Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hoop Jumping

This week, Ty learned how to jump. He's been working on it for months, but up to this point his feet never left the ground at the same time - which resulted in a funny, squat-like gallop. Ty is so proud of his accomplishment. When we're out, he'll tell any stranger that will listen, "Look. Ty jump'n!"

I'm bottling his enthusiasm and applying it to the next chapter of our hoop-jumping adoption process.  I will say, adoption looks much different the second time around through God-is-faithful, mom lenses.

The process hasn't changed, but I sure have.

For me, the last several months were packed with responsibilities and class and marathon laundry nights. I had several bouts of near-anxiety attacks that left my chest heaving and my head swimming. To find my breath, I resigned my position at the new start-up agency I had mentioned before and laid down all things adoption to focus on getting through my studies and keeping my marriage intact. It's been a rough few months on all of us.

I was getting so discouraged by the foster adoption door-slamming, I had to take a five second time out to regroup. Because it's been so far between posts, I can't remember what I have and haven't shared. I'm going to give you a quick recap on where we're at as a family:

  •  Ben and I are confident that God is calling us to adopt children from foster care.
  • We are sure that fostering children is not for us at this time and are only looking to adopt wards of the state (the primary reason for this is that we both work full time, and while we know this isn't a deal-breaker as far as the state is concerned, it's not where we see God leading).
  • We would like Ty to be our oldest child and realize this may make for a long process (Ty will only be 2 1/2 when we're licensed).
  • We are open to all races and sibling groups
  • Ty has been praying for a baby sister (we chalk it up to the many girl friends that surround him!)
Because God's faithfulness has been sewn deep into my heart, waiting for his plan to come to fruition has been easy (this time around). I know that God is beckoning us into the world of foster adoption. Whether that happens next month, next year, or in the next decade, I know that this seed will blossom and I'm content to wait (although recognizing that this post may come to haunt me). There are two parts of this adoption vision that have really taken root. The first is to adopt a sibling group that will otherwise be split up and the second is to adopt a teenager. I believe both desires are by God and foresee them playing out in the distant future.

When we signed up for adoption we didn't know what we were getting into, but now that we do, we don't want out. Knowing that this will be a lifelong passion, allows us to take the obstacles in stride.

And there are obstacles....
  • Agencies (8 to be exact) don't want to work with us because we're not willing to sign-up as foster parents and we aren't willing to adopt a child over the age of 7 (at this time).
  • A friend/social worker got permission from her supervisor to represent us, but before the home study can be updated we have to complete PRIDE training - which is only offered a half day each week at an hour impossible for us to attend.
  • Every time I call DHS for answers I talk to six people before getting to the person who can answer my question.
Most of this investigative work happened at the tail end of my master's and it was just too much. I made all eight agency calls on the same day and by the end of it I felt suffocated. I was so overwhelmed with life that I threw God's vision back and told him we'd have to talk later. I needed to focus on the ending task before me. That was a few months ago.

Last week, out of nowhere, an urge to press on filled my heart. I came home and told Ben, "I'm ready to fight for our kids."

I am.

I'm full of hope and vision and know that God will finish the good work he has started.

I feel really good about our game plan, which I'll save for next time due to the length of this post! After multiple calls and some direct words to - let's call them - people of the system, we found representation for PRIDE Training and start next weekend.

I'm a little nervous, but mostly thoughtful when it comes to this new crisp page in our family book. We have to jump the hoops to pass through the system, but God is so much bigger than rules and statistics and tendencies. I know he's called us. I know we're willing. And I know there are a lot of kids in need of family...


    1. Good Luck You!!!! I don't think we will go through that again, but I am cheering you on!

    2. As a foster/adopt parent, your last paragraph sums it up perfectly. I always had to focus on God being higher than the system. I so understand your feelings and frustrations. But the need for these precious children to find forever homes is worth it. We adopted a sibling group of 4 that were fixing to be split up. It has been so rewarding watching them grow and learn. After our adoption, I started searching for foster and adoption blogs. I came across your blog as you were waiting the arrival of Ty. I have really enjoyed both you and Rebekas openness. Glad to hear you and Ben are following your heart.

    3. Bless you on your journey - we are in the midst of some big adoption decisions right now too. Trusting with you that his plan will be revealed as you continue to step in faith x

    4. Welcome to the crazy world of foster-adopt! We are the exact opposite...got into fostering with NO, NONE, ZILCH, ABSOLUTELY NOT an itch to adopt through foster care (I had been hoping to someday adopt a perfect baby girl through private adoption to complete the "status quo" one boy/one girl perfect family). Then God showed us our boys, and the next thing we know, just this very week, in fact, we are parents to now THREE boys, one with special needs (another thing I swore I couldn't handle) and plans to continue fostering throughout.

      It's amazing what God helps us fight through and for when it's His glory at stake.

      Im praying for your baby-to-be. <3 You can do this.

    5. I hope you find the family you need. When we first moved to CT, we tried to do foster parenting during our fertility treatments. We were told no, "just in case" we got pregnant. That didn't happen and I'm a little bitter that the past year and a half we could have been taking care of a child in need if we hadn't been rejected. Also, in CT you're only allowed to do foster parenting OR adoption through the state. You can't be licensed for both. I find that discouraging because I know if we had chosen that route we would have liked to do foster-to-adopt. We might give it another shot when we move back to Washington where they have different laws

    6. This really is beautiful, you know. I can't tell you how amazing it is to see that you are so determined to answer God's call in your heart that you refuse to give up...which I think is part of the point. I think A LOT about this in regards to IF and the endless waiting we have gone through for simply a CHANCE to adopt. It's been 3.5 years of waiting for a biological child and 13 months for waiting for a chance to adopt.

      But, like yourself, I know God's plan for me is bigger and more beautiful than I could possibly imagine. It feels like I have been fighting for a child for so long that I have forgotten what it's like to have something just fall into my lap. But I'm stronger, bolder and more resilient than I could have dreamed. I just keep thinking that God is molding me in the fire and I'm going to come out of this mess sparkling like a diamond.

    7. Glad that things are stiffing up again. I'm doing this in the hospital waiting room. Sneaky, huh?

    8. Working for The State of Michigan DHS in Foster care the reason why they want you to adopt children over the age of 7 is because the younger children are 9 times out of 10 adopted by a family member to keep them out of the system. But the older kids are harder to find family members willing to be a permanent placement which creates a greater need.

    9. "I am ready to fight for our kids"

      it will be a fight,

      and it will be worth it.

    10. Keep on truckin!! Have you looked into Lutheran family/social services? Not sure if they are in your area... They tried to talk us into fostering too. I stood firm and the eventually stopped asking. My point... Our agency was amazing and we never had to deal directly with CPS. Its gonna happen!! How exciting!

    11. Where you are now is where our family was this time last year (except we were looking to adopt older then our two), and I still hurt that we had to put our adoption plans on hold for awhile because the door just kept slamming in our faces. Every single inquiry, we kept hearing that the child needed to be the youngest in the home. With a 4yo (via adoption) and a 2yo (via birth), there just were not any matches for our family. I still struggle with understanding God's timing and fearing we acted on my own timing instead. We are going to try again when our youngest is 5 and keep with birth order next time as you are. And we will be willing to be foster parents the next time around, too, with the intent to adopt obviously. We quickly learned last year that adoption-only applicants are really low-man on the totem pole. I don't say that to discourage you, but so you'll know you are not alone. I know just how you are feeling. I'll be tuning in to the road ahead of you intently. Praying.

    12. Also - you might check out Heart Gallery of America. That organization (and the children it represents and how it represents them) is very exciting and encouraging in terms of adoption-only prospects.

    13. Rebekah I love the new look of your blog. Its just so inviting.
      I share your excitment at the thought and now the possibility of your family growing. Its (im sure) scary and takes a lot of faith. I love you all so much and I cant wait to see what happens.


    14. Good luck on your next journey. I am a bit ahead of you - my home study to adopt from foster care has been approved and now I am just waiting to be matched. As you said, I had found this process to feel totally different than the first time. I am a bit more patient - on some days LOL! But what I am finding so different is that every decision I make now affects not just me but my son also. I was wide open to most things when I adopted my son but that was when it is just me. Sounds obvious until you start looking at specific children and looking at just how they will fit into our home.

      BTW - you are right to follow the calling. This has been something you have felt called to for a while. Just remember - the child you *think* God wants you to adopt may not be the one He really has in mind! During my first adoption, I set out to adopt a Caucasian girl from Russia and ended up adopting a biracial boy (African American and Caucasian) from Oklahoma! He also has special needs, which I was not planning on. But thank goodness I went with God's plan and not mine because he is absolutely the perfect child for me! So follow your dream...but keep your heart on God's plan! Good luck!

    15. hey I thought of you yesterday when I was going thru the bible trying to find a name for # 2 due next month.... Im pretty sure you already know, but Tyrus is in the bible.... but its spelled Tiras. cool huh! anyway.... hope you're well.. and I sure do love your blog. Obi loves to watch the videos of his cousin Ty.... Thanks for posting those.


    16. This is so great, Rebekah, and I'm blown away by your faith and trust in the Lord throughout the waiting and the obstacles. I hope you know that you have a lot of people cheering you on! Every time I read your blog I get excited about what God will do. Wishing you the best!