Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Adoption Reality

Once upon a time, there was a mom and dad.  They had four children.  In both the mom's heart and dad's heart, there was a longing to extend their family.  Not too long after a sweet conversation over a pizza lunch, the mom and dad knew that another little one would join them within the year.  Their little girl grew for about twenty weeks in the mommy's belly and forever in her heart.  Yet, this little one never got to meet her mom and dad, but rather saw Jesus first.                                                                                The mom and dad now wondered how this empty feeling would even come close to healing.  They knew that God's plan was perfect, but they did not know what that plan was.  At the moment, all they knew was hurt.  As the months passed, God was doing something special that would involve patience, time, and trust.  In the past, the mom and dad had opened  their home to other children and a young mom.  God had already been planting a seed for what seemed to be the next step:  foster parenting. 

After mounds of paperwork, hours of classes, and multiple home visits, the mom and dad became what God had been planning.  They were preparing to open their home to two other children, who, though were not born physically into the family, were welcome as the mom and dad's own children.  God used those two little ones to prepare the mom and dad for fostering with the plan to adopt, but those two little ones were not the ones God had planned to join the family.  
The mom and dad waited for weeks.  Then the phone rang. Two more little ones, a blond haired little 19 month old boy and his sister, a 9 month old, blue eyed little girl needed a home.  They entered the mom and dad's home and hearts on August 23, 2010.  
Each day together was another step in forever, though there was no certainty that forever for these little ones would mean life in this new home.  Many visits, court appearances, and red tape turned into months and years.  
As the mom and dad parented their family of six kids, they received a call that now another little one, a sibling to their newest children, was to be born the next summer.  Two children now became three.  Six children would now become seven.  It would take more waivers and more paper work.  God was doing something.  
As the mom spent precious time in the hospital with this newest little one, a boy, her heart grew even more.  Sadly she watched the heart of the birth mom break as her son rode away. God's plan is always perfect, but this plan was not pain free.  
The next year spent with three in diapers and little sleep stretched the mom and dad thinner than they thought possible.  
In another home, minutes away, lived another little boy, a big brother to these who came to live in this new family.  He longed to be with his brothers and sister.  The mom and dad saw his heart break even more each time they met.  God moved again in their hearts and plans were set for him to join them as well.  Eight children was not the original plan, but it was a good plan.  
Over the next three years, the mom and dad were put through much turmoil as accusations ensued and threats of removal were voiced.  Court appearances weighed heavily as the mom and dad made themselves present time and time again.  Humanly, the permancy of these four children in the home of this mom and dad seemed impossible.  The state seemed the big, bad monster who could roar loudly and wreak havoc.  
God became very big to this mom and dad.  When at their whits end, God said, "I can go further."  When nothing made sense, God said, "I know what's going on."  When life hurt, God said, "I am your healer." 
Trial was set for January.  The mom and dad headed to the courtroom supported with prayers around the world.  It appeared by all accounts that this trial would go the limit.  There was no deal to be made.  As the snow began to fall, court was closed for the next day.  Trial would have to wait.  Waiting had been the name of the game to this point.  Yet waiting was just what was needed.
Day two of trial was met with a renewed heart.  God had brought the birth parents to a point of decision that would change the future for many.  The mom and dad sat quietly as the birth mom shared her hurting heart and her desire for these four little ones to remain where they are:  together in this new home.  She voluntarily gave up her rights to parent these children anymore.  
Numbness described the feeling as this mom and dad walked back to their car.  Adoption was now a possibility, a probability, an answer to prayer.  God is good all the time, so he would be good had the outcome been different.  However,  this change of events showed a gracious, patient, loving God who chose to grow the family of this mom and dad by adoption.  Again the mom and dad sorted through more paper work, doctor visits, and home visits.  The final hearing was set for June 12, 2015, only a few months shy of five years since that initial paper work had been completed.  
As all eight children  with their mom and dad entered the courtroom, they were joined with friends and family, hugs and handshakes, tears and kisses.  The road to adoption leads through valleys deep and dark.  Its twists and turns may leave you in confusion and frustration.  Questions may have answers, or they may not.  Yet, in it all, this mom and dad saw God like they would have never done had they not said yes to Him five years ago.  
Adoption is final, but it is not the end of the story.  This mom and dad now celebrates a big family of ten.  They celebrate a bigger God.  

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