Tomorrow we have our first post placement visit. It is absolute insanity that it has been 6 months home. It seems like a lifetime has passed in that short time.
I’ve been scurrying around this afternoon trying to find all our adoption paperwork and order photos. I basically piled all the adoption paperwork and put it out of sight and out of mind. I think I seriously have some PTSD from paperwork and forms. Two dossiers in 9 months will do that to you.
It’s been hard sorting through the forms. With Naomi….it’s easy. It’s just her and us, and she’s our perfectly unperfect little China doll.
The paperwork though…. that’s another story. Another story that tells hundreds of thousands of stories. The paperwork, and things like finding ads and orphanage information screams of other kids who have been found, who are waiting to be found by their forever family. The paperwork haunts me.
We said we were done. We wouldn’t be serial adopters. We couldn’t do this again.
And mostly…I think we are sticking with that.
Six months in and I’m just now realizing the impact the last two years have had on us. I’m starting to measure the cost it’s taken outside of our finances. On the house upkeep, the kids, our marriage, our relationships, organization, etc. We’ve been in a state of survival for a long time, and we are in some ways just peeking out of that hibernation.
I’m working through planning some of our New Year still, and figuring out what I like to do and what I love, and what things the future might hold for us are all on the table. I’m really excited about that. I’ve shut a lot of that down for two years.
In some ways I wonder if we could handle another adoption or foster care, or any other kids at this moment, but then I also wonder how much longer they can go without a family. I feel selfish, because I’ve SEEN.
Right now we need time to recover, and restore (that’s my 2017 word), and I’m going to give us space for that.
But my heart won’t stop beating for those without a family, for kids in hard places. And my voice won’t stop screaming that they need help every chance I get.
I had a lot of fear about adoption at the beginning, fear of what it might do to my family and my marriage. Really though, it was selfishness. I was being selfish with our love and what we’ve built. Love doesn’t diminish when shared, but multiplies. As we rebound from the process, we also continue to think through ways we might still be being selfish, and asking God to give us more room to extend more love, in whatever way that looks. He’s already done that with our kids who regularly ask if we can adopt again, quickly forgetting the process. I’m not sure who originated the phrase, but “If you have more than enough, build a longer table not a bigger fence” has been heavy on my heart in the last months.
So we are scheming ways to build a longer table. And enjoying life as a family of 6.
This youngest daughter of ours is a part of us. Even when she wasn’t, she’s always been on my heart. Around the time she was being conceived, God whispered her name in my ear and lit a passion for her in my heart. Now that she’s here, it feels as if she’s always been. She fits so perfectly I genuinely forget we look different and don’t have the same genes. There are glimpses at a life lived a part from us, but it’s like she’s always known us too.
As we are still stepping into the New Year, I’m praying that God will whisper names and desires and visions to those around us in the coming year. That He will multiply the love in families, and take away fear. I’m thinking through ways to support those we know who are stepping out and standing up for those kiddos who need love and families. I pray for lots of them in process….for strength, resilience, patience, endurance, and an abundance of love to give.
As Brooke Fraser says “now that I have seen, I am responsible”. So while food posts, and family posts may start to make their way here more and adoption stuff less, please know it’s never far from my lips, and we are always an open book to talk about adoption. It’s so hard, but it’s so good. It’s absolutely the best thing we’ve done.