Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31

This is and has been one of my favorite Bible verses since high school. With Friday's meeting coming up very quickly (and with everything going on the past few weeks), waiting upon the LORD is definitely coming to life!

Last weekend we got to meet with both sets of our parents over lunch and explain the next few steps to them. Keep in mind that with this adoption, they will become grandparents for the FIRST time! So over lunch we talked about what they wanted to be called (grandparent names), how they would get to meet their future grandchild and what that would look like. Some funny comments that came out of this were "Wait a minute, you mean we've waited this long to become grandparents and you could be grandparents when you are in your 30's?" and "So we become grandparents and then in 5-10 years could be great-grandparents". They are completely supportive, but it has to be a very weird thing for them to have a teenage boy as their first grandchild instead of holding an infant in the hospital. The only reassurance we can offer them is that our actions are directed from the Lord!

Preparing for this process has been interestingly fun. In June we started attending a support group through Tapestry. It's made up of other families that have adopted older children and has been a great source of information and encouragement to us! Who knew there were other people that God has called to a journey similar to ours! We are also excited about going to their annual conference again this year. We're even bringing our parents along!

In addition, we have been blessed to have a few friends start their journey down a very similar road. It's been amazing to see God's hand working! In light of this, our church (First Baptist Irving) began to see the need to offer something for these families. Luckily, we have an incredible resource (Adrienne Sittig) who worked for Buckner Children's Home for many years. Adrienne started teaching a 5 week series during our church's bi-annual Equipping University classes. It has been awesome learning more and fellowshipping with others going down this path with us! We are also looking into starting a support group/respite care network within our church as others complete their certification and start to get placements. In addition, Embrace is working with our church to try and help reach the needs that are starting to present themselves. There is so much going on and yet it's all super exciting!

We could not ask for anything else than what our friends and family have done to support us through their friendship and prayers! We really do appreciate all of it! We'll keep you posted as Friday is coming soon (TOMORROW)!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Beginning - Part 2

Originally (before changing our minds to foster care), we had gotten on TARE's website and looked at teenage boys that were up for adoption. One really caught our attention. So when we changed our status from foster care to matched adoption in June 2010, we put our name in the hat for him. However, he had decided that he did not want to be adopted anymore and took his name off of the list. We knew that God just wanted us to take this leap of faith and that submitting our name for that boy was doing just that. It was at this point that we decided to tell our adoption case manager that we knew God was calling us to adopt a teenage boy, but we were going to leave the rest of the narrowing down part to her. She had our home study to read through and we were going to trust her to pick out the perfect child for us!

We got a call a few weeks later, on July 16, telling us she was putting our name in for a child and she was going to send us an email with more information. Just reading the email drew us closer to his story. We have been praying for him and God's will in his life and our life since that day. The month of September was a month full of prayer and patience. We know that God was just preparing our hearts and our lives for His perfect timing.

Three weeks ago, CPS, the foster parent and our adoption case manager held a selection hearing for this boy. We got a phone call the next day informing us that we were the selected family for him. Kelly went and picked up his case file and we began to read and pray over it. After reading everything, we have decided to move forward with him and have scheduled our selection hearing for this Friday. A selection hearing is when the child's foster parent, case manager, CPS representative, adoption attorneys, our adoption case manager and the two of us attend a meeting to ask lots of questions and seek what is best for the child. We will have 24 hours after that meeting to make a decision whether or not we want to move forward. WOW! Can you imagine having to decide whether or not you want a child! As Kelly put it, he just wishes they would give us one and say "Okay, take this one home...he now belongs to you." I mean, that's how it happens when you get pregnant...God is the one that really picked them out for you (matched them to you) anyway so why not do the same with adoption? LOL

Needless to say, we will be following God's guidance and direction as we seek his will. And as our agency (Covenant Kids) puts it at trainings "There is a no return policy on children." That makes me laugh every time!

Thanks for following our journey! We are now up to date and are excited about the super near future coming our way!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Beginning of the Journey

Wow, where to start? I guess we would need to go back a little of a year ago in June 2009. Kelly and I had been trying to have children for over a year at that time. We had gone through every single test available, and there was nothing wrong. It was at this point that we realized God had different plans for us. At the same exact time, we both individually felt God tugging at our hearts to start thinking about adoption. This was hard at first, because nothing was wrong and we knew that we should just keep trying and we would get pregnant one day, but again, God kept tugging harder and harder. After about a month of feeling this way, we finally started to talk with one another about what we were feeling. It was definitely a crazy conversation as we realized not only were we both feeling called to adopt, but we BOTH felt God calling us to adopt a teenage boy! (I'll pause now for your gasp of "what!?!?").

It was incredibly reassuring that we weren't completely crazy in our thoughts since we now knew it was coming from Him! So we started our research regarding what this path was exactly. We found out that Tapestry, an adoption & foster care ministry, was putting on their annual conference in October. We were very interested in learning more about all of this in general and answering some of our questions. So we went and were filled with excitement, encouragement, and a little bit of fear about the path that was ahead. We decided at this point to start looking more into foster care because we were not parents already and did not feel equipped to become instant parents of a teenager. By becoming foster parents, we would gain more experience in raising children. The next step was to pick out an agency and attend trainings/get certified.

In January 2010, we attended trainings and became certified with Covenant Kids. After completing all of the 80+ pages of paper work, we had our Home Study in March. We decided that we would open our house up to 1 teenage boy since that is what we felt called to from the beginning. Over the next few weeks, we were super excited to receive a placement in the house! When May rolled around, we were wondering why we didn't have a placement yet. Around this time, through my prayers and quiet time, I started feeling a very heavy conviction that we were not living in God's perfect will! Kelly and I talked about it and realized that while what we were aiming to do through foster care was a "good" thing and more practical in the eyes of the world, it was not what God had called us to do! We prayed about it a lot and realized that originally, God had called us to adopt a teenage boy, not to foster one. So we changed from being foster parents, to now being put on the list for a matched adoption in June 2010.

Stay tuned for more to come...