Caleb & Hope’s adoption journey was not the smooth, linear progression most people assume it will be. It was filled with loss, but also with God’s mercy.
In Hope’s words–
Our children have been home for 5 months now.
It has been such a whirlwind! I am only now beginning to really delve into writing about and processing the past few months.
Last May, I was still processing the loss and grief of an adoption placement we had been pursuing for 5 months. The loss of kids we loved but never got to meet. We are grateful they have a place to go. But we’re also heartsick from nearly 3 years living in limbo and really thinking these kids were going to be ours.
Around this time, we decided our family needed to take a vacation. We lived life “on hold” so much because of the whole “we don’t know when a match might come” thing. So I decided to call our social worker to run some potential vacation dates by her. She answered the phone with, “Hey, we’ve been thinking about you guys this last week because…”
I remember exactly where I was when I got that phone call.
Her words are forever etched in my mind–
“We’ve been thinking about you guys this last week and talking about your family because we received a file on some kids that PANI (Costa Rican version of CPS) may want to match with you, but they are a little bit outside of the parameters you said you were comfortable with so we put it on hold…but we felt like after praying, we should present their file to you anyway. Is this something you would be open to?”
All that before I even said the word “vacation.” I remember feeling the overwhelming emotion of “I’m not ready. This is too much.” We had just been through a harrowing few months of loss, both from multiple deaths and the lost adoption placement. The grief of losing the placement had only just begun to subside, and I felt tired.
I asked to see the file anyway.
We proceeded to spend the next week reading over the file. We had long phone calls with social workers and got as many questions answered as we could. I wrestled with my emotions trying to determine what was related to grief from so much recent loss, what was related to processing the information in the files (heavy in its own right), and what was related to fear of the new, unknown, and hard.
We asked God for the courage to say “no” if needed but equally prayed for the courage to say “yes” if that was His will for our family. A few friends came alongside us in prayer.
Caleb was ready to give an answer way before I was but gave me space to do the necessary processing to come to my own conclusion, since I would be home more doing the bulk of the trauma parenting. He didn’t want his thoughts to cloud my own until I had more sure-footing.
In the end, we came to the same conclusion–we were going to say yes to a potential match with these kids.
We were going to take one more step of faith.
The next couple of weeks I was incredibly nervous. I felt like I was reliving the wait to be matched with the kids we had just lost. Perhaps after all of the emotional laboring to change our plans and say “yes”, the government would essentially say, “Just kidding…”
Then, I got the phone call I was scared to hope for– “You’ve been officially matched!”
Thus began this whirlwind season we are currently in. We spent the next few months doing loads more paperwork, finalizing our home, and taking care of the million other details it took to move our family to another country for a couple of months. And we adopted our two beautiful kids.
Now we’ve been home for five months.
The stories I already have to tell! Living as a family in another country, answered prayers, what it has been like to adopt out of birth order, parenting and schooling kids from hard places. The happiness, the tears, the fears, the broken, the beautiful, the extremely hard but rewarding work… it could fill a book.
God used what was a huge loss to us as a mercy to our kids–our home study was pre-approved for their age because of the lost sibling placement. We are still in the throws of adjusting and forming this new family of ours. I expect we will be for many more months. But, I’m encouraged to already look back and see progress and growth where once we all barely knew each other.
Lifesong was such a blessing to our family in the adoption process! They held our hand every step of the way. God used the matching grant and Both Hands project to raise more than half the amount we needed to complete the adoption. This took an incredible weight off our family and enabled us to adopt debt-free!