Tuesday, November 19, 2013

national adoption month

november is national adoption month.

 adoption is kinda our jam around here.

if someone had told me when i was 21 years old and getting ready to marry my best friend that we would end up with four beautiful boys not biologically related to us, i'd have probably said, 
"well alright then. cool."

it was always something i had wanted to do.
there's more to family than biology.

and as God would design it, gabe would eventually be on my caseload at my job, ready for someone to play with and grow with. after a year of us spending time together and getting to know one another, he was available for adoption. 

once we got him, we were kinda hooked.
who wouldn't be? have you seen his wee face?
we talked about never trying for biological kids but just growing our family through adoption and fostering.
and people thought we were crazy.
i wish it wasn't seen as crazy. truth be told, people's reactions made me sad. 

our family was formed the way God designed our family to be formed.
it might not look like yours, and yours might not look like mine. 
and that's ok. 
we can all be friends. 

a year later, we got elijah.
six months later, our caseworker called (laughing) and asked us if we wanted two more.
i told her if she was so bored at work as to prank call her foster families, we needed to get her a hobby.
turns out she was only laughing because she had told the other ladies at the office that i would kill her for asking us to take more kiddos.

i did not kill her.
we said yes.

the rest, friends, is history.

four children, four backgrounds, four stories of redemption.
and we got to see God's handiwork in all our lives as our family grew.

when people say, "oh those boys are so blessed to have you. you've changed their lives,"
we roll our eyes. 
we are blessed to have them.
they've changed our lives.

fostering is amazing. and hard. and wretched at times.
adoption is hard. and tiring. and tedious at times.
family, no matter how you slice it, is hard. 

but God is good.

i encourage you during this time of year, set aside for family and friends, to pray for children without families and how you might minister to them.
i do not believe everyone should foster or adopt. but we are called to care for the orphan.
we went through pathways youth and family services and got licensed quicker than any other family within the agency at that time-- everything was completed in 6 weeks.
 in under two years, we had four children. and each of them stayed and became part of our forever family. that's not the norm. God is crazy amazing. 

but for another family, caring for the orphan might mean buying an extra Christmas present, helping pay dance lesson fees for a child in foster care, giving a foster family a date night, or opening up your church building for foster parent training classes.

many local foster/adoption agencies have lists of things you can do to help.
i encourage you to ask around.
share your ideas of how to serve.
get your small group or work to participate.
together we can make a difference. 

**and just a side note: many counties have mass adoptions once a month at their county courthouses. it's where many families come together to adopt children and they usually have a small celebration along with it. 
if i could encourage families interested in fostering/adoption/caring for the orphan to do one thing, it would be to attend one of these mass adoptions.
if you can make it through the whole thing without crying, you're a robot.
it's truly one of the most amazing things we as a family have ever been a part of.

on this post i'm specifically speaking about caring for children in foster care, but there are so many things we as a community can do for children without families, whether it's in an international setting or in our own cities. 

happy national adoption month!

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