(I’m documenting our path to adopting two awesome older kids from foster care so you can consider it, too.)
It’s been awhile. You’re waiting. MAPP class is finished, the dates for your home study interviews are on the calendar, and your home is bedazzled with seasonally appropriate decor…and fruit. Always lots of fruit. (Because fruit = good parenting ability)
You’ve read all the books you can find on adoption. You’ve highlighted and taken notes on things like attachment, bonding, discipline, affection, scheduling and structure. You’ve moved your bedroom upstairs, and built a wall in the living room where there used to be a door. You’ve replaced the desk in your office with a twin bed.
You’ve done all the things.
Each week you go to the library to look at the MARE adoption book to see if there are any new profiles. It’s so hard to prepare for this change having no idea who these kids will be. You’re desperate for one of these pictures to jump out at you and say, “Hello! We’re the ones!!!” You boil with frustration when the updates are behind. You somehow fend off the urge to yell at the librarians (by which you really mean speak in a soft but pointed tone because volume is just not your thing) that “HELLO? Filing the updated listings might be the MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DO ALL MONTH because these are CHILDREN waiting for FAMILIES! Their pictures should not sit in your to-do pile for this long!!!”
You might be a little overwrought.
Each time this happens, you remember this: God makes families. It’s His division in the grand scheme of labor. No librarian can screw up God’s plan for a child, right? That’s just silly, and far too much pressure to put on these awesome people.
And every once in a while, you panic. What on earth are you THINKING, auditioning to bring two or three strangers to live with you? Small, traumatized people who will need you for everything? How will you do that? How will you adjust from having too much time to having no time at all?
When this happens, you make it a point to read and sleep, figuring that the minute you get kids you can kiss both of those beloved activities goodbye for at least a decade. (You will be SO relieved a few months later when you realize that this is not true. You’ll seriously think, “Hey look! I’m reading!” or “Omigosh, I’m not overtired!” Or at least, “Sure I’m exhausted, but it’s because I stayed up late watching NCIS last night after the kids went to bed…”)
The distance between where you are and we’re you’re going feels both hopelessly far and overwhelmingly near. Surely you’re bananas to even consider this. But bananas is better than bored. And you’ve been bored for a long time. When you read the Bible, you don’t see a single passage that says, “And then Jesus and his disciples hung around for a few years, shopping and eating and perfecting their decor to make sure it represented who they were as individuals. They bought nice cars and rooted for local sports teams, while spending hours talking over various ideas and philosophies, pondering the meaning of life…” Nope. Jesus & his team did stuff. They helped people. They saw miracles, hints of God’s Heavenly Kingdom coming here to earth. Now he’s calling you to do stuff, to rise to the occasion and trust in things you can’t yet see.
You spend a lot of time running around your neighborhood, trying to burn off adrenaline and fend off stress. Things tend to work out, you tell yourself, quoting your most easygoing friend from law school. They just do. You run fast down a hill, trying to believe it.