I have to say thank you to everyone that took the time to comment on my post about adoption. I obviously share very openly our struggle to "Adopt through Foster Care". With that being said, there were a lot of points and questions that were brought up that need to be addressed. I believe that everyone that commented had my best interests and Lizzy's best interests in mind, better said, I think we all just want to see God's kingdom furthered by doing what HE has called us to do, caring for the orphan and the widow in their distress. So, with that being said, let's dive in:I cannot tell you how relieved I was when the respite foster mom confirmed that she had as hard of a time with Lizzy as I do, actually she had a much harder time with her, but I was relieved that I am not crazy and that yes, she is hard. Why I thought I needed that validated I don't know, but I did.
Every time I write about not adopting Lizzy I want to shout at myself, trust me. Foster Care is such an unnatural thing and I always assumed that adoption would feel "natural". After reading about 500 blogs about adoption, I see that adoption is a struggled. It is filled with Joy, Heart Ache, Loss, Loss and more Loss - especially foster care & adoption. Adoption is a beautiful thing, beauty from ashes really, but I am not going into it blind like some people do and as you can tell, I probably do over think things, but I need more (and Lizzy needs more) than for me to want to want to adopt her.
I want to answer this just so you can understand where I am coming from even though it will sound harsh. No, I don't see her in our future and if CPS came and got her today I would be sad, but relieved.
When we first started fostering we signed up for "the kids with no issues"-not knowing that there are not ANY children in foster care that "have no issues". We went into this being excited for when we got the kids, not realizing how even just coming to our house would be a scary thing for them.
We have learned so much! I am not the foster mom that I was when I got my first placement. I understand so much more about these kids than anyone could have ever tried to teach me or tell me. I am good at loving them, having fun with them...and I even managed to live through them leaving.
I believe that my husband and I went into this to adopt...I also wonder if God had much different plans than we did. We may never adopt. We may foster for the next 20 years or stop after Lizzy. Either way I am fine. I have no regrets, my kids that were supposed to be here have come and most have gone. That was God's plan, not mine.
Our reasons for doing this have changed. It has gone from "To adopt!" to "Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12
Now, that does not mean the same thing for everyone. If I adopted all the children that come into our home I wouldn't be able to foster anymore. I see TONS of families waiting to adopt...I don't see TONS of normal, good people waiting to foster.
I totally agree. I do not think that it is publicized the way it should be, but at the same time, some things you only learn through experience. Foster children, all of them will have "issues". Some will be absolutely not debilitating at all...and some will be completely debilitating for the rest of their lives. Our current reason for fostering is pretty pure...kids need normal families to take care of them, keep them safe, get them the help they need, teach them about Jesus, and to push for what is best for THEM. I am capable of all those things, at least to the best of my ability.
As far as adopting, well, until I am convinced that I can give am adopted child what they need, to the best of my ability...I won't be adopting.
I am working on getting some evaluations done on Lizzy, but they aren't really for me, they are for her. I don't think it would affect our decision either way. Obviously if they told me that she was autistic that would be a "scary for the future" diagnosis, but if I was over the moon for a child even that wouldn't scare me away.
I love the way this was worded and it is a necessity that people who adopt know that love, love like God loves, would be enough. If we were meant to adopt Lizzy or Joseph or Kellen doing our best would be enough. Loving them would be enough...I am talking about unconditional pure love, not the fluffy feeling of love. God would give us what we needed to raise these kids. With that being said, I think that we have to be careful in doing things out of guilt and thinking it is "meant to be".
My husband wants to want to adopt Lizzy. I want to want to adopt Lizzy. That is not enough. It just isn't. I personally am not going to go against what God has put on BOTH of our hearts. Often I try to figure out what God is telling us by waiting until He tells us the same thing separately. It is the only way I feel sure about anything. When my husband and I both don't feel the overwhelming need to adopt a child and in fact we feel exactly the opposite shouldn't that tell us something?
We would have never started fostering just to foster. Years before we decided to foster to adopt be had "decided" that we would never deal with bio parents, thus fostering was just not an option. God changed our hearts. We said never and God laughed. He brought us to exactly where He wanted us. All our worst nightmares have happened and HE has carried us through. I can't help but think He will do the same thing when it comes to adopting. We had a peace about fostering and still do even though the worst has happened and our heart have been crushed. I believe when and if it is time for us to adopt there will be peace and that is what I have been searching for and it isn't there yet.
I feel like if I were to say "We will only foster from now on because that is what we are supposed to do" it would be more acceptable than wanting to adopt, but deciding on a case by case basis that a child is not "the one". I feel like everyone would be more ok with that or understand it more, but if a child comes along that we want to adopt that we have an PEACE about adopting that actually is available for adoption I have a feeling we will adopt them. And we will be so stinking excited about it regardless of them being "social acceptable" or very handicapped. I think that I often times come up with too many excuses about being worried about "isssues" when I really just should say, "I don't have a peace about it, my husband doesn't have a peace about it, so we aren't adopting them".
Because that is where we are and it is exactly where God wants us, apparently.