Normally I like to focus on generalized posts on my blog, but today I felt like adding to our personal story in regards to where we are currently in our adoption journey. Adoption and foster care are both difficult journey’s (that’s the understatement of the year!), and I believe sharing our journey’s can help others on similar journey’s themselves. I have heard countless adoptive mom’s mention comments they received on how “adopting is the easy route” from those who have not adopted.
That comment makes me laugh for so many reasons. I think the number one reason people believe that, is because giving birth is painful physically. Adoption can be complicated in so many other ways, but I can truthfully tell you, and others would confirm, it hurts physically too. It can create a pain so deep that it feels like your heart is going to be ripped from your chest. Currently I am living with that pain every.single.day.
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Our first little one (from the sibling set of four we are waiting to adopt) came to us 5 years ago. We picked him up from the hospital and got to love on him from the very beginning of his life. Of course reunification was attempted, but it just didn’t work out. Then along came 3 more babies, which we all brought home from the hospital too. Five years later and reunification is no longer an option, and along the way adoption became the plan. It was in 2015 when we were officially told we could adopt our little sweeties, and then shortly after for the little’s born afterwards. Due to various political/unknown factors, the adoptions have not yet occurred. I couldn’t even wager a guess as to when they will occur. Of course when you are a foster parent the goal is always reunification, but when that is taken off the table…and adoption is the plan…a shift occurs. It’s a powerful shift from “I am caring for and loving this child until they return home” to “This child is mine.” Right or wrong, it is only natural to fall in love with a child you care for, and to fall even deeper in love when you know they are going to be a part of your forever family.
So that is where you find us today.
The place we are in today is a dark, terrifying place, that has the ability to suck the joy right out of you, and take your breathe away in the process. I try and start out every day like usual, and go about our regular routine, raising our kids and living our life. But the reality is, our future is so unknown. While adoption is the plan, and has been the plan for as long as I can remember, nothing is EVER permanent until an adoption is finalized. So many things could go wrong. I won’t go into the long list of why, but foster children can be moved for so many reasons, whether to a family home or another foster home. Anything could change with the blink of an eye and the life we know could disappear. Waiting is a normal part of the adoption journey…but typically it is for a child you do not yet know, and who does not know you. Add in that attachment piece and everything changes.
There are so many debilitating fears wrapped up inside this reality we find ourselves in. To begin with, our kids only know us as mom and dad. We have been their parents since their birth and they know no other way of being. The thought of tearing a child away from their entire life sends panic throughout me. Letting my mind wander to my child never seeing or hugging their mom and dad again…just ruins me.
My older 4 children all view them as their siblings. There is no understanding that these kids are returning home. They are home. They love them, are attached to them, and view them as their siblings the same way they view each other. The last time one of our foster daughters returned home when we knew the plan was reunification, 2 of my kids had major anxiety responses and felt a deep grief over that loss. Separating a sibling group of 8 would be devastating.
And finally, of course, the love my husband and I have for these sweet children. I haven’t ever given birth but let me tell you, the love for these children runs deep. I cannot imagine a stronger love, and it is the same love I feel for my older children through adoption. They are firmly planted into my motherly soul as life long members of our family. I would lay my life down for them and cherish them with everything I have. The thought of losing them makes me sick to my stomach. The thought that I could lose them at any given time, breaks me.
Now as a Christian, I am reminded again and again of the many verses telling me not to worry, to trust in the Lord, to believe that He has a plan. But I just…. CAN’T. I guess that is just the raw, brutal truth of where I am right now. The darkness is so encompassing I just can’t see through it. Sometimes Faith is easy…but sometimes Faith is hard. Not to say I don’t still live my life, enjoying my children and the beautiful things life has to offer…but in the quiet corners of my room, in the late hours of the evening, is when I feel it the strongest. This deep worry…fear….and PAIN, around the unknown. This monster hiding in the closet that could jump out at any minute and snatch these children away. Every time a social worker calls, these thoughts consume me. Filling out forms with their biological last name sends my mind to the dark place…and asking for permission to do certain activities reminds me of the bars that still surround our life.
I am living in fear.
The single, most important thing I want for our family, is to adopt our 4 youngest children. The complicated, messy, and even irrational thoughts I might have around this situation, are present and always bubbling under the surface, but I pray every day that we will eventually find our way out of this limbo and back to the life we once knew. Sometimes I write about a journey we have emerged on the other side of, with lessons to share and encouragement to offer. But today I am sill waist deep in the muck and have nothing to offer. Thanks for listening!
To find out more of our journey, click here.
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