February 27, 2014

Making Room...

...in our hearts and our home in hopes of adopting a child.

Since November, we have been pursuing adoption, if the Lord wills.

I'm not sure exactly why I've been so hesitant to blog about our adoption journey, until now. I think I didn't want to throw it all out there online, in case it didn't happen. I guess it ultimately boils down to this:

Control. Or lack thereof.

There are just so many factors about adoption that are completely out of my control.  But guess what? I've learned this week that control is just an illusion. Nothing is "for sure" in this life.

I don't have all the answers and I have no idea how this adoption thing is all going to pan out. But I do know that we are hoping and trying...and that it's in God's hands.

We are going through a local organization called Koinonia to "foster-to-adopt" and have already completed orientation, two {amazing}training sessions...a CPR class...filled out more paperwork than I thought was humanly possible(like, did you know that your animals need their rabies shot records in order to adopt?). We are about to start the "home-study" part of the process very soon. Not quite sure of the timeline but we are plugging along.

But let me back up and tell you how this all came about.
I've always wanted to adopt. Or at least I've always said so. But there came a point when my words started ringing empty in my ears. It was time to take a step toward making this a reality. It's been my motto in life, that if you feel led to do something, it's better to try and go down in a blaze of glory than to risk nothing, for fear of failure. (Of course above this, there is God's will and leading).

****revised! I TOTALLY think it's still great to say you want to adopt...even if you can't right now or ever for that matter . From even my own short experience of this process I am acutely aware that are many many hard factors which make people unable to adopt even if it were their hearts deep desire. Just wanted to clarify that:)****

Twain(my youngest) is 4 going on 5. The timing just seemed right.

Last summer, I started calling agencies and gathering information.

I live in a 3-bedroom house(This is actually kind of crucial).
And have 4 boys. Two boys in the 1st room and 2 boys in the 2nd room. John and I share the master, obviously.

According to CA state law I would need an additional bedroom to adopt a child(only 2 kids allowed per room).
Or I would have to move to a different house with 4 bedrooms.
We just weren't in the position to move.
John predicted that adding a bedroom to our house would cost $35,000 or more.
Money we certainly did not have. Things looked dismal.
Doors were starting to shut.
I was supremely disappointed.

But something inside me refused to give up hope. There had to be some way. Money seemed like such a lame obstacle(though a very real and overwhelming aspect).

Weeks and weeks passed.

I distinctly remember sitting across from John at CPK one evening for dinner. I told him, "I reallllllly want to adopt! Let's find a way!"

John kind of smiled and said "I want to go back to school."

Wah-wah-waaaah went the sad trombone.

Obviously we were NOT on the same page with major life decisions. John wanted to continue teaching high school full-time...plus go back to college for a degree in geology, of all things. I was like, really?

But as his wife, I just didn't feel it would be right for me to nag and push my weight around trying to get my own way.

And my heart just sank, because I knew the right thing to do... and didn't really want to do it.

I knew that God could not honor my desire to adopt by "pushing" when the time wasn't right. So I decided I would have to sit back patiently...and wait. Was it going to be years of waiting? I did not know.

It just felt like another door slamming in my face, but at least I felt at peace.

So more weeks passed.

Leaves turned orange and fell to the ground. John started his geology classes and I started homeschooling Ollie. I was expecting a ton of work, exhaustion, super late nights and stress, for John.
But none of that happened. In fact, things were strangely smooth.

One night I overheard John ask the boys, "Do you guys want another sibling?"

I was pretty surprised by his question to the boys, but just held my breath and kept my mouth shut.

And then another night he asked them again. And again. This time, "Do you boys want a sister?"

"We want a girl dog", giggle giggle! And Ollie might have mentioned wanting another cat/sister(wink).

I'm not sure what changed but John was suddenly very open to the idea of adopting.

There was still the obstacle of the additional {4th} bedroom, though.

I was in my front yard discussing my hopes and dreams with my neighbor and she was like "Davi. Just get an estimate. And put that number in your back pocket for a rainy day".

An estimate. Hm. I could do that.

It seemed obvious to me that the additional room should go on my front porch. (That is where the builders had suggested placing a "bonus room", on our floor plan, 11 years ago when our house was first built).

But this would be costly, as it would require changing the roofline.

In the meanwhile, I started brain-storming cheaper ways of squeezing an extra bedroom in my house.
I suggested converting our big master closet into a bedroom.
John said no.
I suggested cutting our master bedroom into 2 rooms.
John said "No, I need my space". As he leaned back with his arms behind his head.
I threw my hands up in the air. Such a prince, lol. My husband is one of 3 boys and refused to wear hand-me-downs as a kid. It's funny because if you knew him now, he's super unspoiled and practical. 
I suggested re-locating John and myself into one of the kid bedrooms, and converting our master bedroom into 2 rooms for all 4 boys to share.
"No. No. No. Davi", John says, shaking his head. I cannot tell you how many late nights we spent *debating* possible room arrangements.

And then John suggested something quite odd, in my honest opinion. Something I wasn't too sure about. But it was very interesting all the same.

To be continued...