Last night I had a dream where a young lady had become pregnant. She was older teenager and had a mom and dad. Everyone said get an abortion and rallied to arrange this. The daughter, her mom and dad went along with the community's assessment and planning of things. The community had done this in love. The family piled into the car with inky black skies covering them. This drive was known to be the drive to the clinic. Folks gathered round for a send off; to support the family, waving and cheering. The daughter, mom and dad all smiled and knowingly nodded at each other. They simply drove away, skipping town. Leaving it all behind.
They pulled up to a new house. There stood a huge, barren black tree in the yard. The man spoke, he was a tree man. He saw them and shook like a dog fresh from the bath. Twigs and dead branches broke off. Sort of like a hair cut.
That was it for my dream. Loved how the family bucked the system and rallied to create their own path. Love how they didn't fight the well doers and just did their own thing.
I'm sure this is very much my life, in this dream. We are less than a month from our meeting with the state. It's an informational meeting where in we begin the process of adopting from foster care. I'm not telling a lot of folks because a lot of folks give me the stink eye, in one form or another. Often well meaning stink eye but sometimes downright hostile. There is a lot of fear and myths about adopting from foster care. A lot of questions about why more kids since we have three. A lot of stuff I'm done answering.
I have no frame of reference for this life I've been blessed with. I grew up with just a brother. My husband grew up with a slightly unhinged mom, two sisters and no dad. He says he was a late bloomer. Thick coke bottle glasses. Flooded with hormones, poor social skills and no direction. This is the common theme of him growing up. I believe this is a blessing. He has loads of help he can offer our kids as they struggle. Because he struggled mightily and won. He's very charming and good looking now.
For me, growing up, my common theme was plowing ahead. Going for it even if I had no idea how. Just doing it because it called to me. At the center of it all, has been a quality heart. The driving force has been love. I care and want to help people. It's what God built me for. In a way, He also built me to buck the system. To go against what is comfortable and safe. Because His love cannot be denied.
So maybe this is a strength. I'm done fighting or explaining to the naysayers, no matter how they are trying to help. I'm done because it's already happening. God moved my heart when I was 19 years old, working as a 3rd shift waitress at a greasy spoon. I was a complete idiot and could barely take care of myself. I was not saved. I didn't know God then. But miracles were happening. I knew that I could be a mom, that I could adopt one day. Over 20 years later it's happening. It's just a matter of time.
And the tree part is true too. Got may hair did yesterday. It had been four months and man the dead ends and disheveledness. I got highlights and everything. Looking fantastic today.
I've had a federal job which involved 45 pages of paperwork, including listing all my addresses from age 16. We've been foster parents for 4 years which included about 100 pages of background checks, references etc. So we've contacted the agency that arranges adoptions from foster care, they're sending us a packet. Of paperwork.
It's just very weird. Why can't folks share these things? Why doesn't federal paperwork trump it all? Well I guess, that's not how it works.
So how does this work, I mean in the real life sense? I mean, I've been thinking about this for quite some time, since I was 19. I'm 41 now. With three bio kids. Married x 16 years. How do we add one or two more?
There are children out there free and clear to adopt from the foster care system. I know because when I signed up, to get the paperwork, I was 'matched' with 31 sets of kids. I reviewed most of them. Some of have issues we can't take on. It's the ones with incest and sexual abuse. It's not that we can't taken those kids in, it's that it places our kids at risk. Our level of supervision is not at that level. Saying no is sad and harshly pragmatic. My husband can't stomach the process of combing through files of kids we've been matched with. Imagine going to the humane society only it's real live kids staring at you.
I'm not sure how I'm ok with it. I am though. I take strength in knowing what we can do and who we are. I know what we have to offer as a family. There is something like 400,000 kids waiting to be adopted from foster care. Reading super sad back story after super sad back story doesn't get to me though. I know we can provide a home for two.
I have fears. Fears that it's so much work. Which Mr. Hall guffaws about. The work is really his. He works from home and takes the calls from school, the picking up in the middle of the day because of behaviors. He works the systems and behavior charts. He is seen as a leader to theses kids because they've often never had a dad and wow do they all love Mr. Hall. We've had 10 foster kids in the last 4 years and yeah, they love and listen to him first. Which is wonderful.
So where do I fit in all this? What can I do to help? How do I facilitate what I already see in my head and heart--a family with 5 kids? My cooking is subpar. But I've mastered making tasty meals no one the less. I'm taking better care of myself, eating better and working out. I've stepped up the massages for Mr. Hall which is his love language.
And the paperwork. "That 30 pages is all yours babe", says Mr. Hall.. and so it shall be ;)