Here is a crazy long amazing story in a short note. We are in the process of adopting. The plan was to adopt a boy under the age of 3 from Ethiopia. We are also a Safe Family. Safe Families is a fairly new program to the area that takes in children on a temporary basis while the family is struggling for whatever reason. The goal is to prevent abuse and neglect/CPS involvment when a family is overwhelmed with life situations. We had been helping another Safe Family with their placement and finally turned in our application on Thursday so we could take in children for a short time until our adoption was complete. This program is amazing and they need families badly so I will put a link at the bottom of this note so you can check it out if you are interested.
So on Friday afternoon I get a call about two little ones that have been in placement for two weeks and the mother has decided to place them for adoption.....would we be interested? Breathe with me everyone! I got off the phone and could'nt breathe. I was excited and scared and freaking out! This doesn't happen. Perfectly healthy children that have never been in the system do not just land in your lap. Families wait years for this. They wanted to put the children with a forever placement so they would have less transitions in their little lives. Trevor and I prayed. We had friends pray. We prayed some more and talked with the kids and prayed some more and just tried to listen. We decided who could have done something THIS BIG?! other than our Mighty Mountain Moving God! We were getting ready to switch agencies and the new application was signed with check sitting on top when I got the phone call. I called Safe Families back and said if these children need a family we would love to be that for them. We want to be open to this mom and how/why she must be feeling this way. The purpose of Safe Families is to help the entire family through a tough time. We are open to helping the birth mom. We do not want to see these children lose their mom if she is just overwhelmed for the moment and needs support. We can be a support for her. If she has her mind made up for whatever reason, these two children will be Harris's!!!!
The plan was to meet them on Sunday and have them spend the day with us for a transition time. Saturday some books I had even forgotten I ordered on Toddler Adoption and a children's book for the adopted child came to our door. God is in every little detail. I read through them all and just tried to absorb evey bit of information I could in the 12 hours I had:)
So at 8 am on Sunday morning L who is a 3 and 1/2 year old little boy and his little sister, P 2 and 1/2 walked into our home. L had his "I am tough and have been through alot" face on and P looked a bit scared. Within ten minutes P was letting me hold her and talking up a storm and L was saying 'no' to everything we said:) About ten minutes later they both were really opening up to us and smiling. The day could not have gone better. Church was a little crazy I'll admit. I didn't want the two little ones to go into the childcare rooms and feel like we were leaving them and our crew didn't want to go when they found out P and L weren't so I didn't want them to feel like we didn't want to be with them now so we took all five into service with us!!! Crazy I know. We had known them for about 45 minutes. My head was in the clouds:) When I heard a sweet lady behind me say, " I am exhausted just watching them." I figured maybe we should step out!!! LOL
We came home to play and the kids just were amazing. P is very loving and friendly and a ball of energy. L is very sweet and funny and his defense mechanism is to be a tough guy but by the end of the day he was crying if something happened and letting us comfort him. They were kissing and hugging all of us. L declared Noah to be his best friend and P and Ava finally realized they could both fit on my lap without the world ending! We took them to a cookout and they came to us if they needed anything and wanted us if they felt scared or got splashed or fell down. I was in shock that these two beautiful children were showing such great bonding attachments to our family in one days time. We got in the car to come home and I was being silly and looking between the little space between the headset and my seat. I said, "I see my P, I see my Ava"....and on down the line and little P points to me and Trevor and says, "I see my Mommy, I see my Daddy." I turned my head and went straight into the ugly cry. This doesn't happen!!!
Our God has amazed me once again. The entire day we referred to ourselves by name and they did not know that we could be family someday.They cried when they left and asked if we could come with them. The plan is to get an adoption attorney right away and they will be placed in our home within the week. The mom will have a time period to change her mind and we just want what is best for these two precious little children. She was raised in the foster care system and passed around alot. She has no family. She aged out of the system and the children's dad was violent. Her life experience has been completely different than mine and if God needs us to be here for her, than I am trying to stay open to that.
I have seen God's hand in this at every turn. Will our life forever be crazy, yes. Five kids is crazy. Will our life forever be changed, yes....change it. Will I forever be thankful to our Heavenly Father, yes. I am just trying to stay open to God's plan. I am trying not to question why this mom feels like this is the choice she has to make. I won't ever really get that so I just have to trust God's sovereignty in it all. I have to trust that if we are supposed to help her heal and give them back that God will give me the strength to do that. I am trusting that God will help our family adjust from a family of five to one of seven in about a weeks time. I am trusting that He will bring our family the resources we all need to help with this transition for us all. I am trusting and thanking and praising.In the past three days I have gone from feeling heartbroken for this mom......to excited for us....to scared for us and reminding God that the deal was one, one child:)......to crying and laughing and just praising praising praising my Awesome Lord.
Trevor is on layoff for the month of June so we will have such amazing time to bond with them. God's timing is crazy....I don't know why He still blows my mind. I know how great He is. I know how much He loves us. I know how big He is. But really?! Are you kidding me?! I am so very thankful that God would choose us to be what these children need right now. I am so very thankful that He would entrust His children to us. I am so amazed by HIS LOVE and GOODNESS. I am so thankful to this mom that has obviously loved these children as best she could. I am so thankful to her for giving them a loving start.Will there be bumps and days that seem impossibly difficult, I'm sure of it. But God is at work here and I am going to follow His lead. We are stepping out on complete trust. You only live once right? I wasn't going to get to heaven and have to tell him I said no. Now, I'll just have to ask, ''what were you thinking?'' LOL
Pray for this crew. Pray for the birth mom. Pray for clarity and most of all, pray for L and P.....how scary and sad and hard to understand this must be at any age but especially at 2 and 3 years old. Thank you all for your concern and wondering what was going on. Sorry I couldn't tell you all personally but the last 3 days are a blur and I was in survival mode:) Okay, so the long story was impossible to make into a short note!! But now you are all filled in.
The past year I have prayed three specific prayers over and over.....1) Open my eyes to the needs of others around me, Lord, and use me.2) Break my heart for what breaks yours and give me the strength to act.3) Whatever you ask, I will do.It has stretched me and grown me and blessed me. Thank you, Lord.