Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Patience, Wisdom, & Courage
Apparently there is a proverbial pendulum in state adoption, swinging between birth parent's interests and children's interests. At one point the state will be very determined to keep children with their parents, thus giving birth parents fourth and fifth and seventeenth chances to get their lives in order before severing their parental rights. Then after a few years of fallout from unstable home situations, the pendulum will swing over to the other side, which has strict requirements for birth parents to meet (ie- get off substances, get a job, etc) and if they are not met in a timely manner, the children are made available for adoption so they don't end up floating around foster care during the formative first few years of their life.
We started this process on the domestic infant adoption route, mainly because there weren't really any children in the state foster care program who were younger than 4 years old (we decided at the beginning that Bethany should remain the oldest child in the family) because by the time the state was done giving the parents chances to turn over a new leaf, the children were school-aged. The few young children in the system were most often adopted by family members or their foster family. So the next logical path was to take in an infant who might be more difficult to find a home for because of its race or substance exposure. Then we heard about the pilot program in Uganda and thought that perhaps there was a greater need there for families to adopt little ones. And that's where we've been heading for the past 6 months, though we have yet to financially commit to one path which leaves the door open to any opportunity.
All that said, we have heard that the pendulum is swinging back toward the child's best interests, which translates to more young children from the state needing a family. Our caseworker has also mentioned not to rule out an infant coming along that would match our family. While we've been filling out paperwork for a Ugandan adoption, we've been keeping an eye on the pilot program and have come upon a few concerns so far. Nothing that would cause us to just drop the idea entirely, but enough to make us very cautious as we move forward.
What a boring, vague, and hapless post this has been. I suppose its purpose has simply been to communicate that we have no idea what God has in store for us or where our children will come from. All we know is we are here and ready and available to kids who need a home. And that's a pretty cool place to be. So pray for us, if you will, for patience, wisdom and courage.
And for reading this boring blog, I reward you with a link to a very un-boring video of Harper from our snow day last weekend.