I am so encouraged.
I was thinking about apostle Paul tonight. He was imprisoned when he wrote about the peace of God surpassing all understanding [Philippians 4]. Although my life pales in comparison to his, I am walking in that same, steady, I-can't-be-shaken peace.
I am so thankful for God's mercy that he would allow us to experience such peace.
We completed our family assessment tonight and it went really well (because we're pursuing a foster license we had to have a new one done). Our case worker has been a complete God-send. I met her through the start-up adoption agency I was helping out with, earlier this year. Where every other agency said "no", she advocated for us and returned a "yes". It was made very clear during our PRIDE training sessions that unless we were open to fostering children, our application could sit untouched and unprocessed for up to a year. One trainer actually said, "Families unwilling to foster are, unfortunately, not a priority."
I'm not here to dog her comment or agency, because I get it. I did a tremendous amount of research when I was involved with the start-up agency. I understand the money, I understand the need, and I totally understand the lack of staffing versus the number of cases that come through our state.
Understanding, however, didn't make the process of pushing our adoption application through any less frustrating. A process that could have taken months, has only taken us a few weeks - beginning to end. I believe it's the favor of God. He's driving this bus, we're just sitting in the front seat, keeping our eyes out for signs, unsure of which way He'll turn.
What seemed scary even a few weeks ago, doesn't hold up, tonight, and the unanswered questions seem, oddly, less necessary.
As we signed the last few pieces of paper and talked about the types of kids that could one day call us "mom" and "dad" our hearts were widened.
Even though we're pursuing adoption, without fostering, we are in track for receiving a foster license. We've been encouraged to do this from many different angles and believe it puts us in a better position of taking in kids sooner in emergency situations. This topic, led by our case worker, forced us to answer the question of whether or not we'd be open to housing children whose parental rights are on their way to termination, but haven't been terminated.
Because the peace of God has moved in, we said "yes" without flinching. Our case worker confirmed that we understood the risk.
We trust God.
I know some people will wonder why we're okay to do this, but not foster. It's not really a topic I want to pick apart, but I will say that we're walking in the path that God has called us.
When our case worker left, I looked at Ty and said, "What do you think? Will Miss _________ be able to help find us brothers and sisters for you?"
Ty's reply was, "No, Mommy. Jesus will bring them to me."
I didn't bother explaining that God often uses people to do his work.
I'm praising God, tonight, for our case worker's kindness...
For little Ty's intuitive heart that has begun the pursuit of his Savior...
And, most of all, for God's total and complete goodness that is every shade of beautiful.