Let me start by saying, "I'm not a writer." I never have been. And I doubt I ever will be. I'm sure I will use lots of poor grammar. I'll make loads of comma splices. I'll even misspell things from time to time when spell check doesn't catch it for me. But several friends have asked me to document every step of this journey and so I will try. This is for you dear, supportive friends.
We want to adopt. Even though we already have what some would call a quiver full, we aren't full yet.
We've always talked about adoption from the time we were dating. We always assumed it would be something God would call us to later in life when our first batch of kids were older and in high school or college. But recently we realized that we don't want two families. We want one. And since all of our kids are close in age it seems to make the most sense to start this now. Now, when we don't have a lot of money. When we don't own our own home. When we don't have all our ducks in a row. But we will. And God will give us the grace to handle whatever and whomever He puts into our lives and family. So we start this journey now.
We've chosen to go through CPS for one primary reason--financial. While international adoption does appeal to me, I just don't see it being realistic for this point in our lives. After all, we do have 5 kids already that we plan to feed, clothe, and educate etc etc. The idea of spending $40,000+ on an adoption just isn't a good idea right now.
We went to a CPS foster/adopt informational meeting in August. This was the first step. The man that lead it was very helpful and we were excited to learn that he is a Christian too and he and his wife have adopted three children through the state of Texas. We had a few questions that he didn't know the answers to so we held off on filling out the initial paper work. Our biggest question was, "is there a limit on the number of children in a home?" We told him that we already have five children and his response was, "and why are you here?" He told us that typically the answer is 6 total, but that he would check with his supervisor to see if we could do a group home or what other options were available. Andrew also wanted to know if there are regulations on homeschooling.
About a week later after researching and much prayer, we decided to go ahead and fill out the first set of paper work. We had not heard back from the case worker on the answer to our questions, but we decided we would get started and see where it took us. The day after we turned in the application we heard back from the case worker. He said that if we want to foster we could only have one more in our home, but that if we go straight adopt we could have more. He said they don't typically "allow people to collect children" but that the case worker in our case would evaluate our desire and ability to parent a large number of children. He also said that while in foster care, children of school age must be in the public school system. We didn't ask about private school, but since we are mainly interested in adopting children under the age of three, we don't think this is a concern.
So now we wait. The next step is PRIDE training classes. The next one in our area doesn't start until November (2 months away.) All foster/adoptive parents have to go to (I think) 30 hours of training before starting the home study. I guess this is a way to weed out people that really aren't committed or aren't cut out for this. I know it's going to be hard. And I don't want to be naive. But we are ready to start this and provide a loving, nurturing, Christian home for a child/children in need.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
A waiter once asked us, "did you save room for dessert" and as we were about to answer "no thanks", a three year old Gabe scooted all the empty dishes aside and said, "yes, there's room right here!" If we can make room for dessert on a crowded table, we can certainly make room in our lives and around our home table for more Olive plants.