Friday, May 25, 2012

Yes & No

Our caseworker called this week.

Two of LJ's sisters will be available for adoption in a few days.

Before we brought LJ home reality set in, we were clear on our intentions with LJ's sisters. He has three. One is older and two are younger. Two of them have been fostered together for the last several months and the state will be placing them together. We were firm on honoring birth order (and we are happy that we stuck by that decision), so declined the opportunity to adopt two of LJ's sisters. Right before LJ came home, we discovered that a third sister had just been born. We told our caseworker that if the youngest sister was not grouped with the other two and became available for adoption down the road, we would be interested.

It was easy to agree to adopt more children from foster care before one ever stepped foot in our house.

Within a week of bringing LJ home we were so overwhelmed by the chaos, we questioned whether or not we'd ever be able to do this again. Fast forward two months and although we still have some obstacles to overcome, we are really enjoying our new family and a cloak of peace has settled.

When our case worker called with the news of termination for two of LJ's sisters, her follow up comment was, "Be ready with your answer on number three."  I expected termination for the youngest (of many) to be at least a year out. And it still could be. But in order to have an answer "ready" when the call comes, we have to discuss our answer, now.

Enter discord.

My answer is a passionate, teary, YES. Ben's answer is a solid, sure, NO.

It only took minutes for our discussion to get heated, so we parted and agreed to think things through, separately. My initial reaction was anger. I mean - we aren't really in a position to turn down an opportunity to have another baby! Up to this point, I knew the possibility of ever rocking a newborn again was pretty unlikely. Sure, our life is crazy, right now, and it isn't the BEST time to introduce another family member into the mix...but this isn't just a baby's LJ's sister! I balled my fists in frustration, but, quietly, prayed that God would settle my heart and give me direction on what to do/say.

After a day or so, the Holy Spirit came upon me and reminded me of my love for my husband and the blessing his steady reasoning is in my life. I am an easy love and sometimes my passions cloud my sense for reality. I constantly have to evaluate whether my heart is running away with my dreams or if God, truly, is stirring me to action. Ben is really good for me in this regard.

I started chewing on his points of reason - What in the world would I do about work? I LOVE my job and have a beautiful setup, right now. Would I really be able to leave three babies at home in someone else's care, all day? Would our someones even be willing to watch three kids (probably not)? Can five of us share our two bedroom condo? Can our boys handle another game changer, right now, so soon? Can we handle three kids under three?

Ben's answer is not no to adoption or no to future kids. His answer is no to adopting another kid, right now.

I want to be mad about it...but I can't.

I, of course, want my way. I WANT to bring home this precious baby girl that is more beautiful with every picture I see...but, I have to care about Ben's feelings and reservations.

His voice is as important as mine (although it takes a good dose of humbling to admit that).

I am so thankful for godly wisdom. My head wants to pray for God to change Ben's heart, but the Spirit leads me by saying, "Lord, your will be done."

I have to trust Him. I've seen too much to do otherwise.

If the call comes, today, I would, respectfully, tell our caseworker "no". But the call may not come today, or next week or next month. This system moves, painfully, slow. There is a possibility (especially the longer it takes) that when the call DOES come, our answer will be "yes".

The peace I feel is infectious.

Sadly, there will never be a shortage of children to adopt...and even more heartbreaking, this will most likely not be the last sibling of LJ's to adopt, either.

It's a good reminder to myself. I am only thirty years old.

I have seven more decades to live out my hopes and dreams. They don't all have to actualize, right now.


  1. but how awesome would it be if they all did actualize "right now".. I like to know the future,,, Im not good at waiting on God,,,He's cool with me about showing me little snippets of whats to come, (I guess he understands my need to plan)..... sounds like you might be a little of the same.... I also wanted to tell you that I registered on "the bump . com" and went on to an adoption sight and posted a link to your blog for encouragment... a lady responded and told me she adopted out of the same agency as you and you two have a mutual friend.... such a small world... Thank you Rebekah for being so open and willing to share your world....

    cindie bass

  2. Hmmmmmm....this is interesting. I am sure you are doing the right thing. II would be struggling with this A LOT. But, I have to remember that my husband listens to me a lot, and I need to do the same for him.

    The system does move very slow...who knows how this will end up....but God. :)

  3. I think you made a good decision! Good for you!

  4. Great post. I will always remember what one of our SW's said to me when my hubby & I had differing opinions on various adoption situations. She reminded me that my marriage was ordained by God and I needed to remember that. She said that God would put the "yes" on both of our hearts when He ordainded it for our marriage/family. It sounds like, as hard as it might be, you were wise enough to figure that out on your own. Bless you!

    1. I agree with Char. Stay strong - honor Him by honoring your husband - and we'll see what God has in store. From what I can tell from your blog, you are an incredible woman. Much love.

  5. I think you'd be surprised how well a baby would mesh with the boys. Daycare and your job aside...this IS LJ's sister. It's an exciting proposition...keep an open mind and look at where you'd be 5 years from now. Time flies...

  6. We had a foster daughter that was three, she was a lot like LJ, when our twin boys were two. I was very disappointed when I found out that Amy was going to be a big sister because there was no way that I could also take care of a baby and that meant that they would not be living together. They were both adopted by separate families, which I think is very sad. If I could turn back time I wish that I fostered the baby and used the money to hire full time help.

    Is LJ's newest sister in an ESH type placement? When is the next court date for her? Maybe you and Ben could visit her, he could hold her, and pray to know what is best for everyone. Do you keep in contact with the older three girls?

    Also, we recently met our adopted daughters younger sister and it is harder to form relationships at age 17 an 12.

    Best wishes for your family. Our twins will be in first grade next year and I am trying to figure out if I was blessed with twins and should be finished or if I was blessed with twins and need to focus on another foster placement.

    1. No on the ESH placement. Sadly, the two older of the three sisters have been in foster care for nearly two years. The youngest was put into care from her hospital birth and has been in a foster home for 4 months. Given the history of this case, I don't think relatives are an option at this point. It's messy (like so many cases!). We have not met any of LJ's siblings. There are many. We are open to being in relationship with them in the future, but for now, LJ has no memory of them and we were really trying to redefine his family. It took us six weeks to help him understand that he only has one mom, one dad, and one brother. He's had so many that he was calling everyone he met "mom" and "dad". Very sad.

  7. Many prayers to you! Remember...Ben is your spiritual covering. Not to say you shouldn't have your "desires" too. God just puts our husbands in a very special position. I struggled for a LONG time with this. As soon as I let my husband be my husband and have the "final" word...God blessed our marriage in ways that I can't describe. I'm sure everything will be just fine. Just TRUST HIM:). I can see in your posts that you have a great man. Hang in there. Rest in HIS plan:). Prays!!

  8. AHHHH! Really tough stuff. Prayers for you and yours, girl!

  9. I really don't like this post. Just because I struggle with trusting my husband's leadership sometimes. Thanks for the reminder. Thank you for writing a post I don't like. It's good for me. I know to let him lead, but it is harder than it may seem.

  10. Thank you for your honesty.

    I know my opinion probably means nothing to you or your family, but I want to tell you something personal to chew on. :) My daughter's bio sib was placed (before her) with another family. LUCKILY we connected (on a fluke, really) and the siblings can know each other. But honestly, it's not ideal at all that these kids aren't together. They SHOULD BE TOGETHER.

    I cannot imagine telling my daughters that one of their siblings was available for adoption and we said no. I can't imagine what that would do to my child.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I think that yes, our husbands deserve respect and weight in our family's choices. YES. But I also think there were many times in our personal adoption journey where God spoke clearly to me and I shared that with my husband. He wasn't ready to accept what I was that time, but he did eventually agree.

    The issue is, as I'm sure you are feeling it, you don't have the luxury of waiting. That call could come any time, as you say.

    I don't think you should dishonor your husband, but something to seriously consider is this: you will have to tell LJ the truth one day---that his sibs were available and that you said no. And he's going to ask why. Can you, with a totally clear mind and heart, say that it's because God said you shouldn't consider those kids?

    Birth order matters, but girl, you know the Lord can overcome ANYTHING. Having a great job matters (it really matters to me), but you know what? There will always be another great job to take. Maybe there's a part-time option or someone willing to help w/childcare.

    I know, adoption is REALLY messy. REALLY messy. And it's so hard to know what to do.

    Maybe take time to each pray (get a sitter) by yourselves. Come together and see if God told either of you something else.

    My heart is with you. I know this must be really tough. I just wanted to share my heart from the other side---kids NOT being together and how even though it worked out ok, I personally would never say no to a sibling of my child's.

  11. First off, I loved when you said this "I constantly have to evaluate whether my heart is running away with my dreams or if God, truly, is stirring me to action.". This is SO me and I can totally relate. It's not a bad trait to have, but it is a blessing to have a husband that can keep me grounded and help me see the big picture.

    It think above all, being in total agreement with your husband is priority. The peace in your home starts with you and your husband and trickles down to your children. As heartbreaking as it would be to see this little girl not be in your family, it would be even more heartbreaking to bring her into a family that is not ready for her and not in agreement about her being there. I have no doubt that the Lord will lead you BOTH. It just make take time to see His great plan unfold!

  12. Rebekah, I hope you don't mind me jumping in here but I just read what Rachel said and though I understand her concerns I applaud you for taking a step back and ultimately trusting God to work all things out for your family's good. You are teaching your boys what it's like to have a wife that trusts her husband's heart and leadership in their home. This is critical for children to see lived out, especially boys. Rebekah, you are raising boys that will become mighty Men of God. Boys that girls will want to marry!
    I appreciate your willingness to be open and I look forward to seeing how this all works out. It's going to be good!!!! This is absolute FAITH in action and God loves it!!!

  13. Wow wonderful website. I really like crying


    Sharron white

  14. You are a wonderful woman who I find myself learning from with each post you write! Much love and prayers to you.

  15. Keep blogging about it. The state of MI is in HUGE need of more foster parents and people to adopt through foster care. We need to spread the word through our churches and families, letting people know that if we can do it they can too. Sure people can tell you that it is "best" for these bio siblings to be together, but unfortunately their bio parents have made decisions that has taken "best" away. There is not cut and dry answer here. You and your husband can trust the Holy Spirit's leading. We know first hand how wonderful that is when making emotional decisions regarding foster care/ adoption. You are doing what the Lord has called you to do today. You don't know what the future will bring, but your eyes are on Him! It sounds like you and your husband are being very wise. Keep it up! Maybe you can help spread the word and be a part of finding an adoptive family for this little girl.

  16. I would love to see you add this baby girl to your family. I mean, come on, a baby girl!!! Squeee!!!! And like you said, not just ANY baby girl, LJ's sister. I'm going to pray for some time before you're asked to make your decision and pray that when the time comes you'll both feel able to do this. I understand that it's imperative for you both to be in agreement. I just keep thinking of how Ty kept asking about a baby sister and how Ty recently made the comment about wanting ANOTHER sibling. From the outside it would appear to be a beautiful fit for your family. Praying for you!!


  17. Rebekah,

    I so empathize with your situation! Our 5 year old daughter, adopted a year ago (after 2 years as a pre-adoptive placement) from the US foster care system, is the second of 5 children.

    Her older brother and younger sister were placed in one pre-adoptive home and she was placed in ours. After 3 months, the other pre-adoptive family decided they couldn't handle her brother. We were asked to consider taking him, but knew we couldn't handle another child at that time.

    A year later, DCF asked us if we would consider taking her sister. She is her one full biological sibling, but they are only 13 months apart and both have significant needs due to their history. My husband and I were at an impasse similar to you. I was trying to figure a way to manage a very challenging 4 year old and 3 year old. But my husband said that he did not hear God's call to do this, so I listened to him.

    Two more siblings were born after the children went into care. We were asked to consider the first baby, but knew our daughter would have difficulties handling the neediness of a newborn

    ... Two years later, we are both on the same page and feel it is God's will that we should adopt an OLDER sister and are in the process of adopting a 10 year old from China.

    Praying that you and your husband will both be clear on God's will when the time comes to answer!

  18. I wish we lived in Michigan. We were very interested in adopting from the foster system, but the state we live in is extremely difficult to navigate. We are currently completing an adoption through China. In our state, a process called reunification takes precedence over what is best for the children. Kids go back to families with long histories of drug, alcohol, and violence. You are fortunate to live in a state where they actually contact you to take children! It sounds like God is leading your family and you will know when the timing is right.