Now that the second adoption cat is out of the bag, I can tell you that Alex and I have been running around the Metroplex like crazy people trying to fulfill all of the adoption requirements AS FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. We’re hoping to be licensed (ready to ask about kids) by mid-to-late August.
I’m going to be honest: Foster care adoption training is not the most fun thing that I’ve ever done in my life. In fact, it’s not even in my top 10. It probably ranks right before that one time I ate a cherry tomato and then gagged it up and cried like a baby because it tasted like vomit (Please note: This was last year.).
We’d been told a long time ago that they really put you through the ringer in the trainings. There’s no, “Oh, little Suzy just needed a home and so she came and it’s been cotton candy and buttercups since day one.”
No. There’s none of that.
It’s more like, “Little Suzy lasted for about 24 hours before she paralyzed our dog, threw poop at our head, and then jumped out a second story window to run away.”
The trainings are…heavy. That’s the only way I know how to describe it. Last Saturday, we had to go to a training on Child Sexual Abuse. You’re basically ruminating on the dregs of society for about three hours and then hearing how you, as a foster/adopt parent, get to try and clean up the mess that some disgusting sicko made. The agencies really try (and succeed) to give you worst case scenarios, so that you leave feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. As I drove home, I felt like a rock had settled on my heart. How could these things happen? How can I deal with them having happened to my children?
I’m not gonna lie. We have moments of “What are we getting ourselves into?”
Adoption gives you a window into the utter brokenness of our world and the affect that it’s having on the youngest members of society. They told us that kids process grief in short spurts. So, you’re just happily cooking dinner together and then the kid says, “Last year, on my birthday, _______ threw me out a window because I was being bad. I landed in the dirt so it didn’t hurt that much.” You might have a little conversation about it and then they’re ready to move on to making dessert. I’m going to have to learn how to compartmentalize a little because that conversation could send me into a teary fit and the kid is waiting for me to bake brownies.
I was talking to my sister about how heavy my spirit has been feeling as a result of these trainings and she reminded me that it will be my distinct honor to teach my children about hope….
Dear friends, all is not lost. In the face of such unspeakable evil, there is hope in Jesus. Sweet Jesus, who is building my family in ways I never thought possible. Sweet Jesus, who loves all people with reckless abandon, who offers hope to those who have none. When the burden of carrying these little ones that He has entrusted me with becomes to much to bear, I know that I can rely on Him to give me the strength to sing hope and love and compassion over them.
One of my favorite songs is Home by Phillip Phillips. Yes, he was an American Idol winner. No, I don’t watch that show because I hate watching people’s dreams be crushed. Yes, I know you know that song because radio stations played it ad nauseum for about 3 months. It came out right when we were in the throes of the Thailand adoption and God used KISS FM’s timing to speak to me when the stress threatened to overwhelm me. The lyrics are beautiful and they function, at least for me, as a secular hymn.
God is with us. If we are lost, we can always be found. We know we’re not alone.
Today, I was playing it on the piano and I had to stop because I was overcome. The things that my children have experienced are dark and we’re going to have to face that darkness. But we are not alone. We have sweet Jesus and His message of hope and grace.
Jesus, this is the message that I desperately want my children to know. I want them to hear it from You and I want them to hear it from me.
Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home