Yesterday was a big day for our family. We officially became a family of 6. In our hearts we have been a family of 6 since the end of July, but yesterday it was “official.” Blue’s adoption became final. Here’s the first part of our story…
In the early fall – September I think – of 2007 our church had a guest speaker. It was the chaplain from one of the Children’s Homes in our state. He spoke of the ministry they have housing and caring for older kids that can no longer live with their families. He talked about how so many churches support them and what we can continue to do to share God’s love with the kids living in Children’ s Home. For the first time ever, Racer and I walked away from a worship service with exactly the same message – we are supposed to adopt.
This message was not new to me. For many years, really since I was a teenager, I had felt like I was supposed to be a foster parent and eventually adopt. I never thought it was to be babies though. Always in my mind I was to adopt an older child, one that was past some kind of invisible line on an “adoptable age.” For Racer, though, this was the first time ever that he had thought about adoption. We talked about what that would mean for our family. We talked about what that would mean for us. I was insistent that the adoption be through our state child welfare system. I have nothing against international adoption. I know families and have family that have had very successful international adoptions. I just felt so strongly, and still do, that there are so many kids in my own country that need loving families; how could I look elsewhere?
So we called Children’s Home. Unfortunately, they were only able to assist with international adoptions and the kids in their care were part of the state’s child welfare system. So we called “the Cabinet” and learned about the SNAP program. To adopt, however, we would first need to go an informational meeting, and then take a training class that would license us as foster parents. At that point, our home would be available to care for and love a child and move toward adoption.
It took 4 months for us to get to an informational class. It seemed like the schedule never opened for the night the class was. Finally, the schedules aligned and we went. I remember before going, looking at the SNAP website. Children available for adoption were on there and I felt totally awful, almost like I was shopping for a child. It didn’t feel right to do that and I told Racer I couldn’t do that again. God was going to give us a child in a different way.
Next was the training class. It was about 3 months long and yet again, it never seemed to fit in the schedule. Racer was racing, I had youth stuff, and we needed a babysitter for Professor and Girlie. It just didn’t fit. And then, we found out Gorilla was on the way. Hmmm… didn’t seem like a good idea to bring a new child into our family when we were already bringing a new child into our family. That was spring of 2008. Here I am pregnant and working full-time. Racer was busy working. We had 2 other kids in our already small 3 bedroom 1 bath house. Yeah, now was not a good time to adopt.
Then, in May 2008, we met Blue.
To be continued…