We Must Be Out of Our Mind

With all that happened last week, Janet and I were unsure whether we wanted to continue with the foster care.  But then we began to ask ourselves, "Why we began doing this." 
  • Our most selfish reason was that we wanted to adopt, we wanted to have children of our own.   Apparently we are unable to have any of our own.  I guess we could go through the whole fertility process, but I think it's better to adopt someone in need of a home.
  • Secondly it provided a service and stability for the childrenThe city we live has expressed their concerns about retaining foster parents.  When they asked us I couldn't tell you why, I can now.
  • Third and most importantly, we are beginning to look at this as a ministry.  I think that scares Janet a little.  But we've in at one situation have been able to minister to a family member of the child we have in our home.
  • Fourth we can't imagine never having know these children.  Even the ones who have been in our home for just a short period of time have impacted our lives.
So now we are going to go back and talk with the social worker and get another placement.  We just pray that God will bless the children and their families through us.

The Quest for Children

I’m going to start this from the beginning.  I was born many years ago … wait, maybe not that far back.  Janet and I were married in August 1996.  Janet had been married before and has three children.  I on the other hand, being pretty much a procrastinator, was 36 and never married.  Consequently I never had children either --  at least that I know of.

Janet’s youngest Stephanie came to live with us.  I don’t want to really dwell on her, because it’s not really the point and it serves no great purpose.  I will have to say, because it explains things else ware, that when she turned 18 she began to develop a promiscuous lifestyle.

Around summer of 1998 or 1999 Janet became pregnant with what was supposed to be our first child.  The pregnancy barely lasted three months.  This was our first heartbreak.

In 2000 we bought a business and began to work that.  During that time Janet became pregnant again.  I don’t know how, but she knew right from the beginning that she would not carry this child to term. She was right.

In 2001 we closed the business and knowing that I could not make a living  without an education, I went back to school.  I graduated in December of 2004.  During that time period we went back and fourth about whether or not we wanted children at that point in our lives.  At one point we said that we did not and that was that – sort of.  I still had that longing for children that I kept hidden away.  Apparently Janet did too.  She approached me one day about that topic and we both recanted what we had previously said and decided that we would try to adopt.  Somewhere about June time frame Stephanie became pregnant with Katie.

Janet had seen a show on National Geographic about the little girls in China.  We then decided that this was the route we would try to take.  Janet attended an informational meeting about adoptions from China and met a couple Chris and Kerry, while I was at work.

During this time I was working as a press brake operator.  Great job for a 44 year old man with arthritis in his back.  In February of 2005 I obtained a job with a small company as Junior DBA.  It was a fair amount of money more than I was making at the time.

Meanwhile we met with Chris and Kerry at their home and began to learn about the adoption process.  They had adopted a little girl from China, so they were very knowledgeable about the process.  We hit it off right from the beginning and became fast friends. 

We had to put our plans on hold for a year because I was offered a job in Northern Virginia for almost twice what I was making -- so we moved.  We had finally gotten ourselves in position that we could start the adoption process, when Stephanie called.  There were some problems in the relationship she was having and wanted to know if we could take Katie (She doesn’t call her Katie).  Of course we said yes.  There’s more to this but it’s not really relevant.

Not having anything for a baby in our house, we took the money we had saved for adoption and went out and bought things that we needed to take care of this precious child. (And she precious, exasperating but precious).

The next year I got a job back in Hampton Roads so we moved again.

When we were ready to start the adoption process again, the rules had changed and we didn’t qualify.  So we switched to the Vietnam program.

We finished our home study and were ready to begin our dossier.  That’s when we got the phone call saying that the Vietnam program was closing because of the Hague Treaty (At least that’s my understanding).

If you haven’t fallen asleep yet this is where is gets interesting.  We decided to enter the foster care system with the intention of adopting.  We knew from the beginning that every child we had in our home would most likely either be returned to the parent or placed with a relative.  But we were determined.

So we went through the training and in July we had Lindsay and Junior placed with us.  Lindsay was six and Junior was under two.  They were only with us for two months.  I learned a great deal during that time.

In August, eight month old Jasmyn was placed with us. Initially we thought she was a keeper.  Elizabeth, the mom who was seventeen, had run away from home and was in trouble with the law.

In March we brought nine day old Heaven(we called her Jaime) home from the hospital.  We also believed she was to be a permanent member of our family.

Elizabeth has made a remarkable turn around which is something to praise God for.  And it looks like Jasmyn will return to her mother.  We have expressed interest in a continued relationship with Jasmyn, Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s father.  They appear to be willing.  During the court day Janet cried several times and I don’t blame her.  I felt the loss myself.

On that same day (the court date) we received a call from social services saying that they were going to remove Heaven from our home.   The reasons they gave were flimsy and nitpicky at least in my estimation.  Janet did not cry this time – she sobbed.  In nearly thirteen years of marriage I have never seen her like this.

The social workers have said that they would not block more children being placed with us, but we don’t know if we can continue doing this.

So here we are four years later and no adoption.  I can only say that the discouragement level is high.  I am attempting to look to Lord in all of this, but I am at a loss as to what to do next.

In Christ Alone.