We woke up with an anxious heart.
A 15-year old boy was aging out of the system in the coming months. Aging out means he would soon be too old to be adopted. As if a 16-year old doesn’t need a family anymore! He would be on his own. Forever. Most likely to be homeless, partake in illegal activity to survive, imprisoned, be trafficked and/or succumb to an early death.
He was brought to our attention by our agency who asked previous international adoptive families to advocate for him. So I did. I posted his brief profile on Facebook in hopes that someone would adopt him. Quickly. Boys are hard to place. Fifteen soon to be 16-year old boys are impossible to place.
As quickly as I posted it, I thought, “Why not us?”
And then my husband said, “Why not us?”
I sat down with Google Translate and did my best to stumble through the pages of his file. I’m kinda good at this adoption process/paper trail thing. I work fast. I don’t give up. In fact, I’m rather demanding on all parties involved. It’s the once-I-get-them-home part I’m not so good at.
But there are many more reasons to the why not us. Our oldest is 10. We’d be breaking a BIG rule: Don’t adopt out of birth order. It causes all kinds of trouble for everyone because someone is being displaced in the hierarchy of the family. Some countries are against it. Some agencies are against it. Some will make exceptions. Some will not. Some families are crazy enough to do it. Most are not.
It’s not safe for our younger kids. Who knows what an older child has been exposed to and therefore is capable of. The unthinkable and unspeakable does happen.
We’re KINDA finally settled. Kinda. So really?
The money. The least of our concerns. We’ve NEVER had the money. But it always came. It’s part of our faith testimony. But would it come THIS time?
But we’re drawn to the impossible. It’s what God does best. So we made a phone call. And another. And another, and another. We had our home study agency who agreed to work fast. We had the money to pay for the home study. Barely. The first of many fees. I knew the rest of the tens of thousands would come somehow like it always has. And in a matter of 2 days, we planned to adopt him and make him our son. He would be home in the spring.
And then something MIRACULOUS happened! Three families came forward. To adopt an almost16-year old boy! So the agency had to choose. So strange. If only every child had this problem of families fighting for them.
We were told the decision would be made by Friday. Plans were being made. I thought about plans for him for school. And language acquisition for all of us. We told the boys to prepare them. We prayed for him to have a family…whichever one it would be.
Even this child didn’t know what all was going on to make him part of a family. Crazy! A boy in a faraway place has no idea how wanted he is. And he won’t know until the official match has been made which wouldn’t happen for months. Days before his birthday.
A boy in a faraway place has no idea how wanted he is.
How beautiful is that?
That’s how adoption works.
I tried to prepare myself all day. We tried to encourage one another that no matter what happened, our yes was still obedience. I was reminded of Abraham’s sacrifice in the Old Testament. I questioned, “But didn’t God already know what Abraham would do?” Abraham’s test was to grow his own faith, not prove anything to God.
My husband sent this to me:
I know it could be disappointing if we are not chosen. But I want to celebrate how we are living and trying to be obedient/faithful…even if we are not the family.
During the day I got a disturbing text about another child. So disturbing. Oh the pain of not having a family to call your own and to not have a father’s protection!
My heart grew heavier.
And then another disturbing message about a court ruling. Oh the pain of a child trapped in a broken system!
The longer the day got the more I tried to prepare my heart. I was in deep. We both were. Two-thirty rolled around. It was 4:30 where the call we had been waiting on would come from. Almost the end of the work day and week. So I sent an email.
“Please just tell us before the weekend comes. It’s killing us.”
And minutes later the call came. He would not be our son.
I cried. We both did.
He got a family!!! A child has a family. My mantra to myself to still my heart was, ”We’re healthy. We’re safe. He got a family. We’re healthy. We’re safe. He got a family.”
But our hearts were broken.
Why did it hurt?
I tried all day to figure out, if the goal was for him to have a family and a week ago he didn’t even exist to us, why did it hurt so much? It’s not like we didn’t have kids. Four to be exact. It’s not like it was going to be easy to have a teenage son when we knew nothing of teenagers. It’s not like our older boys were ecstatic about this decision mom and dad were making.
I woke up Saturday and knew why. We were going to miss out on a BLESSING. He would have blessed our life. I knew it. Because that’s how adoption works. It’s a blessing.
This was not about what was or was not meant to be. Our hearts went somewhere we never thought we were capable of. We said yes. Our yes was not wasted. Our faith is BIGGER.
163,000,000 - 4 blessings. And counting.
Have you been on the roller coaster ride that adoption sometimes can be? Share your story with us in the comment section below.