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Posts Tagged ‘adoption’

A Longing Resurfaces

Intimate

Photo credit: Sona Psotova

I’m a dreamer. I’ve finally come to realize that about myself. Dreamers aren’t known for being practical.

My latest dream isn’t new at all. It’s been at—or just below—the surface for 20 years. All those years I’ve had a hunger to foster and adopt children.

There are times when that hunger buries itself in my chest, and I can think of little else—like after Haiti was ripped apart by the earthquake in 2010. “Can we please go to Haiti and look after the orphans,” I begged my husband. But Kevin is the practical one. He sees the consequences and obstacles with clarity while I only see the need and feel the pain.

I’ve tried to be more practical over the years. When I hear of suffering children—of orphans and foster children who never find a forever family—my heart squeezes with the desire to help them, but I remind myself that I’m raising six children in an unfinished house. “It’s not real,” I tell myself. “It’s just a dream.”

But last week, as I watched a friend snuggling her baby girl, I felt the desire to care for hurting children resurface. Maybe it’s time, I found myself wondering. Our house could be finished this summer. My youngest is four, and I have more time now. Kevin might even be semi-retired.

The next day, at an archery meeting, I overheard a woman talk about her experiences as a foster mother. I unabashedly drew near. “I’ve always wanted to foster or adopt,” I said.

“Really?” She seemed surprised. Maybe the idea to foster children crept up on her instead of being the culmination of decades of desire. She talked about some of the joy and pain she and her husband have experienced on their journey.

Over the years I’ve read dozens of books related to fostering children. Knowing that many children in care have special needs led me to studying about Down’s syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, and autism. I’ve also looked into caring for drug addicted babies.

But what is it like to love a child and then lose them? What if we did decide to foster children, but the pain eroded our family like a sand castle caught in the tide?

There have been times in the past when my dreaming and scheming have gotten us into trouble. Maybe I’m finally learning. Maybe that’s why I don’t want to rush into anything this time.

I found a book titled A Baby’s Cry by a foster mother about her experience with fostering a newborn. She and her two children form a deep bod of love for the baby, and then they must let him go when he is returned to his birth mother less than a year later. It’s helping me to understand what it’s really like to willingly suffer pain to offer a child a home and love—for a time.

I started reading A Baby’s Cry to my whole family a couple days ago. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a foster mom, but I need to believe that the ache that lives in my heart is there for a reason. Maybe some of my children will remember reading this book and decide to one day foster and adopt children themselves.

Maybe the time will be right one day for Kevin and I to welcome some of these little ones into our own hearts. I don’t know, and I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to know. I accept the pain and pray that one day I’ll have the chance to alleviate some of the pain of a hurting child.

 

A Baby`s Cry at Amazon.com

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My Heart’s Desire

Last night I dreamt I was walking down the hall, of the small school that I went to as a child. Familiar faces smiled at me, and the sound of my footsteps echoed through the corridor. I realized that the school had become an orphanage.

I entered the gym and watched two little boys as they ran and laughed. My heart melted as I realized they were orphans. The boys were twins, though one was much smaller than the other due to dwarfism. They had light brown skin, tight curls and dimpled cheeks.

I gathered the little boys in my arms and smiled warmly at them. I would bring them home. I would be their mother! I felt like dancing. I walked back down the hall, the little boys still cuddled in my arms. Everybody was smiling. They were so happy that the little boys would have a family and a home.

I kept pushing back a thought that was struggling forward into my consciousness. Then it struck me. I couldn’t adopt, not now. I knelt down on the floor and sobbed as I realized I would need to let them go and walk away.
Even as a woke, I felt a deep sorrow settled on my chest. The desire to adopt has been a constant prodding on my heart. I have been hungering to be a mother to the motherless for 13 years.

There have been times in my life that I have had to push away the thought and refuse to dwell on it. The very desire (and inability) to adopt was sapping away my joy and leading to discontentment. Over the years though, I have learned to live with this unfulfilled longing. I’ve learned to give this to God and entrust the outcome to His hands. I have peace now, that if it is God’s will for us to adopt children, He will throw open the doors and tear down every obstacle. And if it is not His will, then it is utterly futile for me to be pushing against this wall.

The plight of suffering children always has the ability to wind me. When war and disaster strikes impoverished countries, I agonize over the suffering children; the orphans alone in a world that does not value them. At times, I lay in bed at night troubled with the thought of the thousands of children that are ‘ageing out’ of the Canadian foster care system. A few of the young adults will have been blessed with awesome foster families that will keep in touch over the years, but I fear that the vast majority will enter adulthood desperately alone. How terrible to have no one care if it is your birthday; no cards, no phone calls, or to have no where to go at Christmas or Thanksgiving.

I have read many books on adoption as well as books on topics that may relate to children that are available for adoption. I’ve read books on attachment disorders, autism, fetal alcohol syndrome and down’s syndrome. I’ve looked at profiles of adoptable children and even written ‘Dear Birth Mother’ letters. This is not a passing fancy, but a hook in my soul.

There are a few obvious obstacles to us being able to adopt: an inconsistent income, small house, no running water, but there is also the fact that this is not a burden on my husband’s heart. Certainly he cares for these children in their suffering, but he has been raising children for most of his life and we already have five children of our own.

I believe that this desire is given to me by God. God himself is a Father to the fatherless. He suffers when they suffer, so why shouldn’t I? But just because I have this desire, doesn’t mean that I ever will adopt. There is a purpose in all of this and I don’t have to know the reason. Perhaps my children will adopt children. It certainly is a longing that they have.

My girls prayed for years for a little boy with dwarfism who was available for adoption here in B.C. Myra and Melanie prayed that we would be able to adopt him and that he would have a good foster family, and that he would be well taken care of. It is very unlikely that we will ever adopt this little boy, but those prayers are not wasted. I feel that this little boy has a special purpose in this world, and in praying for this little one, my girls have learned to love someone that they have never even met.

And so…even though my heart yearns, and though I am sometimes overcome with sorrow for these precious little ones, I have peace in knowing that this is all in God’s hands.

Our Father, who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven…

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