Sunday, June 23, 2013

Telling the TWEEN

This book I'm reading- Successful Foster Care Adoption- includes a list of heavy questions to ponder and take into consideration when getting into foster care adoption. Some of those questions I had already answered, but others I found worth exploring again.

If you are already a parent, have you presented your intention to adopt to your children?

Telling the TWEEN

Amos and I decided to tell Miss J alone first. At twelve years old, she's aware of the impact of adding to our family (through pregnancy OR adoption) and, quite frankly, had been less than thrilled with the idea of adopting most of the time. On a car ride, Amos and I told her that God was leading us to take classes to license us to adopt. She mostly nodded and listened as we explained the process of becoming licensed to adopt and that it wasn't guaranteed that we would adopt when it was over. 

That evening, I must have asked my sweet 12-year-old a dozen times how she felt. 
Tweens have A LOT of emotions!! 
J first felt like she didn't have a say in our family's future, and she was worried about the classes and meetings occurring when she was away with her dad for the summer. She didn't want to miss anything or feel left out. My heart hurt for her. I hadn't even thought about that aspect of the timing! I assured her that there wouldn't be much to see and that we'd keep her up to speed with everything that we could. 
She wasn't crazy about having more little siblings who get into her stuff, yell or cry and generally get in the way of her life.
She hated the idea of sharing her room.
Amos and I talked a lot about the reasons we felt God leading us to foster care adoption, and we visited about the sweet kids who needed a home like ours. I sat down with J and looked through Missouri's Heart Gallery, talking about each child. I think reading the profiles, some with interests much like hers, helped J to begin to understand that every kid deserves a safe home and unconditional love. 

I ask J nearly daily what she's thinking and how she's feeling about everything, and I will continue to ask.
I do my best to keep her informed of any new developments, and I try to have the fun "I wonder what child God has in store..." conversations as well. 
My goal with J is to keep the communication open and offer her a safe, no-judgement place to land with her thoughts. 
Meeting that goal will require lots of prayer, attention, sharing, and opportunities to have uninterrupted conversations. For us, those opportunities come in the form of movie nights, manicure appointments, Daddy-Daughter dates, teaming up on housework and visits on the bedroom floor after the littles go to sleep. My sweet girl has already made huge leaps forward, and I CANNOT wait to see more of the work that God is doing in her heart! 

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