Tiny Tucker is Coming!

HoweverMotherhoodComes

Hm…let’s see….what have I been up to lately?  Re-organizing my crafts.  Playing card games with Rod.  Writing some songs.  Watching Netflix.  The usual.

And, oh yeah.  Adopting a child.

 

{!}

 

If you’ll remember, Jesus started moving my heart toward adoption at the beginning of this year.  Since then, He’s really been pushing us in that direction, and about a month ago, He finally pushed us over the edge.  I was reading one of my newest favorite books, and the author was talking about the daughter she is adopting from Ethiopia.  She mentioned that she had several weeks of very strong sadness and an urge to pray for her girl, and she talked to some other adoptive moms about it.  Almost all of them had a similar story, and they told her to write down the date of that strong sadness.  Chances are, they said, when she got her little girl, something significant will have happened to her around that same date – her parents passed, she transferred orphanages, she was severely abused, etc.  So this author did just that, and it turned out to be true.  That very week was the week her sweet daughter was moved from her home village to a village very far away, where she was completely alone.

When God speaks, He speaks, and there’s not always an explanation for why the very thing that you’ve heard a million times can all of the sudden strike up something new in you.  That’s what happened when I read that story.  I stopped mid-chapter, called Rod, and said, “I think we need to start the adoption process and bring our child home.”

So here we are.  On the road to finding our baby.

I have so many thoughts and so many feelings and {already} so many stories.  But I don’t want to overwhelm you {or myself} with too much information in one post.  So, I’ll just give you the facts now and save the rest for later.  Please don’t mistake my sterile words with a lack of enthusiasm.  There is too much enthusiasm in me even to contain.

The route we are taking is Domestic, Older Child Adoption.  “Domestic” = From Michigan.  “Older Child” = Parental rights have been terminated {age really has nothing to do with it…our baby will be in the range of 0-6 years}.

The licensing process is the same for becoming adoptive parents as it is for becoming foster parents, so at the end of all of this, we will be a family who is Fostering to Adopt.  Let me explain.  When a child gets taken from their parents, they will come to live with us as a foster child.  Within one year, a permanency plan will form, which will end either with that child being re-unified with their parents or with the parental rights being terminated and that child becoming available for adoption.  The statistic is split right down the middle – half of the foster children go home and half of them get a new home.  So there is a 50% chance, whenever we get a child placed with us, that they will go back to their parents.

When I tell people that last part, the reaction is almost always the same.  “Aren’t you afraid of getting attached and then having the child get taken away?”  The answer to that is no and yes.  {Okay, I lied….I will share some of my feelings.}

I’m not afraid of getting attached.  I want to get attached.  We’ve been encouraged by our agency to get attached.  One of the biggest disorders in children who have been through the foster care system is that they don’t experience proper bonds with adults when they are young, so it becomes extremely difficult to form healthy bonds {marriage, friendships, etc.} when they are older.  The child who comes into our home will have experienced great trauma and great loss.  At that time in their life, there will be no greater need in them than the need to be fully accepted, fully welcomed, and fully loved.  If we love a child as our own and they are then removed from our home, yes we will be grieved.  We will experience pain and loss and heartache.  And I am scared for that.  But I also acknowledge that it will be worth it if that child can spend one year of their life being loved like never before.  Please don’t think me saintly for this attitude.  Several months ago, I would have felt terrified and resistant to the whole idea.  But we really believe that God is calling us to do this, and in some miraculous way, He has made my heart okay with it.  I completely and sincerely trust that God will work it all out, and He will make it good in the end.  He must.

When you get pregnant and you announce that you are having a baby, people know how to react.  They know the process, how many weeks it will take, what signs they can begin looking for.  You will start showing, you will feel the baby moving, you might find out what gender the baby is.  You will have baby showers, you will decorate a nursery, you will read books about how you should eat and what to name your baby and how to breastfeed and what to expect.

When you begin the adoption process, it’s much messier.  You don’t know how long it will take.  There is no due date.  You don’t get to know anything about your baby before you meet him or her.  Your belly {if all goes according to plan} does not grow.  We know we will be licensed in March or April, and we could get placed with a child right away {for those of you who are counting, that’s like a 5-month pregnancy}, or we could be waiting for awhile.  At the end of it, we could have an infant or a 3-year-old or a 6-year-old.  Our baby could have light skin or dark skin.  Their room will largely get decorated after they’ve already moved in, and I have two friends who have already offered to throw some sort of baby shower once we meet our sweet one.  Our baby will already have a name {I’m praying it’s got a good meaning}.  Our baby will have already had many experiences, some unspeakably unjust.

Because of all of this, there is no way I can fully prepare myself as much as I would want to, were I in control.  I cannot, in the next 5 months, read all of the books for parenting children aged 0-6.  I cannot watch what I eat and have it affect my child’s health.  I cannot have several weeks’ worth of clothes at the ready for when our child comes home.  I can’t go crazy on Pinterest with….oh wait….yes I can.

But I’m okay with all of that.  When I’m given a little control, I tend to think I have all the control.  But when I’m this helpless, it pushes me ever closer to Jesus and makes me ever more desperate for His peace.

I was afraid when we decided to start down this road that people wouldn’t understand and that people wouldn’t know how to react when we told them.  I was afraid that because the process is so messy and so foreign, there wouldn’t be much excitement.  Boy, was I wrong.  Our friends and family are brimming with encouragement and excitement!  And so are we.

As always, your prayers are powerful and needed and appreciated.


Photo by Brian Wolfe(y) of his lovely wife, Heidi.

 

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6 Comments

  • Reply Karen P October 29, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Anna, this is horribly exciting. Congratulations. What an exciting, HUGE step to be taking. I have no doubt the Lord is going to bless this in some awesome way. :)

  • Reply Sam October 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    This is my very favorite post of yours =D You (guys) and your child have been and will continue to be in our prayers, and I hope we will be able to offer eachother all sorts of encouragement as we journey through this process “together.”

    YAY for God’s heart toward the fatherless and being made in His image!!!

  • Reply Katherine October 29, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    So beautiful!!!!
    You could have years to plan and know exactly the age and gender of your child and STILL feel clueless when you have them… it is a parental right of passage we all go through.

  • Reply Peter DeHaan October 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    This is most exciting. Congratulations!

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