There are many routes to parenthood. Some are blessed with the ability to birth children and others go through countless rounds of fertility treatments, while others seek babies through a surrogate or birth mother, and some choose adoption of some kind. No matter the journey to become a parent, there are challenges, obstacles, joys and sorrows, but in the end, most will say – every step of the journey was worth it.
Yesterday we began our first pre-service class. It was an all-day training from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and involved three separate classes. It was an exciting, overwhelming and informative experience to say the least. It raised questions, concerns and rocked us to the core in so many ways.
Our first class was entitled Who Are the Children? We talked about the different types of children in the foster care system, why and how they come into the system, how to build attachment with a “broken” child and the various issues or concerns that arise from being removed from the home. We also looked at what happens to most of these children when they age out of the system. It was eye opening, raw and made my husband and I want to drop to our knees in prayer for these babies. It was overwhelming, but in the end, it reinforced our desire to be foster parents.
Our second class focused on the birth parents. This was as equally a difficult class as the first. Knowing that addictions are stronger than love and often, brokenness leads to brokenness with their children. We learned of three mothers, the fathers were either unknown or nowhere to be found. All three mothers dealt with several issues, anything from being crack addicted, nicotine addiction, prostitution, alcohol use, and mental health issues. All three had their children removed and two had parental rights terminated. I found myself shaking my head and could feel a sense of anger growing within. These beautiful innocent children do not deserve this start in life; they deserve a happy, healthy environment in which they can grow. Unfortunately, these addictions often over power the good intent and their wanting to get better and be better for their children. I found myself struggling as did my husband. Here we were sitting with several others and we were seeking children and were willing to do anything for them to help them grow and to love them unconditionally.
Our third class was about child development. It took me back to my college courses and reminded me of what we are going to encounter. This was one class I felt completely comfortable with and it was nice to have the information refreshed in my mind.
Often when I get angry, I recall various scriptures to help me cope with the pain that is felt from the anger and wanting to change the circumstances. The verse that came to mind today as I write this is from 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” Today I choose to love and pray for these parents in distress, because HIS LOVE covers a multitude of sins… including my own! I have no right to be judgmental, but to love them, and care for their children when they cannot and that is sufficient for me.
Our whirlwind of a day was rounded out with an evening spent with two of the most wonderful people and their beautiful family! They are in process for their second international adoption. It is exciting to watch their story unfold and have someone going through similar things. We spent some time going through an upcoming adoption event to be held at our church, and were able to share and just spend quality time laughing, talking and sharing. Leaving their home late in the evening with the biggest smile on our faces, we knew that God has brought us to this point, for HIS purpose and HIS timing.
There is a song that I have been able to relate heavily too lately. It is by Matthew West and is entitled Do Something. It has been a really powerful song in our home! Remember, HE created you… you are HIS hands and feet, and when HE calls you, it is time to DO SOMETHING!
I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?
“Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”