Keep on Keeping On {a message for adoptive families}

Today was one of those days when I was reminded that adoption is a human experience that reaches the depths of emotions. I sat through an adoption staffing (interview with families in hopes of being selected for a child in need of adoption). I listened to the families pour their hearts and hopes out to the team members. There were tears, laughter, and a lot of emotions in between. As I finished my day, I watched a touching video of a family who adopted their little one that they have been fostering.

And, I cried.

I thought about our own foster care and adoption journey. I thought about the families who are interviewed time and again, yet never selected. I thought about the ones who are just taking their first steps to becoming adoptive parents, the ones whose hearts are just now being stirred about adoption, and the multitude of others who will soon join the ranks of waiting families.

Adoption is so much harder than it appears to be. I don’t think it is possible for anyone to understand this unless they have been through it. It forces oneself to be strong and courageous, while also being vulnerable. Foster and adoptive families are asked to give all of themselves to children with no guarantee that it will work out.

They have to prove to others that they are worthy of being parents – this is something that people who have had biological children will never understand. They are asked to be authentic and genuine, and by doing so, they are judged on their potential as adoptive parents. Their expectation and labor are not counted by hours or months. Often, they are counted by many years.

Beyond the glorious adoption announcements and videos are years of struggle, hope, angst, heartbreak, and resilience. These things are weaved into the fabric of adoptive families. These things reach into the deepest part of our souls, and remind us that in the end, it is all worth it. The children are always worth it.

Adoption is hard. It takes a ton of patience in the waiting. The ride up the hill is torturous, but my friend, the other side of this mountain is sheer beauty.

To anyone who is awaiting the time when adoption calls your name,

Buckle up,

Put on your boots,

Hold your head high,

and keep on keeping on.

Adoption is worth it

this is a picture of adoption

Bailey Family 2015-28.jpg
Photo credit:  http://freedom-photography.com/

Here is a recent picture of my children.

This is a picture of three lives brought together through difficult circumstances.

This is a picture of children who found themselves caught up in some of the despair of the world.

But…

This is also a picture of hope, and of love.

This is a picture of the answered prayers of many.

This is a picture of life.

This is a picture of adoption.

With Every Adoption {meme for Orphan Sunday}

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Here is a meme I created in honor of National Adoption Month (US) and Orphan Sunday.  I love the notion that with every adoption, the hope in a better world is released.  Adoption changes lives.  Families matter.

My prayer is that we will rise up to the calling of adoption, and that the cries of orphans around the world will be met with the love, tenderness, and protection of parents.

If adoption has ever crossed your mind, please consider taking the first steps to learning more.

Blessings,

Caroline

On the Night You were Born {Happy 9th Birthday, Son}

20150912_170003On the night you were born, I left my office with a bit of despair in my heart.  You don’t know this, but Daddy and I had said “yes” to another baby that day.  We waited, and waited, but the phone did not ring.  Later in the day, the call I received was one that told me that the little baby boy we were excited to welcome into our hearts and home would not be coming.

I was devastated.  I knew that this was a part of foster parenting, but I so wanted to wrap that little one in my arms that night.  I packed up the baby stuff I had collected, put it aside, and then went to sleep with what felt like the weight of the world on me.  I cried tears that seemed to have been held in for so many years, and I pleaded to the Lord.  I prayed.  I begged.

With sorrow and a tint of faith-stained prayer, I said,  “Father, just give me a chance to be a Mommy to a baby, even if only for a little while.  I just want to hold a baby in my arms, and feel that incredible emotion of Motherhood.  I want this, Lord.  I need this.”

On the night you were born, I cried myself to sleep.

On the night you were born, your birth mother held you in her arms while I truly wondered what my future would look like.  As she was delivering your precious little soul into this world, I was starting to question if the heartbreak of loving and potentially losing a child through fostering was worth it.

As she was giving you your name, I was feeling this nameless, faceless emptiness. As she whispered her love to you, I whispered my grief to our Father in Heaven.

On the night you were born, two mothers:  one with child, one without, felt very intense, yet different emotions.  One felt the incredible measure of love, while the other felt a deeper degree of faith.

Two days after the night you were born, you entered my life.  An unexpected phone call, quick decision, and sudden rush to the hospital resulted in my eyes viewing a beautiful, innocent, and so deeply cherished little boy.  When I first saw you, my breath was taken away.  You were, and still are, so incredible in my eyes.

Throughout fostering you, I held onto the truth that the Lord had delivered my pleadings on the night you were born.  Daddy and I did not know how long we would call you “ours”.  We wanted so much for your birth mother to work it all out, but we also feared the thought of a life without you.

We grew to care for your birth mother, deeply.  Through much prayer, we came to realize that the journey we were on was not about us, but about you.  What a gift this was.

Here we are, nine years later, and I still marvel at the makings of our story that began on the night you were born.  Words will never be able to fully explain just how much you mean to us.  Only the Lord Himself knows the language my heart cannot deliver.

On the night you were born, while I was laboring with grief, and your birth mother was laboring in hope, two mothers, and a whole host of angels were rejoicing in the scripting of the magnificent creation of you.

Nine years ago, on the night you were born, while I was meddling in the deepest pit of sorrow, and your birth mother was visiting the joys of love and concern, the Lord knew the narrative of life that was unfolding.  This knowledge, Son, is the very reason why my soul is captivated by the wonder of you, and the richness of a faithful God.

Happy 9th Birthday, Son.  Love you, forever.

What Adoption Means: Adoption Changes Hearts

Here is the second post regarding “What Adoption Means to Me” written by a foster parent:

“Adoption – a word I never dreamed would be a part of my personal journey – but God had other plans

And I am so glad He did! 

He brought a little red-headed boy into our home that opened our horizons to a world we didn’t know existed! 

He has and continues to teach us that choosing to make a difference in a child’s life will definitely change yours! 

Adoption changed us forever – our family, and most importantly our hearts! “

This family sought out to make a difference in a child’s life, but not necessarily with the intention of adding to their family through adoption.  When the case goal changed for the child in their home, they prayed, discussed, and prayed some more about the next step in all of their lives.

They knew that the Lord brought not just any child into their lives, but the boy who would become their son.

Adoption changes lives.  Adoption changes hearts.