Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bring in the Bunk Beds

This is getting comical.

Ben has a friend at work that we've encouraged along the way as him and his wife pursue foster care adoption for their family. They have boys much older than ours and want to bring a girl into the family. They were called about a set of girls, last week. They took time to pray through it, but in the end were not prepared to bring two girls home.

Their case worker called me, yesterday.

She had urgency in her voice.

The girls are in a home that has given her 30 day notice. The girls suffered a failed adoption placement, over Christmas, when the foster mom fell, seriously, ill. The, current, foster mom is willing to adopt the younger sister, but doesn't want them both, but the case worker is unwilling to separate the sisters. The case worker only has until the first week in February to find a new home.

Tragically, these sweet babies have been in 10 placements. Their case worker is desperate to find their permanent home before February, so that they don't have to move two more times.

The case worker reminded that talking to me, directly, wasn't protocol, but that she was anxious to know if we would be willing to consider her kids' case. If so, she would contact our case worker.

She gave me the specs.

Two girls. One is 4; the other is 2.

I smiled to myself. We are destined to raise three 4 year olds.

The case worker seemed startled by my lack of hesitancy. She was expecting me to say, no, with each piece of information. She, skeptically, continued through the file when I didn't.

God has prepared our hearts. I feel, amazingly, calm and cloaked in peace.

Once she realized I was, legitimately, interested in adopting the kids in her care, she leveled with me, saying, "These girls are a full time job. They are going to be a challenge. There are no signs of abuse, just serious neglect. They are, emotionally, broken and they need serious structure, boundaries, and consistency. I believe all of their behaviors stem from having 10 placements."

Of course. Anger stirred in me. There is something broken in our system that all of these little ones have suffered so much disruption. All of the children we're looking at are under 4. What about the 8 and 10 year old? If 2 and 4 year olds are switching homes 7-10 times, how many homes has a 12 year old lived in? We have to do something about this.

I pushed my soapbox aside, for the moment, and listened to the endless list of behaviors that the girls display.

I told her a little bit about our family and how we're waiting on God for the next chapter of our story. I let her know that we would, seriously, consider her case if we were not the family chosen for Lya and Jamar.

As we talked through it we discovered that all four kids are assigned to the same agency. What!?! And that she works down the hall from the other case worker. Seriously!?! What are the odds? This agency isn't even our agency.

She knew of Lya and Jamar and the other families being considered.

The case worker rushed off the phone and let me know that she would have the supervisor call me.

Of course these conversations keep happening on Friday nights, so that we have to suffer the wait of a weekend!

My heart is malleable. I told the Lord to use us where he needs us most. It's that simple.

The second "4 and 2" set do not follow our birth order criteria. The four year old little girl is a few weeks older than Ty. That has made Ben pause, but God's plans, historically, don't mirror ours. 

They are better. Rich in redemption.

One thing is for sure. Our family is growing and we need more bunk beds!


  1. Exciting! Bring on the bunk beds:)

  2. I know it flies in the face of all conventional adoption wisdom but we adopted two sons (after adopting our two daughters) and didn't realize until we were in Uganda to meet them that we were disrupting birth order. We have four kids born with 22 months of each other - and it has been beautiful and healing for all four of our kids. Their bonds to each other were strong long before our bond as a family was.

    Don't get me wrong. It was hard for a very very long time. Two years in we're finally on mostly solid ground but it took every single day of the past two years and will likely take many many more days. But I would never trade any of it because these four kids are so perfect for one another.

  3. Wow, almost comical is definitely one way to put it! Unbelievable! I jus want to say that I feel that anger and sadness every day as I watch a system "break" these kids more than their parents ever could. I watch children like these 2 you describe and we desperately try to help in any way we can. I have taken on the task of training judges, attorneys, CPS, CASAs, etc - A CPS APM (regional supervisor) and I now do a training called "Infant Mental Health, Trauma and Child Welfare" and have taken this training to 5 different counties, and always have people fired up to do things differently. Little by little, we are changing things. Hope is not lost! Anyway, I am following closely and can't wait to see how this story unfolds:).

    1. Thank you for all that you do, Faith! Once things settle in our new family, I will be funneling some energy into some corner of the system. We can't adopt all the children, so there has to be another way to reach them...

  4. You and your husband have the best hearts. Any child will be so lucky to call you their mom and dad. I pray the best "set" is sent to you for love, and learning. Their "brothers" will be the best teachers of all!

  5. Oh!!! My heart fills for you and your family with anticipation! So looking forward to how things work out. One thing is for sure - each child placed with you is lucky and will flourish over time. You guys are amazing.


  6. Looks like you need to update your header picture to include 2 more sets of shoes! Love watching God work in and through you and your family. To God be the glory, Great things He has done!

    Kim M

  7. Praying that you get the "set" of siblings that god feels you need in your family. Can't wait to follow the rest of this journey. Peace & strength

  8. I'm anxiously waiting for more news, as I'm sure you guys are. My hubby and I are in the beginning stages of starting foster-adoption and I am anxious to see how God uses us there.

  9. This blog is great! The Lord Himself "Set a fire down in our soul" years ago and we finally said YES. A few months ago we were approved for adoption through DSS, so now we wait. In the meanwhile I'll be reading your blog. Thank you! The Lord is providing the extra bedding you need :)

  10. Haven't had much time for blog reading recently, but was thinking about your family while I was home sick this morning. So exciting! Praying for you guys and the agency as you all make decisions and for all of the kiddos involved!

  11. Wow! How amazing to see God's plan unfold in your family.
    Hoping you are able to update soon about what is happening.

    Our little one was in 3 homes before she was 9 months old. Sad the trauma she has because of it.

  12. wow, this is a good plan, if you want to see more bunk beds, take a look here :)