Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"He can share everything."

So much for keeping his name hidden.
This was too precious not to post.
It's a good glimpse into my sweet boy's heart.

"He can share my mommy and daddy..."

Melt. My. Heart.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Good Story Continued

During one of my dark times, I was praying and very matter-of-fact like said, Lord. At least give me a good story.

My phone rang around 1pm, today. The conversation started like this, "Rebekah, it's [our adoption caseworker]. Are you ready to bring another little boy into your home?"


I think I know what she's saying, but I've learned not to assume.

You guys were chosen. You're Little Boy's family!

The questions, tears, and excitement flew out of my mouth faster than they made sense. I was a ball of crazy energy, trying to listen, dream, and think - all at the same time.  In the middle of the conversation, I happened to look down and noticed the date.

It's the 27th.

I was never a symbolic number girl, but....remember Ty's story? The 27th was an important milestone in our domestic adoption journey because it marked the first day we turned in our application (4/27), the day we were officially dropped in the waiting pool (8/27), and the nine-months-to-the-date day we got the call from Rebekah (1/27).

It's more than a number. It's the day God has chosen, thus far, to radically change our lives.

I am going to be abnormally guarded in the information I share for right now, until the adoption is final, but I have to type a few details, so that we can share in God's goodness together!

Little Boy is 2 1/2 years old (two months younger than Ty) and has lived his entire life in the foster care system. Due to no fault of his own, he has been in 6 foster homes (two of which he was removed from by CPS) and had two disrupted adoptions. His current foster family was considering adoption, but notified the court on Friday that their final answer is no.

The family that adopted two of Little Boy's siblings never responded to the court's inquiries.

I have no idea if we were the only family that submitted their assessment to the state or not, I only know that I have been praying for this kid since November and, selfishly, begging God for him once I got wind of the situation two weeks ago.

There are many things I hate about the way this Little Boy has been forced to survive, but I love the words of Chris Tomlin:
He will wipe away your tears and return the wasted years
This is our God
A father to the orphan, a healer to the broken
This is our God
God will heal the brokenness...through the perfect fitting family he's created us to be.

It is not a mistake that God created Ty with an inborn sensitivity for tenderness.
Little Boy needs it.
It is not a mistake that God called Ben and I to adoption through foster care. 
Little Boy needs us.

It is not a mistake that God used me in constructing a start-up agency early last year, where relationships were forged.

It is not a mistake that God closed the door of application to every agency in Michigan.

It is not a mistake that God granted favor via one of the above mentioned forged relationships to get special permission from her supervisor to complete a home study for us on her own time.

It is not a mistake that God led me to the state site when he did to realize that Little Boy was still in the system after I had been led to believe that a family had been found.

It is not a mistake that our license to foster was mailed by the state last week and received today.

Little Boy's placement within our family is not a mistake.

Because we have an approved assessment for adoption -
Because we have an approved license for foster care -
Because we have eager, willing hearts -

Little Boy will be coming home soon. Very, very soon.

We have news...

Details to come...we're too busy celebrating!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

No News.

No news on Little Boy.

Thankfully, I am in my busy season at work, so I've had little time to think about it. I am going to connect with our case worker tomorrow. If we were being considered, it seems like we would have been contacted already in order for Little Boy's case worker to name a family by Friday...but I'm learning not to assume anything in this arena.

In the mean time, our foster care licensing worker called to let us know that DHS officially approved our foster care license. She said she'd already heard our names thrown around the office a few times, this week, and thinks we should be receiving a call in the next few days. I feel conflicted about it.

We are very sure about our adoption path and have been clear about our intentions to all of our workers. Fostering kids is not in our plan for two major reasons. The first is that I work full time and don't feel comfortable bringing foster care children into a home that I'm not in during the week. The second and primary reason is that I am afraid our adoption agenda will get in the way of our ability to be objective.

Our licensing worker understands our position, but was honest about the state of the system and couldn't promise that we wouldn't be called out of desperation. We have agreed to consider cases that are nearing termination, but I know this will hold different meaning for different case workers.

If you're wondering why we applied for a license in the first place, it is because all of the agencies that I contacted, in our state, require it. In most cases, even when parental rights have been terminated, the license allows for immediate placement in our home. It offers relief to a bloated system and quicker restoration for the child.

I'm really not sure what God is up to. I will admit that our case worker's news was a little unsettling for me. Our plans never seem to be God's plans and he keeps stretching my heart beyond what's comfortable...

I do know that God is good. And that he is going to use us in a much needed capacity. The number of children waiting for families/available for adoption is astounding.

Thankfully, surety in a written story balances out my unanswered questions.

The next few days could be interesting.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


We received an update on Little Boy. The state has gotten involved because of the length of time he's been in the system without any move toward adoption. They have given Little Boy's caseworker until February 24th to name a family.

The situation is maddening. We submitted our interest in adoption more than two months ago! All I've been told is that his agency started the process of contacting a past adoptive family to see whether or not they're interested in adopting Little Boy. If the family is not interested in adoption, Little Boy's caseworker will have to recruit another family.

I'm not upset that the agency is giving preference to a family that has adopted some of Little Boy's siblings; I'm upset that they're just now being contacted. Little Boy has been in six foster care homes in his short two years of life. Parental' rights were terminated six and twelve months ago and Ben and I submitted our assessment for consideration of adoption in late November.

Why then was he put on our state's website in effort to recruit a family? Was our assessment discarded? Misplaced?

I am trying my best to remain neutral, here, but I want to bring Little Boy home. I'm thankful for the state's involvement, now, and a definite deadline. I am praying that God will move in Little Boy's case and bring him the best fitting family in the next ten days, recognizing that it may not be us....

...but hoping, begging, and pleading with the Lord that it is.

Little Boy has been through a lot.

It's time for him to live the life of a typical two year old and I know just the right two year old to show him how...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pick Me!

Do you remember when I told you about Little Boy?

Last I heard, there were two families with stronger ties hoping to adopt him. I had fallen in love with this sweet boy on paper and was, selfishly, heartbroken even though I knew he was going to live with a familiar family.

We have our adoption assessment completed, but are still waiting on our foster license (I have no idea what's taking so long), so we never did get to read through the profiles of the sibling group we were contacted with. I assume they've been placed by now.

I did my routine check on our state's website to see if there were kids within our age range posted. I'm not sure if every state has such a website, but for ours it's considered the "last call" site. It's heartbreaking to visit, but inspiring as we continue on the path God's leading. When the page refreshed, I was shocked. My eyes immediately went to Little Boy's name.

And then his picture.

It was my first glance at the eyes my heart already loved.

After about a minute of melting, the shock wore off and my frustration set in.

Why would Little Boy ever be put on a final call site when he had three families interested in adopting him? And if something fell through with the top two families, why on earth didn't someone call us?

I immediately sent our  assessment to his caseworker from the state site and emailed my caseworker for the details. It took two days to hear back that an email inquiry had been made, but there was no information to relay.

God has worked tremendous patience deep into my heart.

I posted a pin on pinterest the other day that said,
Sometimes the things we can't change end up changing us.

How true that has been for me. God turned me inside out and washed vigorously. I hate that I don't have control over my family, but I have resolved to trust. Trust God; trust the process.

To avoid being a nuisance, I don't contact my case workers unless I have to and when I do...I wait patiently for their answers.

I know how slammed the system is with true emergencies all the time. And I know where my hopes for a family fall on the list of priorities. 

It doesn't help my longing heart, but it is strengthening my hold on Jesus.

So, that's it. I have no idea why Little Boy is available for adoption or why our assessment was bypassed without further discussion.

I feel like a pig-tailed girl, jumping and shouting, pick me! pick me! I should be praying God's best, but tonight, I'm the schoolgirl asking God if I can bring this one home...

We'll see.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

"Why didn't God make me in your belly?"

A sobering question from a two and a half year old. The conversation, tonight, at bedtime went like this.

Ty:  "Mom, when will Jesus bring me a baby sister [insert heart tug]?"
Me: "Oh, honey, I don't know...why don't you pray about it and ask God, right now?"

"Mom, I don't know how to pray. You do it!"

"Ty, all you have to do is talk from your heart. Start by telling God all the things you're thankful for in life. Then we can bring him our petitions."

"Okay. Dear Jesus... [I encouraged him to go on and list the things he was thankful for]...thank you for making Cheeze-Its. AAAA-men."

I laughed out loud.

The conversation progressed.

"Mom, where does Jesus live?"

"He lives at the right hand of God in heaven. A lot of people say he also lives in your heart....but that's actually the Holy Spirit."

"Where is heaven?"

"Way high up in the skies, baby. That's where both God and Jesus live."

"Jesus loves me!"

"Yes, he does. Do you know that God loves you, too? Do you know that he created you in Rebekah's belly? He put you together in there and then Whooo [I blew in his face] he breathed your life into being."

Ty laughed.

"Mom...why didn't God make me in your belly?"

Long Pause.

I am still shocked that Ty would ask such a question. For the first time since being a mama, I didn't have a quick answer.

His provoking question had my mind spinning. My simple response was, "Because than Miss Rebekah wouldn't be such a special part of our lives."

He moved on and started talking about our latest trip to Seaworld, in true two year old fashion.

I did not move on.

I knew that we would start facing more challenging questions as Ty grew, but I thought we were years from those days.

I guess the part I struggle with is the complexity of the story that Ty won't understand for quite some time. How do I explain to my son that God did not make him for us...but Rebekah...but given her circumstances, she made a choice. She called on God and he to lead her to us.

It's important to me that Ty realizes that God didn't make Rebekah pregnant so that we could have a family, but it's also important to me that he understand her unparalleled love for him.

What always seemed like an easy explanation, didn't seem so easy when answering Ty, tonight. I left his room asking God for wisdom. Lord, how do we explain to Ty that he wasn't made for us, but Rebekah?

The answer came clear as day.

You don't. Tyrus was made for me.

The words of the Holy Spirit stilled my heart and filled me with warmth.

What a beautiful revelation.

More than a good answer to a hard question, was reassurance that God will guide us as we go.

If Ty was made for him, so was I....

...and so were you.