Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The First Big Step

For almost 3 years now, Matt and I have desired another child. We knew that a medical condition might prevent us from having another one of our own. So adoption has always been on our radar. We had always thought we would pursue international adoption. But something happened that changed our course. Back in December, we were watching a television special on adoption, and we were both moved (me to tears, Matt to "moisture") when we learned about how many children there are in foster care in the U.S. They are not there through any fault of their own, either. So many of these children are available for adoption. Because the vast majority of them are 6 years old and older, their likelihood of having a forever family shrinks as time goes by. Both of us have a heart for kids--particularly school-aged kids. We agreed that adopting an older child out of foster care was something we would like to investigate.

Last night, we took our first steps down this path by attending an informational meeting about foster care and adoption. The meeting served to confirm the tug in our hearts. We both know this is what we're supposed to do. Unfortunately, we are moving to Florida, and Florida's paperwork and procedures are different from Arkansas' paperwork and procedures. The only thing we can do to start the process is get CPR and first aid certification. Matt is already certified, but my certification has expired. Once that is done, all we can do is wait until we are moved and settled.

Have I mentioned that I hate waiting? This wait is especially difficult, because I know that my child is out there, either in foster care, or still living in the painful circumstances that will bring them into the foster care system. That breaks my heart. Each night I fall asleep praying for the next child--or children, because we're open to adopting a sibling group--who will enter our family. I know they are in God's hands, and I just have to trust Him.

Sigh. I hate waiting. I supposed I could look on this waiting period as similar to pregnancy. For the next however many months it is that we have to wait, that child is growing in my heart.

8 comments:

Stef said...

Em, I got chills when I read this! Yay - I am SO happy for you and VERY excited that you guys are leaning towards adopting a US child. I don't have anything against babies or children outside the US, but why not start on the home front where these kids are in just as much of a need and right here in your own country!
I've heard some people say they avoid adopting in the US due to expensive costs and legal stuff - that's just wrong and sad to me. those are still children and we shouldn't be treating kids like we're at some clearance sale and want the easiest, cheapest one.

Anyway.... very happy for you guys! I will commit this to prayer. So many exciting things going on in your lives right now!!

Tara said...

I'm so happy for y'all! Being a social worker who has almost solely worked in foster care and adoptions, I completely understand the need. And you are completely correct in that as children get older their chances of being adopted dramatically decrease. That is hard to tell a child who wants that forever family. I can't wait to follow your journey.

Tammy Warta said...

I know that most older kid adoptions are discouraged if it will mess up the birth order of your kids, but you should def look into The Heart Gallery. Karen is the director of the Sacramento chapter, but I know they are all over the country. It might be hard to find a child younger than Jackson, but it is worth a shot! I almost adopted one on the spot last Fall, they moved me so deeply with their stories. What a blessing you two will be to a foster child!!!!

Kristin said...

wow thats wonderful. Can't wait to hear the updates as it all happens!

Southern Belle said...

How wonderful! Blessings as you begin your journey in adoption. I can't wait to see pictures of your new addition when the time comes!

~Christine

Jenn said...

Wow, Emily. We are praying for God's direction too in way of adoption. I'm so glad He has spoken clearly to both you and Matt and the direction you are to go. How exciting! I know the waiting is hard. I'll be praying for you all as you start this exciting journey!

The Yorks said...

Oh Em. My heart is breaking and longing with yours. I know this journey that you've been on has not been easy or clear at times, but Glory, Glory to God! I too, will be praying for this. You and Matt are wonderful, amazing parents and God has just the RIGHT child/ren for your family. Godspeed sister. Huge hugs and smiles of tears.

Fabienne said...

Emily, I was very touched by your post. I admire your decision to adopt a child in foster care. I pray that God will make the path easy for your and your husband in Florida and that the red tape/process won't be too overwhelming. I look forward to following your life story...