Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Born in the Heart

I’ve often heard this expression… anyone around adoption I’d bet has. And while it has always had meaning for me and for my children’s beginnings, walking down this road of international adoption gives this phrase more meaning than I’d ever have imagined.

With foster care, you can get a call literally at any time asking if you will “take” a placement, a child. You often know very little about the situation, maybe a gender, an age (which is NOT always right anyway), sometimes a name, their race, and little else. And based on that information you have to make a decision that could and will completely alter your family dynamic, for either the good or sometimes the bad. (And that outcome has NOTHING to do with the age of the child as some would think, but that’s another post in itself). I WAS blessed in that I at least knew of the POSSIBILITY of Olivia and Braeden beforehand, but still had little information and no guarantee of anything, including permanence. Also, with foster care, there’s that guard, that wall, that is up when a child enters your home. As much as you may want to adopt, as much as you are looking for some permanence both for yourself and for this little soul, he/she is not YOUR child. They “belong” to the state and you become many times the lowly foster parent with no say for even a haircut. I got into foster care to foster, to help give children a consistent, stable environment while things with their birth family were figured out. And I was and am ok with that.

With foster care, by the time you are able to adopt the child if they are not able to go home, to call the child forever yours, to start breaking down the guard (though most of that went out the window long ago, only leaving a small string of a wall), you have parented this child for over a year, sometimes a few years. They’ve been in your home, you KNOW them, know their idiosyncrasies, their likes, dislikes, triggers, and so on.

The phrase “Born in the Heart” comes after many nights caring for them, attaching to them, getting to know THEM.

This new expedition we’ve wandered down called international adoption has shown me another form of a child being “Born in the Heart.”

We have now been working on our adoption for approximately 9 months since first feeling God’s call to step out in faith on this journey. 9 months. 9 months figuring out WHERE God was leading. Where our child was located. 9 months thinking of names and finally finding THE ONE (sorry, won’t share until we have a face to go with it!). 9 months of wondering about this child. A child we don’t know. A child we haven’t seen even a picture of. A child we have NO information of because we don’t have a referral. And yet I know she exists. I know she is “out there” somewhere. Possibly still with her birth mother. Hopefully being loved and looked after. Prayerfully getting to the day when we CAN know her and we can see that first picture of OUR family member. MY child.

And yet, we DO know that this WILL happen. It’s not a waiting game of WILL but rather WHEN and WHO. The kids and I talk about her by name. They make cupcakes on the iPad for her. Olivia puts aside toys she’s outgrown to give to her. They look forward to having another child to do things with and play with and help. Liam talks about feeding her. Braeden talks about protecting her. Olivia talks about helping her. She is already being born many times a day in our hearts. We already feel a connection. We just can’t wait to fill in the last little piece that is missing right now… her face.

We joyfully wait in anticipation of the day when we will know who this child is that God is leading us to.


Kathy C. said...

How exciting to be anticipating a new child. I shared about our adoptions on my blog today.

:)De said...

I always include that in my child's story when I tell them... how very much I loved them before I knew who they were. To share with her one day about how much she was loved by you and her siblings. Beautiful!

word verification - arize :)

Heidi said...

Would you ever be interested to share more about your decision to adopt this sweet new daughter? I mean, I get the WHY (all caps - ha!). But HOW do you gather what it takes to move forward? I see that you're a single mom, like me. You must be stretched emotionally, financially, time-wise, yes? So, how did you gain the confidence to move forward? Please forgive me if that's too personal a question.

travcat said...

Your children are beautiful! I love your daughter's hair! I wish my daughter (from Haiti) felt good about wearing her hair loose and short.

How old were your kids when they came to you?

I know you will find the right little sweetie!


Lisa said...

Heidi, I think I'll try answering your question in a separate post if that's ok, that's a good question and I bet there are a number of singles out there who may enjoy reading this??? :)

travcat, Braeden was my first of the three and came at just 3 days old right from the hospital. Olivia came when he was about 13 months and she was 3 1/2 at the time. She had been in two homes prior and has a few attachment issues, but not major and we muddle through. :) And Liam came when he was 9 months old. He also had been in two homes and couldn't even sit up let alone crawl or stand, but within a week he was doing those three and more, but is still somewhat behind developmentally due to his start.

Kathy, I have read your blog for a while now. Loved reading about your story!!! Thanks!

Heidi said...

I'll look forward to that. Thanks!

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
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Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you