The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Into the Deeper

8 October 2014

Well, it's been a Really. Long. Time since I last posted. But the blogging juices are flowing and I have something I want to share. So, here I am.

This story started last winter. With the song Oceans. I was a little late getting on the fan wagon for this song. No particular reason. I just didn't immediately identify with it. Then came the day I simply couldn't sing it. Specifically the bridge. I'm sure you already know it, but it says, "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters Wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Savior." The whole idea just scared me silent. I couldn't comprehend a place where my trust was unending. And I instinctively knew the road to such a place would be harrowing and expensive. 

I prayed about this reluctance and realized my fear was that the cost would be too great. I didn't have an idea of what exactly "deeper" meant for me, but I knew it would be costly. And, really, it wasn't so much the personal cost (although there was a huge "Idonwanna" in my soul about that too), but I feared that going deeper into God's will would mean suffering for my family. Personal suffering is one thing. Watching my children suffer--well, I just didn't think I could pay that kind of price. 

After a month or two of struggling with this fear, I couldn't bear it any longer and I confessed my feelings to a beautiful older woman. She assured me that none of us can imagine a "trust without borders" and encouraged me to press in despite my fear. My anxiety was more about the not knowing than any particular reality. My life has been pretty sheltered and I have had comparatively few difficulties. But, I have seen the cost of following God in other people's lives. At that time, the plight of Saeed Abedini, the pastor imprisoned in Iran, was at the forefront. What if God's call cost me as dearly as it was costing Pastor Saeed and his family? "Idonwanna!" my toddler-escent soul cried. So, if I just didn't sing those words, if I just didn't ask God to take me deeper, to increase my faith and trust, then I could stay comfortable. Except, the intensity of this struggle between my desire to go there with Him and my desire to avoid the cost was anything but comfortable.

Over the following weeks, my heart became braver. I reasoned that my fear was unfounded and that trying to predict the cost of following God into the deeper was folly. Whatever God directs me toward, His grace will cover and support. Yes, there will be a cost, but God Himself will supply what is needed. I began to cautiously dip my toes into the ocean, and yes, I even dared to sing the bridge. 

In March, I attended a women's retreat with my church ladies. I really don't remember what the theme was supposed to be, but this struggle was definitely a theme for me. The funny thing was that I wasn't really seeking God about what He might be wanting me to do. I kinda just wanted to feel brave and big and courageous, in general. Silly girl. 

Fortunately, my Father knows better. The week or two before the retreat, I was touched by an article about foster care. And then I saw something on tv about fostering. And, then there was something else about foster care. Well, you know, that's not all that remarkable since I am part of the adoption community and several of my friends and acquaintances are currently fostering. But, during the retreat, it just became clear to me that this was the "deeper" God was drawing me to at this time. The possible costs to myself and my family became clear to me once the call became clear. And, suddenly, they weren't so scary--still scary, but not sooooo scary.

When I returned home, I talked this over with Aa. I was concerned that he wouldn't be on the same page and now that I'd had a break-through, I'd have to wait for God to catch him up to act on it. That's often the way, isn't it?! But, to my surprise he said, "Okay. Well, I always thought we'd foster someday; you're just moving up the timeline." Oh. Not what I expected, but good! 

We agreed that I would gather information. A few weeks later there was an informational meeting at the Department of Health and Welfare for people interested in fostering and/or adopting through the state. I was again surprised when Aa agreed that we should go as soon as possible, even though these meetings occur every month. 

After the meeting, I asked Aa how he felt about proceeding with the next steps of the process. He said, with tears in his eyes, "I think we should do it. It's important. It matters." So, we began filling out paperwork and feeling out the kiddinkidinks. Pea (now 9 years old) was sweet and excited about having a little baby in the house again. Punk (now 10) was the one I was worried about. As the oldest, he's always had an air about him that says, "Everything was great when I had these two parents to myself and then these other kids came along..." He's also the one for whom quality one-on-one time means the most. So, I surprised when he said, "Hmm. Yes, I think we'd be the perfect family to do that. I mean, we kinda did that for Pea and Pup already. They needed us to be their family forever, but if some kids only need us a little while, we should help them too." Right on, buddy. Right. On. So I asked how he would feel when the foster babies went back to their first families. He thoughtfully replied, "Well, I'd be sad and happy." Imagining his reasoning to be selfish (happy because "I'll get my life back" or whatever), I asked him to explain. "Because! It will be sad to say goodbye, but then we'd get to meet and help another baby!" Wow. One of those rare moments when you get to feel like you did a smidgen of this parenting thing pretty well!

So, last month we completed our pre-service training and now we're waiting to begin our 8,000th home study. I'm still not sure what the timeline looks like, but I'm hoping we are licensed by the beginning of 2015. We don't have all the details (mainly the age range--definitely at least year younger than Pup, and probably just 12 mo and under) nailed down yet, but we've begun collecting some of the baby gear we'll need (of course, we'd already given away all Pup's stuff!). 

As for the fear, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is a costly venture. I know I'll be laying down even more of my selfishness, more of my judgements, more of my self-consciousness, more of my self. I know there will be sorrow. I know there will be pain. I know there will be darkness and disappointment and disillusionment. And not just for me, but for my family too. But, I also know there will be even more faith, even more trust, even more love, even more joy, even more family, even more friends, even more interdependence, even more depth, even more character, even more beauty, even more victory. And, I know--I mean I KNOW that it will be worth it. It's important. It matters. So much more than it will cost.


My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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I blog for myself and my kids and I would do it even if no one else cared, but I do like to hear from you (and think it's a wee bit creepy of you to voyeurize us without my knowing it). So, please leave a comment from time to time, or email me anytime at Much obliged, I'm sure.

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued