our story: foster to adopt, part 3

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We are excited to announce our adoption of Ryland James, as of February 19th, he is officially a member of the family. In honor of our celebration, I will be sharing our journey in to fostering and adopting in a few short posts. Fostering is near to our hearts and our prayer is that God would open yours, too, to see what he has in store for your family and maybe our journey would be some encouragement to get you started. (In case you missed them, here are parts one and two.)

When we filled out our paper work determining the criteria of the children we would be willing to take, it felt a little inhumane. Which race? Which gender? How old? Which of these special needs are you comfortable with? With every question, the thought of saying no to someone became real. My child could have special needs. I could birth a child with special needs. I have not raised a child that old yet. The thoughts went on.

We ended up being pretty open, according to our social worker, and namely set the age - a child from birth to five years. We were expecting an older child because that is typically how it goes. But to our surprise, our adoption adventure was not to be a typical story.

Three days after our first baby left, a Friday morning, my cell phone rang again, as I stood in our backyard pushing Penny on the swing. This time just a few details of two day old baby boy who would be coming home from the hospital the following day came across the line. His tests were negative. He was healthy. Would we take him? Oh, and by the way, he was up for adoption.

We had an entire day to prep all the newborn gadgets. To wash the car seat and assemble the swing and buy diapers and bottles and purchase another crib, as Jude was still in one and not ready to give it up. Typically, there is merely a few hours at most before the arrival, we were blessed with a day.

Driving to the hospital to pick him up was surreal. Ricardo was working and Penny and Jude were with my aunt. I met with our social workers in front of the hospital to fill out paper work, empty car seat in hand, ready to be filled with new beginnings - the first possibly long term child to be placed in our home.

We were blessed with the sweetest social worker through out the process, who asked if I would like to take a picture there. I was hesitant at first but even if he would not stay in our care long term, I reasoned, at least he would know someone loved him from the beginning and could be put in his baby book. Enter semi-awkward first picture.

Signing the hospital discharge papers in the mom spot and taking his little bag of belongings to my car and placing him in the car seat for his first ride home, to our home, is hard to put in to words. I had not birthed himI was not his mom, nor did I know I would be, yet I was allowed this sacred space, pen in hand.  

Who gets to enjoy a newborn without any of the physical work involved? Without months of food aversions and growing waste line and the pain of delivery. It was like Christmas caring for a newborn without the recovery. 

This was the child we had been praying for the past few years. 

Saturday morning, our agency called us informing us that despite his adoption status from the previous day, we were being considered the emergency placement home by the county. They reassured us that they would talk with the county workers but nothing was certain.

It was a reminder of the complexity of the system and a reminder that we had opened up our home for this, for this baby, however long he would stay. However long God had him in our care. And it was another opportunity to fully trust God.

We spent the next few weeks getting use to our new normal, with an out pouring of love from our friends and family via dinners and babysitting.

We met with social workers and talked with attorneys and loved our tiny baby as if he were our own. Penny and Jude took to him without hesitation. Hugs and kisses, though sometimes a little over zealous, were constantly being had. 

We met with Ryland's adoption social worker when he was a  mere two weeks old. Nothing was certain but it had been decided we were to be his adoptive parents, if relatives did not come forward.

10 comments on "our story: foster to adopt, part 3"
  1. What a beautiful story! Ryland is so so precious and God just knows! He knows.

    1. Thank you! Yes, he always does =)

  2. Congratulations. What a cutie pie!

  3. Amazing! That's so wonderful how it all worked out for you and your family. My husband and I often talk about fostering and fostering to adopting in the future. I find it so scary to think about right now though and hard to determine when or if we're "ready."

    1. Thank you! I don't think there is every a real time you are ready; you just go for it. There are great articles about foster and adopting it here: http://jasonjohnsonblog.com/blog

      Over summer, we went through his book, All In, about orphan care with our small group. It is great. Praying God will open your hearts and minds and show you what is right for your family =)

  4. I know that the outcome is adoption, but I'm on the edge of my seat. Just so beautiful, he will look back at these photos and see the fierce love and the grace of being wanted. So glad I found you through Grace & Truth Link-Up. Blessings.

  5. what a beautiful story, beautiful family... lucky you, lucky children! Love it!!! on a side note, feb 19th is my youngest´s birthday!

    1. Thank you! And happy belated birthday to your youngest =)


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