From Foster Care to Adoption
April 13, 2012 5 Comments
Meet Ryan and Sara. When you’re done reading about their journey, be sure to check out their blog here. Ryan is a professional photographer. Check out his site here. In order to abide by certain privacy rules, we will refer to their son as “D.”
Even before they got married, Ryan and Sara always knew that they would adopt. Being members of a church that advocates adoption really helped in their journey as they walked alongside other couples going through the same process. But it wasn’t until 18 months into their marriage that they realized they weren’t at the point where their home would be ready to bring in an adopted child, for adoption had just merely an idea until this point. And then an earthquake struck Haiti:
“We were part of a small group of families in our town that were considering opening our homes up to amputee children coming to the States on a medical visa. We prayed hard about this crazy idea, and decided that we would do what we needed to do to follow the Lord with this and if He didn’t want it to happen, He would shut the door. For whatever reason, it wasn’t in the Lord’s plan for that to happen. But, through that process we realized that we were ready to open our home up to foster children here in the States, and we began the process of getting licensed.”
Ryan and Sara became licensed to foster children removed by the Child Protective Service in Texas.
“Once we were licensed, we literally spent several weeks on high alert waiting for a phone call that would change our lives. We received that phone call one afternoon, and within a few hours, he was at our doorstep. Other than his name, age, and race, we knew nothing about him.”
The first three months of D living with them were difficult because he missed his birth family. But making the change from fostering to adoption played a big role on their morale.
“The moment we officially moved from fostering into the adoption side of things was also a really great experience. Being able to breathe out and realize that he really would be ours forever… no more worrying about a random relative stepping into the picture.”
They are currently working with a faith-based adoption/foster care agency. It’s not always the case that their journey has been smooth so far, so they consider themselves extremely blessed.
Here are a few more questions I asked Ryan and Sara that they were gracious enough to respond to:
Do you find that you understand the Gospel any more than you did prior to going through the adoption process?
[laughs] This is a massive understatement!! It is a truly amazing picture of how God pursues us and rescues us from our dispair and wraps us in his arms and calls us His own. I think that we both see our own relationship with the Lord in a completely different light since D walked into our lives. Our journey has also been a very sanctifying proces for us. We have had to come face-to-face with things that were buried deep inside our souls and surrender them to the Lord. We are absolutely still on this journey… finding things to uncover constantly. So, I would say that even more than seeing the gospel through the analogy of adoption, we have just learned to cling to the hope of the gospel in our lives and for D way more than we ever did before.
Where are you in the process right now? How can we pray for you? Is there anything anyone can do for you?
We are incredibly close to attaching our last name to his first! We are hopeful that sometime this May, we will be able to finalize adoption and really begin the journey with him. We would covet prayers for a speedy legal process. We are praying for our son to be able to process all of this as well as a 6 year old possibly can. There is still grief and sadness in not being able to see the family he knew and loved for 5 years. There are also plenty of layers that need to be peeled back in his soul in order to find healing… please pray with us for that process.
Any advice for adopt-ers or couples on the fence?
The best way to begin your journey through adoption is to simply rid your mind of any ideas you have about how it will go. Be ready for an emotional roller coaster. Expect to be surprised by things. Prepare to have nights where you cry with your spouse and nights where you feel on top of the world. Understand that the journey rarely feels like you’re living in a movie where everything ends up neat and tidy. There will be times when you feel like all the support you thought you had just isn’t there in the moment. There will be times when random people come up to you and say the most inconsiderate things and you just want to slap them and move on. We have learned to have grace with people in our lives that we did not previously have. As we’ve clung to grace in our own mess ups, we’ve been able to extend it to others that may be ignorant about things regarding adoption.
If you’re on the fence about adoption, I would encourage you to simply talk to the Lord about it. We believe that God’s heart is for His church take in the orphan and love them as their own. Even in the hardest times for us, we have clung to the fact that we are incredibly close to God’s heart in this journey. He has His hand on the orphan and is near to them, and when we are close to them and intertwined in their story, we can be sure that we will find God close by. The statistics in our nation alone are quite staggering. The need is there. As the people of God, we need to ask ourselves how our faith is being put into action. Will we only support the cause of the fatherless with our words, or will we radically reorient our lives to care for them?
If you would like your adoption story to be shared, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.