Oct 8, 2011

Adoption Update: This is a long one...

Several months ago we received a letter from our adoption agency regarding an educational meeting they were asking all waiting couples to attend. We were given a couple of dates to choose from, but not any specific information about what to expect at the meeting. We were just asked to choose a date and make every effort to attend this educational meeting. There are several meetings like this that we are required to complete as waiting and adopting couples. We were unable to attend the first day the meeting was offered a couple months ago, but made plans to attend today. And I just have to say, I am so glad we went. I wish we'd had something like this meeting when we were waiting to adopt our first time.

There was about 9 other couples there. We were all in various stages of waiting or adoption. A few of us have adopted once. Some couples have biological children and are waiting to adopt. Some have recently adopted. And there was also two couples who've yet to adopted. One couple that is just starting the adoption wait. So, people were there that have been through many different circumstances and who've experienced so many things during their journey toward the children that God has planned for them to parent.

Throughout the day we were all given opportunities to share a little about ourselves and our adoption stories. We talked briefly about our history with adoption and some of us shared about our relationship with our child's (or children's) birthparent(s). There was quite a bit of emotion. MANY tears. Lots of laughter. But I think that one of the things that stood out to me the most was how so many of us shared that adoption has not only changed our families physically and emotionally, but also spiritually. If one couple said it, almost everyone of us said, we began the adoption process with one goal in mind: to get a baby, the baby of our dreams. But God did a work that none of us expected. Adoption has become for us, and many we met, about changing our hearts and opening ourselves and lives up to become what He desires. I've said it before, to many people, and I said it again today, adoption began as a means for me to get a baby. It's become so much more than that. I don't think Reagan and I look at adoption anymore as being just about growing our family, although that is one of our main goals. It's about allowing God to grow us and change us into who He means for us to be. It's about obeying Him. And we heard others share that same testimony today. So many of us shared about how God has dramatically changed our hearts and minds through adoption. We're all open to so many things that we never dreamed we would be before. One guy shared that His hope and prayer is now that when people look at his family, that they see a living testimony of what God intended for His church - unconditional love and acceptance. That's it. No color. No physical or mental disabilities. Just unconditional, never-ending love.

Reagan and I both left exhausted - emotionally spent. But encouraged. Today God gave us a gift of meeting others like us. We heard stories of people who've had the same heartbreak and struggle. I got to share with one girl who has cried countless tears for many of the same reasons I have. I was able to encourage her and tell her, in the end, it is ALL going to be worth it. We laughed at some of the feelings, even uncertainties and insecurities, that adoptive parents face. We shared with each other how we deal with hurtful actions and comments from others who don't understand adoption as we've grown to. We met people like us. I told Reagan I wished we'd had something like that when we were going through the adoption process the first time. I just left feeling like we weren't so different after all. Or alone. For once, I'm not sure I can even put into words how today was.

One last thing about today and hearing others' stories - I left feeling even more grateful for our adoption story and Sara Madalin's birth and adoption. I am eternally thankful for our open relationship with her birth family. I cannot imagine not having the relationship we do with her family. I truly believe every step that led us to adopting Sara Madalin was ordained by God. The relationship we have with her family is unlike anything we heard from other couples today. Some had similar stories, but none of them seemed to have quite as open a relationship with their children's birth families as we do. I can never thank them enough for what they've done for us.

Now, a little update (f0r those who are still readying this LONG post) on some small changes that have occurred since I posted about the little boy in February. A couple weeks ago, Reagan came home and told me that he'd had a call about a possible adoption from a friend of a woman who is still pregnant. She knew the gender (boy) and was certain that she wanted to place her child for adoption. He asked a few questions and told them that we would pray about it and if there were any other developments or information, to please contact us. We've not heard from them since. That's not uncommon. I can't even remember how many times we've had something similar to that happen. It used to upset me when we'd get calls like that, then never hear from someone again. I mean, as a waiting adoptive couple, any little bit of hope that you are going to adopt can get you started thinking of names and planning how you're going to welcome a new baby. And then to not hear anything more, or have someone change their mind after they've sought you out, it hurts. It just does. Even though it might be just a little. It still hurts. But to be honest, I think we've grown to a point where, even though we hope each call we get about a child works out, we try to just look at these as just a call. So, so far, nothing has come from that call a few weeks ago.

Then, a week or so ago, Reagan had another person come in to see him. It was a man who spoke with him about the child of a relative that needed a home. There are a lot more details about this possible adoption that I won't share on my blog because several people that read would know who I'm talking about if I gave too many details. I will just say, again, Reagan spoke with this man, asked questions, and told him that if the child became eligible for adoption, to please give us a call. There are quite a few things that would have to take place in order for the baby, who is a boy less than 6-months-old, to be eligible for adoption. We know if he is meant to be our child, God will work that out. Having said that, I have to also be honest and share that I've thought and prayed A LOT about him and his situation since Reagan told me about him. But I'm trusting God to carry out His perfect plan for this child and for us. After all we've been through, we don't want anything less than that.

So, that's about it. Just another loop on our roller coaster ride. There are some days I want to get off this ride. But most days, I can't wait to see what twists and turns are next.

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4 comments:

blessedmomto8 said...

HOW EXCITING that God ALWAYS has surprises in store for us! BIG HUGS as you wait for your next surprise OR surprises :)

T's Mommy said...

This post made me cry. I hope all the best for you guys and what an amazing thing you are doing. God bless you.

bella said...

If it is meant to be it will happen. God is all about the details. I'll pray for you!

Megan said...

Malinda,

I saw your online profile on Bethany's website today and was reminded about your blog. Wini Beech told me about you several months ago when we began our adoption journey. She has told me wonderful things about your sweet family. I just wanted to stop by and say "hello," and let you know that I'm excited to hear what God has in store for your family. Thank you for sharing your story. It's so wonderful to hear from others in your same shoes. :)

Megan