Finally, It’s Off to the State

Finally, 10 weeks after our last MAPP class {but who’s counting}, our paperwork has been sent off to the State for review. It took several emails to our social worker to inquire about what was going on. Several emails telling us it was happening that week. Several more emails to inquire again and then a few more from the worker that apologized for the delay.

One word sums up this process: F-R-U-S-T-R-A-T-I-N-G.

Oh, and we found out that we are getting a new case worker. Our worker has been reassigned due to “staffing changes”. So not only will we have to learn someone new, but the new worker will go into the most important phase of the process – the matching phase – without really knowing us from Adam. Yay! That makes a lot of sense. {bleeding sarcasm}

I feel so sorry for the children in the system. If this system is this difficult for two grown, well-educated adults – it must be a million times more complex and frustrating for the children. Oh that’s right, the children don’t really have a voice. They are just picked up and moved, garbage bag in tow, and dropped off at the next foster home. How sad. My heart breaks for them and the pain their hearts must feel.

We’ve grown so frustrated with the process that we’ve all but moved on. Life has been busy. I’ve had an opportunity present itself for a new job, we’ve not changed out Miss M’s room, we’ve gotten comfortable with our life. Maybe we’ve become too comfortable. I certainly don’t think about the adoption every day like I once did. Now it’s further down the list with all the other major life decisions I seem to constantly be facing.

What’s the right answer? I’d like to wake up in a year and see what my life looks like. Then I’d adjust to the decisions I made and get used to the new norm. Every decision I’m faced with seems to close a door on another decision. If I take a career move, it means more money and financial freedom, but it closes the door on adoption. If I choose adoption, it means I’m choosing to live in debt and not have a college savings for my children. If I choose to try to have another baby, it means I’m giving up on the children out there that so desparately need a home. No decision feels good.

Who knew when we started this journey that by the time the packet went to the State, we’d be second guessing if this is even something we can see through. All I can do now is pray – pray for guidance, discernment, wisdom. I certainly need a lot of it. Will you say a prayer for me and my family? We could use some help.

Lots of Anchors and Frustration

We’ve been done with our home study packet since the first weekend in February. It’s been in the hands of our social worker since that time. Waiting. Waiting for backgrounds checks to complete, waiting for review of the supervisor and then review of the adoption committee. And still, it is waiting.

It’s hard not to get frustrated. We did all of our work very timely. Our social worker commented on how timely we were to get everything finished. We did that on purpose – so that once we finished classes we’d be ready to submit. I never thought that there would be such a delay once we did all of our work.

When I questioned our social worker about this she apologized {thank you}, and then she said that she would keep me posted on a timeline. What I want to hear is within one week we’ll send your packet to the State. Not I’ll keep you posted. Keep you posted means I have no idea when we’ll be done with our part. Frustrating. Frustrating. Frustrating.

I also recently realized that I’ve missed a perfect resource and she lives right next door! Our neighbors have adopted all three of their children from the foster care system. I’m not sure why I haven’t talked to her sooner. This is on my short list of things to do. Maybe I’ll crash their yard sale this morning to ask if we can talk soon.

Lastly, anchors. I didn’t know when I selected this as our symbol that they would be EVERYWHERE this season. But thankfully they are. So I went shopping for some spring items and found lots of items with anchors on them. I got a nice blue blouse with white anchors, a t-shirt with an anchor and my favorite a fun navy and white scarf. Wearing my anchors helps me feel hopeful. It helps remind me what this is all about and to be patient {as patient as possible} during the wait.

We’re starting the bedroom soon! We’ve got the paint and are ready. Now it’s just a matter of finding the time! I think this step will make it feel more real. We’ll be ready and {eagerly} waiting for a child to whom we can provide a loving home. Pictures to come!

Ice and The Waiting

Disclaimer: This blog entry is disorganized and scattered. I rambled a lot, but I have decided that it’s okay. My apologies in advance.

Mother nature hasn’t been too kind as of late. Of course, that’s relative I suppose. Living in the South means that I’m not accustomed to bad winters. I like mild winters with one nice snow {with NO ice} and then I’m ready for the other seasons again. This week, a huge ice storm swept through leaving us with many less trees and no power. Guilford County was actually declared in a state of emergency because so many were without power or I should say still without power.

Except for us, we are nice and warm and toasty. Because what do we do when the power goes out, we head South of course. To our home away from home. Our happy place. That’s right, we’re at the beach. It’s 65 here and our camper has heat and power. It’s a beautiful thing.

As I’m sitting her in the beautiful weather, wind blowing my hair, not a cloud in sight, I am easily tempted to think this is what life is all about. Relaxation, fun, peace and quiet. Then the jarring reality of what we’re about to undertake sets in. Nothing about foster care or adoption is relaxing and I’m certain there’s very little peace or quiet. So why do this? Why take the relatively good, low stress, everyone knows their role in the family, life we have and throw in a complete unknown? Our home away from home is in another state, so coming here for spur of the moment trips will go away when we foster. We’ll have to have approval to come before we travel. Why do that?

The questions out number the answers. The only answer I’m left with is because God asked me to. Because on a quiet ride home from work I heard a still, small voice that told me to add to our family. Because at the end of the day, the most important things are not things or places, but people and love.

The questions get in the way of following God’s plan for us. The questions make me doubt every decision we make. The questions are from Satan. I need to constantly remind myself of that.

The waiting makes this hard. Our caseworker emailed to ask for yet another piece of information. The packet has been reviewed by her supervisor and still has to be reviewed by the adoption committee before it goes on to the State for final approval. The 90 day wait period begins once it’s sent off. It seems as thought we’ll never get the point that we’re in the 90 day wait. I start to get frustrated and then I remember this is just all part of the process. {But if I’m completely honest, I am a little frustrated.}

Today we’ll go shopping and since we’re at the coast I’m sure I’ll find a lot of anchors. Just what I need to remind me that God has a plan, I need to stop fighting it, and this will all work out in his timing and for his glory.

A Verse and an Anchor

I helped with a fundraiser for my dear friends that are adopting twins. At the fundraiser there was a common theme – arrows. Arrows have been their symbol for their journey and relate back to their choice scripture Psalm 127:3-5. It was inspiring to me.

So, I set out to find a scripture that fit our journey and a symbol that could represent it well. I studied many passages, some of which have made it to the right panel of my blog. There were many that were good. Some more familiar than others. And then I found it; Hebrews 6:19, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul”.

The verse just speaks to me and represents what this journey means to me and what adoption will mean to our family and to a child. Hope, hope grounds our soul.  At times when all seems lost, hope is what keeps us moving forward and pressing on. It keeps us rooted. It gives us strength.

And an anchor is a symbol of hope and strength. It represents to me the unwavering love that we are offering to these children in foster care. In the midst of their storms, we will strive to be the constant support and love that they so desperately need. It seems so fitting and appropriate.

Douglas loved the verse and the anchor and thinks that it is very fitting for our journey. So, we press on. Now with a scripture and a symbol to give us strength and to give us hope.

The Paperwork is Complete!

We signed our last document with the case worker today. Our paperwork is complete! She’s waiting on our background and fingerprint check to come back and to be included in the packet and then it will be sent off to the State.

It feels odd to know that we are done with our portion of the process and that we won’t have any other visits with our case worker for the application. I’m excited that the next time I hear from our worker, it will be to tell us that we are licensed and that we are eligible for placements!

We asked today if they are actively utilizing their foster parents and she said the need is tremendous. Just yesterday there were six children needing placement. She said as long as the placements were something we felt comfortable with, we’d have a child or children in our home very quickly. She also said to go ahead and put two beds in the room so that we can accept a sibling set. This is big because Douglas and I were trying to decide whether to put one or two beds in the room. Well, we got our answer.

I told her that we feel that fostering will allow us to play an important role in the lives of these children while also opening up the possibility of adopting should the child/children become available for adoption. She said this is really the best way to do it because it’s the least disruptive to the children and they have to make less adjustments due to numerous placements.

It’s so funny how we’ve changed our mind and are now going to accept a foster child that isn’t legally free for adoption. And I feel completely comfortable and even excited about our decision. The next few months all we can do is wait and pray, but I know that great things are coming. They might be hard, but they’ll be great!

The Babies Are Here!

My friends found out last Thursday that they are adopting TWINS! Today, one week to the day later, they are across the country because the BABIES ARE HERE!

I am beside myself! I am so excited and anxious and I’m not even the one adopting. I’m so happy for this great couple who have been through so much to get to where they are today. I can only imagine what they must be feeling!

God is amazing. Just two weeks ago, after a failed match, she told me that this just gave her strength to continue fundraising and getting the baby’s room ready. I told her then that there are so many people praying, that I knew that God had something special planned and that it was going to happen. I had no idea that on that very night they’d find out that a mom was considering them and then just a few nights later, that they’d be matched. How amazing is that!?! God is so good. When all hope seems lost and when it’d be easiest to get down and out, God comes through with a blessing far greater than one that could have been imagined.

This gives me hope. It gives me courage to push forward and face the unexpected. God has a plan. He had a plan for our friends and He has a plan for us. He has a child or children out there that are meant to have us as parents and meant to have D, Z and M as siblings. This is happening.

I wonder if our friends know that their journey has given me hope. How fitting since their fundraising campaign is called Hope Regifted. ♥