On Tuesday evening we had our final pre-service education class. The class was about children with special needs. Having worked in special education for the past eleven years, I felt at home with this topic and the materials presented. It was actually nice to go through and share some of the experiences that we have had over the years.
Once our class was completed we turned in our binder of paperwork. We were given our binder at our first set of pre-service classes. My husband jokingly said that I would have this done in a week, and I did. I was eager to go through this process and strongly believe that when we do our part and honor our commitment, God will honor it as well. I explained to my husband that if there is a delay or problem, I don’t want it to be because of something we did not complete. He understands my “Type A” personality and worked alongside me to complete the paperwork and gather any and all documents that we would need to provide to the agency.
As our case worker went through our binder, we signed a few documents that needed to be signed and came to the part where they began to ask about the types of children we would take into our home. The worksheet looks at race, gender, various types of disabilities/behaviors and the varying degrees of severity we would accept. It also asked how many children we were willing to take at one time. It was explained to us, on several occasions that this is the time to be realistic and completely honest with ourselves.
From the day we received the paperwork we have had many soul searching discussions about this section. We have discussed at great length the various disabilities/ behaviors we are willing to accept. For that section we have a choice between acceptable, unacceptable and will consider. Last evening we finalized that section and worked through the various disabilities and behaviors. Another huge discussion was the number of children we would consider taking.
Of all the things my husband and I have discussed, the number of children has been the one thing we tend to have differing opinions on, and for good reason. Being perfectly realistic, we came to the conclusion that it would be in our best interest to open our home to one child. I pushed for two, but relented because my husband had justified his reasoning. His thoughts were, our home is not big enough, our fertility is not determined as of yet and we would like to try for a baby, we have never been parents before and questioned whether or not we could handle more than one child with differing needs. All justified responses and I understood his perspective and respected the decision.
So last night, when the case worker asked us how many children we were willing to take, I became very quiet and let my husband answer the question. He stated our reasons and found that the only real point of contention was the size of the bedroom that was the true determining factor. So we invited our case worker to look at the bedroom that we have prepared for the child to see if it was in fact appropriate for two children. He explained that the room, if we used bunk beds, would be appropriate for two children. We returned to the dining room table to finish that section of the paperwork and again were asked how many children we would take. My husband responded with TWO!!! I was caught completely off guard with that and sat there shocked. All I could do was smile as I looked at him in complete shock! Two, two, two, two… I kept saying in my head. Two children… ahhhhhh it sounded awesome to me! I asked if he was sure because I didn’t want this to be a rash decision or because I had brought it up a million times. He said he was sure and just smiled back at me.
In our world, we weren’t worried about race, gender or some of the other things as a factor, we were worried about a number. We wanted to be fair to the children first and foremost, we also wanted to be realistic and fair to ourselves as well. I think if there is anything you do as you prepare for this journey, the biggest lesson or thing you can do for yourself is to be completely honest, realistic and know your limits.
One thing I know for sure… God is so good and He has blessed us tremendously through our journey thus far. We are in the home stretch now as we head towards completion and certification. Our hearts are ready, our minds are open and we are like two children on Christmas Eve waiting with anticipation. We are realistic and do not expect perfection, we know there will be sleepless nights, huge struggles, behaviors and other hills to climb, but we are also committed to filling our home with lots of love, family fun, and a faith that can move mountains!
Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Matthew 17:20 ~ He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”