We had begun to feel the pull towards another adoption at the end of last year - but were overwhelmed with all the options (or lack there of, depending on the day). I wrote in December about taking one step forward and trying to make some kind of decision about growing our family. I wrote about how in October Herb and I argued in the car over life decisions - it was about the future of our family and the options that each of us felt like we should explore.
We attended a meeting about foster-adoption. For those not in the know, this is a scenario where you are placed with a child who has been in foster care, but is legally available for adoption. There are several levels of "risk" - risk being the term used in reference to the heart of the adoptive parent. For example, a low/no risk child is ready for adoption and there is no chance of reconciliation with the birth family. A high risk child is currently working towards reconciliation with the birth family, and thus, the foster parents must have their hearts prepared for that, too.
When we attended the meeting and learned about the "risk" levels, we also learned that the children who are ready to be adopted (low/no risk) are ages 4 and above. Levi is three, and we'd like to keep him as the oldest in our family. Not to mention, I think it would be hard to jump in to parenting a 6 year old when I've never parented a 4 or 5 year old first.
We were seriously leaning toward becoming foster parents, and signing up for high risk situations for children ages 0-3. I felt like it was our best case scenario because while we were waiting for Levi to get older, we could be parenting another baby/toddler. If the baby/toddler became adoptable, great! And if not, by the time they were reunited with their birth family, Levi would have been older, and then we would be ready to adopt an older child.
But there were some doubts. I DO want to grow our family and I DO want another baby. One friend (who has been in this situation) said, "As much as you feel like you can "handle it," if your heart is to grow your family, strictly foster care is not for you."
I knew she was right, but I also knew our options were limited. Herb and I agreed to pray more about it and wait till January 2014 to make some kind of decision. I know adopting an older child in a foster-adoption situation IS in our future - it's on my heart and Herb's heart - but I just kept having this overwhelming sense of "now is not the time." Which was really frustrating!!
Then, out of no where just days before our deadline of making a foster care decision, a door opened that we didn't expect at all. We found out through some very special circumstances that it would be possible to adopt an infant. This opportunity fell into our lap, blindsiding us with hope, possibility, and excitement.
The crazy part is that the very same day, a friend of mine was praying for a baby for us - without me knowing she was praying, and her without knowing that we had this self-imposed deadline. God was and is in the details.