Courageous, my sister called us... but I feel aimless right now. I know we are registered for classes that will lead to being approved for adoption from the foster care system. But there is so much unanswered right now. I'm praying that we have clarity soon in regard to the purpose in this path that we're on. All we know confidently in this moment is that God is leading us to take these classes and we are committed to adoption if that is His will. Maybe we'll adopt at the end of the summer. Maybe we'll end up being respite caregivers for other foster parents. Maybe we'll adopt later in our lives. Maybe God has a plan that we cannot guess.
We have barely begun this journey. A string of emails between the social worker and I. One phone call to register for classes. A background check agreed to. A planned home visit. A short conversation with my parents. A heads' up to my siblings.
We have barely begun this journey, but in many ways, we've been walking this path for years. It was such a subtle beginning that I hardly know where it started. When we made our marriage vows 8 years ago, Amos and I promised to accept children willingly and lovingly from God. We were keenly aware that those children could come through pregnancy OR adoption, but we didn't begin our marriage with the intention of adopting children. I brought my sweet daughter with me into our marriage, and three years and two surprise pregnancies later, we had become a five-some.
God began planting seeds in our lives around the time our little Miriam was turning two. Amos and I were both introduced to adoption separately at first. I watched as a dear friend of mine journeyed to Africa to adopt her precious twin boys, Amos began to learn about coworkers who had adopted, and we both began to dream (literally) about adopting someday.
One night as I was praying my way through adoption research online, I came across the Jackson County, Missouri children's division's website with its photo listings of children in the foster care system who were adoptable. Something was different inside my heart at I prayed over the faces and names of the children on that website. It was different than the waiting child lists I'd viewed on international adoption sites. I sobbed, and my heart ached for these kids who were so brokenhearted and wanted nothing more than unconditional love. That night, I "met" a brother and sister who tugged especially hard at my heart, and I spent a lot of time praying for them and about them. I shared their profile with Amos, and we decided to inquire about them. Sending that inquiry email was our initial commitment to whatever plan God had for us. Although we did not adopt the little blondies smiling in that photo, I am confident that God carved out a part of my heart for them. I consider myself to be a prayer warrior on their behalf, and I pray for the two of them regularly now and trust that they are happy and healing in their new family.
For two more years, we prayed for guidance and that we would be able to hear God's call for our family.
And we waited.
In the fall of 2012, God moved a few mountains (a story in itself) and led us to an adoption event that would connect us to social workers as well as adoptable foster children. The event was terribly uncomfortable for Amos and I both, and we began to wonder what in the world was worth so much apparent effort to get us there. We finally started visiting with a social worker who answered many of our questions and took our contact information. More importantly, she made us feel comfortable and welcomed into the foster care community.
In January, we received a foster care adoption information packet and an invitation to begin STARS classes. We tried to arrange our lives to attend the 11 week class, but it just wasn't possible. I inquired about a summer session, but there hadn't been one in several years and was no plan for one.
We prayed and asked God to open a door if it was His will that we continue to walk this path.
In February, Amos accepted a new job and began working remotely for the first time in his career. He would be home virtually every night instead of being away 2-3 nights a week. He would be working from an office three miles from our home instead of a hundred. He would have a five minute commute instead of two hours.
Last week, God opened the door we had been praying about with a letter inviting us to register for summer classes. After praying and talking about it, we called the same social worker we'd met last fall and committed to the next leg of our journey...