We started our paperwork last week. And I know this picture shows absolutely nothing of the stress that COULD be involved - I'm happy to say we finished the first part of our application without any grief. Looking at what's left though - it's easy to get overwhelmed. So I'll shut the binder for a little while and just reflect on last night's class...
The first night was so encouraging. I mean, a whole classroom full of people who care for the orphan and feel the urgency to step in and do something - absolutely amazing. One of those "you're not crazy" moments and a complete confirmation we are at where we need to be right now. Last night though...last night was rough.
We talked about separation, loss and grief. Heavy topics for anyone. I see a lot of these within my own students. Detachment. Depression. Lack of concentration. Last year, a student died while in jail. Shook the entire junior class to the core. I had kids coming to me all day weeping - wondering what to do, how to act, what to say...it's a hard moment realizing life comes all too quickly for these kids.
And it's no different in the foster care system. I was reminded last night these kids are ripped from their homes. A huge majority don't want to leave. They want the abuse to stop or the mom to quit seeing the boyfriend or the dad to quit drinking the alcohol...but they want home. And our place - regardless of how we view it - is just not home. So, not only will these kids be coming to us with emotional issues - a lack of trust in adults or fear of abandonment - they will also be dealing with a newness they were not anticipating.
That's tough to swallow.
But I am swallowing it. Slowly.
I'm still not sure why God has us in this class. I'm not asking too many questions, really. I know we are called to adopt. I know he wants us in this class. But will I be able to mother a baby or little one only to give it back to the birth-parents? Not sure. Just being honest...but the excitement is still there; the expectation still high. And the meeting wasn't completely negative.
Because there's hope. I keep remembering the truth that God's heart for these kids who are abandoned, neglected or orphaned is so much bigger than my own. He knows. He sees. And however this particular chapter of our journey ends - through respite care or fostering a child or moving towards adoption - He is capable of preparing our hearts.
So week #2 is over. There's honestly more questions than answers. I'm overwhelmed, but not throwing in the towel. I've never felt more at peace about being right where I'm at with Russ. There's a certain beauty in waiting and staying faithful. It may not make sense. People may think we're crazy or inconsistent.
Really all we're doing is leaning on Him.