Sunday, May 1, 2011

Where do we go from here?

I am so thankful for the flood of response I've received from comments and emails. I had no idea I had so many readers with such a wealth of foster adoption information! Admittedly, I'm feeling pretty discouraged.

Going in, I knew our 0-3 age specifications were going to be limiting, but I guess I figured the openness to ethnicity and siblings would help our odds. After reading more about the legal process, I understand why our chances of adopting, apart from fostering, are so slim.

Keeping birth order really isn't something we've cemented, but adopting children under the age of four is important to us, right now. It really has nothing to do with the amount of life the kids have seen or lived, but everything to do with our readiness as parents. We have grown-up alongside Tyrus and each transitioning stage requires conversations, prayer, and preparation. I'm really not ready (and maybe willing is a better word here, although it sound terrible) to skip years worth of stages.

As parents, Ben and I are just coming into hard-core discipline and have many discussions on what we should do, how we should do it, and what makes the most sense for a two year old. Adopting a 7 or 8 year old, right now, would throw such a curve ball. I would much rather adopt a 7 or 8 year old in 5 years, when we have more experience under our belts. I know critics would say our lack of experience is inconsequential compared to the love so many of these children need, but my feet are firm on the matter.

I want, more than anything, to adopt teenagers someday, but, right now, we (along with all of our friends) are  in parenting-little-kid mode and we want to learn to do that well before moving on.

So that leaves me with the stomach pitting question of What do we do?

This morning, I cried out to God and said something along the lines of "Why can't my body just work?"

I didn't bother to let the Holy Spirit respond. I know the answer and repeated it on cue.

The way I see it, we have a handful of options:
  1. Throw our adoption tax credit into the domestic adoption system instead of paying off student loans.
  2. Try to find an expectant mother ourselves and start a self-promotion campaign, even to the point of newspaper adds and community bulletins (gag me).
  3. Jump through the hoops of being foster adoption "ready" only to wait years on end, barring a miracle of God.
  4. Decide to foster 0-3 kids and pray for adoption blinders, so that I can fully commit to supporting the reunification process and intent.
  5. Wait five years and go into foster adoption with a 0-8 age range.
I don't like any of them. Reading through such a list is a sure crying trigger and has the ability to take me right to the why-me gutter.

Thankfully, Ty's adoption required a heart revolution and I can usually, confidently, dismiss anti-Christ seeds from taking root.

Part of the curse of infertility (at least for me) is that it never fully goes away. I hate that my motherhood is completely dependent on the heartbreaking sacrifice (domestic adoption) or delinquency (foster adoption) of other mothers.


  1. I so, so, so understand your heart here. This have been the same sentiments I've held in my heart for a while now. I understand all your options and why none of them are your favorite option.

    Hard stuff. I hate that in order for me to expand my family or to provide a home for a child, loss for somebody else is involved.

  2. Oh Rebekah. Your heart is so big and full of love. I just wish we could see the family of your future right now so it could give you peace and understanding about why all of this seems so difficult right now.

    I don't know much about the foster care system, but I think the depth of your love for Christ and for children is apparent.

    I know you want to be a fovever parent for many more children. But is it possible that you were not only intended to be a forever parent to more children, but while that child finds his or her way to your family, you could love and be a positive Christian influence in the life of even more children than the ones you will call your forever family?

    Fostering a child with the goal of family preservation is a ministry that does not conflict with your desire for an expansion of your family. If one of the children you foster is meant to be your forever child, God will determine that. Not you or the system.

    You do not have to compromise what you feel called to. God knows your heart for children and He will place the right child where he/she needs to be to find you.

    And I disagree with your statement about hating that your motherhood is dependent on sacrifice or delinquncy. Your perspective is skewed.

    I LOVE that your path to motherhood is the SOLUTION to situations that need a loving family willing to enveolp a child as their own. You are not the cause of the circumstances that precipitate relinquishment by a birthmother, or delinquency of parents.

    You are not preying on vulnerable parents. You are simply making yourself and your heart available to children who need the kind of love you have to provide.

    Your faithfullness is admirable. You do not have to figure this out. God is answering your prayers with each step you take.

    Could it be possible that He wants you to consider fostering and this is how He is showing you?

    I don't know what the answer is - because thankfully I am not God. lol!

    It sure seems like this is one of those moments in a person's life where you might need to step back and just let God open and close the doors for you.

    Loving and praying for you.

  3. No advice, but I just wanted you to know I'm praying for you!

  4. These are tough decisions for sure. As far as learning to parent different ages and stages or what would work for your could get lic. to provide respite care for foster children ( respite care is providing care for a short time when foster parents need someone to care for their foster child). Of course if you had decided to adopt from foster care then you might consider getting fully lic.(you never know what children could cross your path and you would be ready as far as licensing goes) This is one way to kind of see how the system works in your area, help other foster parents and meet others that can encourage you. This could be a way of a little hands on to help with your decision. I hope this makes sense.

  5. Rebekah, I'm going to comment not because I'm the knowledge of all info, but because I can tell you that if God has another child for you, and you know it with all your heart, trust that no matter what avenue you go with HE is the one that will make it happen. My pastors wife always says, "How big is your God?" My God is big enough to move mountains, create more stars than I can possibly imagine, and bless me with the most beautiful daughters possible. Both of which came to me in ways I had never imagined.

    And a side note... another option I was just waiting to read was international adoption.

  6. Boy do I ever understand. It was a hard concept for me to understand that my children had to be hurt/neglected/etc for them to come to me. I didn't understand why there had to be a middle man in it all. Wouldn't it be kinder and simpler to just let me get pregnant? I know though without a shadow of a doubt God has the most amazing answer and when he tells me why it will
    make complete sense and I will feel silly for not thinking of it. I can tell you though this whole process made me a better mom. One who never takes one second for granted. Even the small things. I remember to be thankful for every moment I get. My advice would be to know he will point you in the right direction and let him move. Sometimes you have to stop and say I know what I want but what do you want. Maybe God is calling you to be an adopt only family (meaning a child who is already available through foster care, meaning rights have already been termed/relinquished. Also remember that just because the fostering agency says it takes a longtime or those ages aren't available isn't always so. I got two's unheard of... CPS said we were a special case. We were God breathed and it wasn't a special circumstance, God opened a big wide door.

  7. It's not always a mother's "delinquency" that leads to her child being put into the foster system. With all due respect, your use of that particular word comes across as very judgmental, a role that is much better left to God than to any one of us mere mortals, especially someone who is hoping to adopt a child born to the one you are criticizing.

  8. Praying for you. It's not easy and it's not fair that outside forces keep you from growing your family and giving another child love.

    We are choosing the China special needs route to grow our family. So many children (and many are boys under 1 year) with minor medical needs that will likely never get the medial care and the love of a family. Breaks my heart.

    You will find the path that is right for you and your family. God will show you the way.


  9. You're processing the birth order and parenting a child that is an age you haven't parented just as I did. We talked and prayed and felt that we needed to be open to older but that's where God lead us. So with our 3 year old at home we're requesting 0-6, two siblings. It's important to know what your limits are.

    We are doing foster to adopt and we know we're crazy but God called us. I will tell you that we are more then okay with the thoughts of reunification and will encourage it and help in any way we can because of our open adoption. It's extremely hard to explain but she opened our hearts in so many ways. The way we think is that we can handle some heart break so that a family can be reunited and we can wait until the child or children whose parents can't be helped come in to our family to stay. But again, that's where God called us to and it does indeed take a calling.

    Also there are 3 different levels in foster adoption. Lots of risk, some risk and no risk. Friends right now are about to take placement of two boys whose birthmom's services have been stopped and they know it's going to TPR this summer so the risk is a lot less but still there. But all other family or homes for the boys have been looked at and are not acceptable. SW's know when it's likely going to adoption but it takes a lot of discernment on us to know what's the right situation for us to take.

    You don't even know me and I'm rambling on in your comments, sorry about that. I just know right where your at so well since we just passed through this part of the journey.

    Praying that you and Ben will come to a decision you both feel comfortable with for your family.

  10. Rebekah, I'm so sorry. I can definitely relate to how you are feeling and how infertility never truly goes away. We are waiting now and hoping to adopt a baby through private domestic adoption, but many times I have thought of adopting an older child through the foster care system. If you are open to adopting siblings, sometimes there are siblings available through foster care but from what I have seen online in heart galleries the youngest are usually 4-6 years old. I've thought about this so many times, but am hesitant because of having a lack of parenting experience as well. Praying for you and that God will guide and direct you in your decisions ahead!

  11. I have no guidance or wisdom here, as this is a subject on which I have zero familiarity. But I will say that I am praying for your encouragement and renewed spirit, that God would place the answers to your questions directly on your (and your husband's) heart. I admire your courage greatly and I know that you have such a marvelous relationship with HIM that he is going to resolve all of this for you in His perfect timing. "Be still and know that I am GOD."


  12. I am a mom of three adopted children through the foster care system. Well, our third one is a couple months from being final. My name is also Rebekah and spelled the same, which is what caught my attention to your blog and the other Rebekah's blog. I know how daunting and discouraging the fost-adopt system can seem. It is! But with the Lord on your side, great things happen! We got our son when he was 3 months old. We got our daughter when she was just 1 month old and our second daughter at 15 months! We got all three in 4 short years. This of course is not the norm, BUT we feel each child was sent by God. He can work with this broken system and get you the right babies! I just want to encourage you, as I know on paper it all seems so impossible, but remember with God on your side HE can use you and your husband's open caring hearts and bless you tremendously!!! You are in my prayers and may the Lord bless your home with many more little feet!

  13. Oh, Rebekah, I wish there was some way I could help! But, as others have said, your children are out there and whatever path you choose, God will help them find their way to you. Just as He did with Ty. I agree with a previous commenter that, while adopting younger children takes more time, it is NOT impossible. I see it in our system down here (AZ) more than you'd think. If it is meant to be, then take that leap of faith and then hunker down for a wait, knowing that your child will come in his/her perfect timing. I know it's all easy for me to say, not being in your shoes. I just wanted you to know that I see young foster children adopted by parents waiting for younger children on a regular basis. It can and DOES happen. Hang in there, hun, I'm thinking of you...

  14. :( So sorry for this journey you have been placed on. It's not an easy one, for this I know! If your heart is set on adoption, I DO NOT recommend fostering. The goal is ALWAYS reunification, and they (DCS) will stomp all over the child's and the foster parent rights to ensure this happens. We didn't foster to adopt. We fostered while waiting to adopt overseas. We knew that we would get the damaged 8 year old that would destroy our house and cuss us out every chance he got..We wanted and were ready for this child. Instead, we got a beautiful baby girl and fell in love. God's plan was for her to become ours and there is no denying she was placed in our home by NO accident. But it took a year an a half until we were able to FINALLY adopt her and they were the most excrutiating years of our lives. The foster care system is so broken and such a mess. We didn't know if she would be with us from one day to the next. I am a social worker and I do believe in reunification WHEN it is safe and healthy for the child. This was not the case for our sweet Lydia and the thought of her growing up to either be a drug addicted teem mom, as her family cycle had deemed her, OR the star of her soccer team and class president was far more than I could handle on certain days.
    I say all of this to forewarn you of the "foster to adopt" plan. When the state is desperate, and looking for foster parents on a Friday evening YOU WILL get a call. It won't matter if they kids will ever be "adoptable".
    God knows whats best though and he will see you through. Thinking of you and praying for peace in all of this.

  15. I read all the time, but I don't often comment. But I wanted to just say I'm praying for you as you trust God to expand your family. My husband and I considered foster-to-adopt a while back, but after learning more about it, we had to be honest with ourselves that we weren't 100% sure we would be able to support the system's goal of reunification if we thought it wasn't in the best interest of the child.

    Since you say you're considering adopting from the foster system and not foster-to-adopt/fostering, do you mean you would only consider children whose parents have already had their rights terminated?

    Am definitely looking forward to seeing how God works in this situation!

  16. I can completely sympathize with you..on adoption and infertility. We are that couple, waiting years to adopt. But it's all worth it.

  17. Praying for your decisions.

    Have you ever thought about adopting internationally? We have several friends who have adopted from China, Korea, & Africa....most babies (15 months and under). The process takes about a year for Special Needs(minor). We are even praying through adopting our 3rd child now. Exciting and scary:)

    Here are a few of my friends who have recently adopted and are feeling so blessed with their new additions:

    It would be a great way to grow your family! :)

  18. Hi Rebekah! I think I may have mentioned to you in one of our emails that I am a foster care case manager. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Obviously, there are differences between MO and MI, but there are also a good deal of similarities.

    I will say that my job breaks my heart every single day. I have stories that you wouldn't believe! Let me know if I can be of service to you. :) Prayers, friend!

  19. Girl, we are SO similar---pretty type A: planners, determined, organized, focused. But I have learned from some foster-adopt friends that people like us, we got to let go and stop thinking we have to be prepared for everything in life. We just gotta pray to God to "give us this day our daily bread." TRUST me when I say I don't have this down pat yet---so I'm so not yelling at you. More so, I'm yelling at myself here, b/c I see me in your post. :) Anyway, I thought I couldn't handle many things when we did domestic adoption---like having kids close in age (God laughs at that now), parenting kids of another race (I have two AA girls), or being part of open adoption (we have 2 totally open adoptions). So foster-adopt? Why am I not faithful? Why do people (type A) like us struggle? ANNOYING. I annoy myself! Enough rant. :)

  20. I am an adoptive mom as well. I know this stress. I know infertility. It is so so hard!! Our attorney is AWESOME and so fair and knows us and our birthmoms so well. Our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He will provide! Please email me at and I would love to share the info with you if you are interested. Kansas is a wonderful adoptive state!

  21. So many others have said it better than me, but I just want you to know I'm here, I'm reading and I can relate.

  22. Rebekah,

    I can only speak from my experience here in MT, but our social worker was very understanding we wanted 0-3 age range and that we strongly preferred adoption. When the boys were placed with us, they were "foster care only" status, but within two months that changed to us being named as going to adopt them, and we knew for sure by June we were the adoptive home. Will be praying for you guys!

  23. I'm usually a lurker but felt compelled to comment on this one. We adopted our very first foster baby (we got him @ six months old and finalized @ 23 months). I have no doubt that he is a gift from our Heavenly Father. He is now six years old and still a sweet, wonderful, well-adjusted child. I know that our experience was unusual (because it was mostly positive), but there are risks with any form of acquiring a child (whether by pregnancy, adoption, foster/adoption). I'd be happy to "talk" to you more about foster care and foster/adopt privately if you're interested.

    Praying for peace for you and your family!
    Alice Criswell

  24. Thought of you today. It stinks that some of us have to go through this but one day we will be face to face with God and he will have answers for us. As for right now, I can hear the Lord whisper to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with little. I will put you over much."

    May this verse speak to your heart today and minister to your needs.

    Much love to you Rebekah and the precious gifts (your husband and son) the Lord has blessed you with.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  25. I agree with Heather's comment. I adopted my daughter from the Foster Care sytstem. Her birth mother was not "deliquent." What makes you think mothers who's parental rights have been been terminated by the state aren't also making a "heartbreaking sacrifice?"
    I wish you luck on your 2nd adoption journey.

  26. You need to check with your state. some states pay for the lawyer fees and what ever other fees it takes for you to adopt up to a certain amount such as Florida is one because that is where i live and just got through adopting 2 kids . We only waited about 2years but other things went into play during that time. It was ALL God's timing.

  27. 1. The "foster-adopt program" only places children with a tpr or getting the tpr soon in a home. The risk is low.

    2. Referring to first mothers in the foster care system as deliquent is pretty crass. I encourage you to sign up for the classes so you all can get a real education about adoption. State mandated licensing classes are very in-depth in most states and will confront some of your beliefs.