Monday, April 27, 2015

Adoption Journey: Part 1

Philip & Asa, Feb '13
Wow. A little over two years ago, Philip was out of town watching the boys play baseball, and stopped by to see his younger sister and her newborn baby.

From Aunt & Uncle, to foster parents, to forever Mom and Dad. What an adventure this has been!

At the first of March, 2013, we learned that, at 5 weeks old, Asa was in foster care. I asked my Friday morning small group to pray with me for this child. I remember sensing a strange attachment to the situation ... not knowing what God might ask of me, but begging for His strength to give me courage, and His love to overshadow my selfish fears.

By April, I was growing more certain of our calling to get actively involved. I checked out a STACK of library books on fostering, adoption, high-needs children, prenatal methamphetamine exposure, and abandonment/attachment issues. I knew nothing ... and I could only live with myself in that condition a few moments more.

By May, we had background checks and took the first steps in certification for foster care.

In June, CPS conducted a home study. We had mentioned all the possibilities to the older kids, but had shielded the little ones from all the ups and downs of the process. With a scheduled home study, we began to talk more openly with all the kids. I wanted so desperately to honor my sister-in-law, without sugar-coating the messy real-life issues for my kids.

I wrote this down June 11, 2013:

Last night at bedtime, I was telling MariAlice and Elizabeth that we needed to pray for Asa.

Giz began immediately to pray, "Dear God, please be with baby Asa..."

Mari had a zillion questions. I prayerfully and tenderly answered as many as I could. I felt the Holy Spirit prompting the conversation.

Mari: Who is Baby Asa again?

Me: Aunt Samantha's little boy. But she is not able to raise him.

Mari: Why? Where is she?

Giz: Is she in jail?

Me: Yes. She made some really bad decisions and now has to pay the consequences.

Mari: How long will she be there?

Me: I'm not sure.

Giz: Where is Asa?

Me: He's in a really friendly person's home called a foster home. It's a mom who has said, "If there's ever an emergency, I can take care of babies". So when there is a car crash and the mom has to go a hospital and no one can find any aunts or uncles or grammys nearby, the firemen can call the foster mom and she'll come right away to take care of the baby. Or when someone breaks the law and has to go to jail, the policeman can call the foster mom and she'll come right away to love the baby until there is a plan.

Mari: What did Aunt Samantha do?

Me: I'm not sure.

Mari: Is she sad?

Me: I think she misses her baby, and I think she is sad for making bad choices. But Daddy has talked to her and she sounds ok. She knows she did the wrong thing and she knows she has to pay the penalty, which means she probably needs someone else to raise Asa. She really loves Asa and wants what would be best for him. I'm so glad she made the really, really good choice to birth Asa. That was a really good decision!

Mari: Did she mean to make the bad choices?

Me: Oh, I don't know ... I mean it was her choice ... but I know how badly I want to do the right thing and sometimes, I just can't. I want to do what's right, but I still do the wrong thing. You  know?

Mari (in tears): So can we take care of Asa until Aunt Samantha can come get him?

Me: Well, I don't know if it's going to be possible for her to raise him -- even after she takes care of all her consequences. I'm not sure what the best plan is - that's why we just keep praying. One idea is for us to care for him until Samantha can take him back to her home. But another idea is for us to bring him here into our home forever.

Mari: So we would adopt him?

Me: Yes. We could, if that is what God wants.
(more tears)

Luke enters, asks what all the crying is about, Mari says she's sad for Aunt Samantha, and I say that Gizzy and I are thinking of Baby Asa. 
So Luke prays for all of us. And we call it a day.

*to be continued