be contacted about the next steps. There are a lot of unknowns, like whether or not that brother and sister will still be available by the time we get thru with the homestudy process. We don't know. As always, only God knows what will happen. But I do know one thing, last week I was feeling sad and wrote this in my journal: "I wish our path was clear to both Dave and I. Lord, please give us direction. Please give us the strength to get thru the wait and the peace with whatever path you choose for us." Wow, did He ever answer that prayer (and then some)! Isn't God amazing?!!! Not only do we have direction but where I was once filled with worry and despair, I am now filled with hope and excitement! Glory to God!