Sunday, August 26, 2012

Picking up the pieces

So, while "officially" I am still being told by my agency that we are a the prospective adoptive family for V, I have plenty of unofficial information saying otherwise. It is unbelievably frustrating to know that somewhere there is a major miscommunication and I don't know how to fix it. I'm hoping that it's unintentional, but it's kind of difficult to believe how that could be. So, while I'm waiting for that to get sorted out I have been making strides to move forward with life as "normal." Whatever that is.

Today Hunter and I did some major cleaning and organizing and one of our big projects was to put away all of the clothes and stuff that I had taken out for V. We took down V's library reading chart and cleaned his toys out of the cubby in his bunk bed. It was so sad to put it all away, but yet I really needed to take down a lot of those little reminders of what we don't have so that I can keep focusing on what we do have.

Trying to focus on the present has been a struggle for me (I can't help it! I always want to hurry along to the next big thing) but it has been a rewarding struggle so far. On Friday I promised Hunter that we would spend a few hours together, just him and I. I put the phone down and didn't answer a single call or text. Hunter wanted to pull out a science kit that he had gotten for Christmas and we did all sorts of great little experiments together (only my kid, right?). But the best part was just spending time with this incredible little boy that I am so blessed to call my own! It has been far too long since I have just sat down and enjoyed being with him. I really need to do that more. And if you are a parent, you probably should as well! These kids grow up so quickly and I don't want to miss anymore of these precious moments.

Hunter starts kindergarten on Thursday (eek!!!) so we have been scrambling to get all of his stuff together. I just found out that he will have afternoon class, and while I'm a little disappointed it will be just fine. I'm quickly filling up my time with lots of volunteer work which makes my heart so happy. With all of the craziness of the adoption world I hadn't felt comfortable signing up for something that I knew I wouldn't be able to fully commit to. Now I have some freedom and I am so excited to be able to give my time to things that I believe in! I'm the new treasurer for the brigade FRG (family readiness group), helping out with AWANA, thinking about doing PTA, maybe taking another class and hopefully helping a friend launch a non-profit in honor of her husband. And I'm sure that there is more to come! It feels good to finally feel a little freedom in my ability to jump in and do some stuff like that. For the past couple years it has felt like my life has been on hold while we waited to see what would happen next, but now I have to admit that there is finally a little bit of light at the end of this tunnel. And I can't wait to see where it will lead!

That's life in a nutshell right now. Confusion, chaos, sadness and some hope. Thank God for the hope.

 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. 
It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,  
where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. 
Hebrews 6:19-20a


B, E & H

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Well... I've been putting off writing a post in hopes that I would have a little more information to update you all with, but right now it seems that is asking for too much so I'll just have to tell you what I know and leave it at that. I also wanted to wait because I didn't want to write anything that I may regret saying later, so I needed a little time to sort through all of my feelings and emotions on everything happening before I could say it publicly.

First, I have to admit that I truly have NO IDEA what is going on. I'm getting conflicting stories from different people, and the only person who can answer my questions hasn't returned my phone calls. I guess the last time I wrote it seemed like things were up in the air, but not impossible. They are beginning to look pretty impossible now. Which is heartbreaking, and so incredibly frustrating in so many ways. First, it sounds like V's foster family is probably going to move him into another home. I don't know if this home would be a potential adoptive family or just another foster home with no intentions of adopting him if and when that time came. Either way, it sounds like there will be a minimum 6-9 month period for the state to sort out some of the things that have come up lately and that really makes it almost impossible for us to take V. We have really thought it through and we just don't feel at all comfortable moving him into our home until we have a little more guidance on what will happen in this situation. We never intended to be foster parents, and if we had any idea that things would go the way they have we would have never even asked to meet V. It's all so complicated and so hard to explain, but our intent was to bring a child into our home and call him/her OURS. All of the preparation we have done was with that mindset, and we have prepped Hunter with the same mindset. He already is referring to V as his "brother" and it absolutely breaks my heart. I can't put him through the pain of bringing V into our home and then having him taken away either by the state or by the Army moving our family before we are able to adopt him.

So right now all we can do is wait. I'm not sure what we are waiting for and I have to admit that it is absolutely tearing me up inside. Honestly, I can't hardly think about it for more than a few minutes before I have to move on to something else because it is just so stinkin' difficult! I'm sad, angry, heart-broken, frustrated, upset and generally just sick over this whole situation. I feel like I have so much to say, but I don't even know how to say it all. I keep hoping for someone to give me some sort of clue as to what is going on with this case and what my role is, but no one seems to know or at least they certainly aren't sharing any information with me if they do know.

There are a few things that I do know right now and that's all I can cling to. First, I know that I absolutely can not take another child into our home while Ben is gone. I thought I could do it. I really wanted to do it. I wanted to be so strong, but I'm just not strong enough. This has absolutely been one of the most difficult times in my life and I just can't do it again. Going into this adoption thing, I knew it would be difficult. I prepared myself for so many different things, but the one thing that I did not prepare for was taking a child in and having that torn from us. From the very beginning we said that we only wanted to consider children who were already legally free, and this was exactly why.  I really wish I were stronger, but I just can't go through this again, not alone. Hunter is still crying over missing his daddy (and I honestly don't expect that to change until Ben is back home) and I just can't stomach the thought of tearing a sibling away from him too. Not to mention the fact that I need a shoulder to lean on as well. We have the most amazing friends and family supporting us, but when things are going horribly here at home it would be so wonderful to know that my husband will be home soon so I can have a break, or at least be able to walk away for a minute and know that things are still under control. So, for right now we are just going to wait this case out, but I can't even begin to think about taking in yet another child.

Second, we know that God still wants to use us, but we are choosing to be content to let God start directing our paths. We will sit back and be obedient, but we are not going to keep chasing after things. This has been one heck of a lesson to learn, and a super painful one too. Ben described it very well when he said that he feels like we have broken noses from the door slamming in our faces so many times. Most of you may not know it, but V is the 6th, yes SIXTH, child that we have very seriously considered bringing into our family. And of those six children we have not turned down one. Each child has been placed into another family or the parent chose not to give the child up for adoption after all. It has been a very painful process and it's time for us to start focusing on the bigger picture. Each time we start to consider a child it seems that child consumes our lives for a period of time. It's all we talk about, all we plan for... quite honestly, it's not healthy! Every spare moment of our time is committed to a child that isn't ours and that never receives any of the benefits of all of our worry and care, and it's time for that to change. I feel like we have missed large chunks of the past 18 months of our lives as we have allowed so much of them to revolve around this adoption process. We really want to start focusing on the bigger picture, start doing something that will actually make a difference here and now. And we are praying that God will honor that commitment to helping those around us and the rest will fall into place. Does this mean that we won't be adopting? Absolutely not! We would still love to adopt, but it does mean that we are going to make a conscious choice to start living in the moment and stop looking to the future. The stories that glorify God aren't the ones that we do, they are the ones that HE does. So we want to watch God work and move and simply be obedient to His call when we need to be. If and when God chooses a child for our family we will be ready to say "YES!!!"

I'm sure that is enough for you to have to read for right now. I feel like there is so much more to say, but I'm not even sure how to say it all. Please keep praying for us, especially for Hunter as he doesn't seem to understand that we don't know if we will get to see V again. Every time I open Hunter's closet it hurts me to see the clothes that I hung in there for V. And Hunter is still sleeping on the top bunk of bunk beds that are completely pointless with just one child in them. There are so many daily reminders of what we don't have, and it really does hurt. I don't know what God has in store for us. I really don't. But I have to keep trusting that God is good. He is. And He loves us and knows what we need even if we don't yet know it.

We really appreciate all of your love and prayers,

B, E & H

Monday, August 6, 2012

When the going gets tough...


Well, at least that's what I'm doing. My parents were planning to head here in just a couple weeks, but Hunter and I are packing up and heading there in just a couple days. This has been a pretty rough week and it just seemed like it was a good time to take a break, enjoy seeing family and friends and get away before school starts for Hunter. So, we are going for it! Our tickets are booked and I'm working out the details and getting everything in order to head out on Thursday. I can't wait!

Thank you all for all the prayers and encouragement through all of this. We are really hoping to have a little better understanding of what is going on, but for right now I have to be content to just wait and see. (Seems to be a theme here, right?) Anyway, there really isn't anything I can do to change it. I have certainly been struggling with a lot of feelings of failure, selfishness, disappointment... the list goes on and on. But I'm trying to stay positive and remember that God is in control and He knows what our future holds. I have been sooooooooooooooo blessed by all the encouraging words, thoughtful gifts, letters... so amazed by my AWESOME friends and family. You all really do make this so much easier!

I love you all, and to my friends and family back "home," SEE YOU SOON!!!


B, E & H

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Just trying to take it all in

So, here is where we stand right now. The (amazing!) foster parents are willing to keep caring for V while all of this stuff gets sorted out. We all agree that it really wouldn't benefit V to transfer him to our home right now for numerous reasons, the top reason being that he has a difficult time with change and there are many changes happening right now for him so a new home, family, school, etc. is certainly not in his best interest at this particular time. Honestly, it is so heartbreaking to see how the system works and how the rights of family members are granted priority over the rights and needs of the child or children involved. Not to mention the rights and needs of the family who has been caring for this child for nearly half his life!

V is at our house right now and has been here since yesterday afternoon. It was pretty horrible timing because he arrived not long before a lot of this stuff came to light and so it has been a pretty rough time. I'm trying my best to make everything as normal as possible for both boys, but I have asked the foster parents if we can cut this visit short (he was supposed to stay until Tuesday evening) because I just need some time to process all of this and figure out how to explain to Hunter that V won't be moving in with us like we expected. It's going to be a pretty hard blow for Hunter, especially since Daddy is gone too. If I had any idea that this would happen I would never have told Hunter that V was coming to live with us, but at the time there was no question that it was happening and it also helped Hunter feel a little better about not having his Daddy around. However, this has been a huge shock to everyone involved and so there isn't much we can do to change what has already happened.

As much as I have tried to keep things "normal" around here, it has been a rough weekend. Hearing and seeing these two boys playing together has changed from beautiful to feeling like rubbing salt in an open wound. We adore this child and want so badly for him to be with us, but right now I just need a break to process and figure out how to take this all in. I'm sure the boys can sense my frustration as well as tonight V had a rough time. As I noted before, he has difficulty with adaptibility and transition and tonight was no exception. He became upset with me because I apparently chose underwear that he didn't like, and the night ended with him spitting his medicine on me, kicking, screaming... not exactly a lot of fun. And I'm sad to say that I was far more frustrated with him than I would like to admit, but it just solidifies in my mind the fact that we all need to step back and figure this out. Although it took FOREVER for both boys to get settled into bed tonight, we made it there and I'm hoping that tomorrow will be a new day for all of us. It certainly doesn't help that it is almost 80 degrees in my house at nearly midnight.

Right now the plan is to keep having visits with V, but not put a timeline on if and when he will move in with our family. This accomplishes a few things. First, it lets us continue to get to know him and let him become more comfortable with our home and family. Second, it gives the foster parents a little break here and there. Third, it keeps us available to be an adoptive home for him if and when the need arises. The downfall is that by doing this we can't guarantee that we will have the opportunity to adopt V (or any other child for that matter) in whatever time we have left in Washington state. Obviously, our goal was not to be foster parents, but to be adoptive parents. However, we really enjoy this child and would love to be available to him if he needs a forever family. Also, I feel like the stress of all this, combined with the deployment, is enough for right now and taking another (different) child into our home right now is just not something that sounds appealing or smart. I know that it will be really difficult for Hunter to deal with the fact that V isn't going to be moving in soon, and I just don't think that it is fair to put any more loss on him right now. And quite frankly, I don't know how much more I can handle either. So, for the good of everyone involved it makes sense to wait this out, provide care for V when we can, and see what happens from there. From what I have been told we are realistically looking at about 6 months or so before we will know anything much.

I hope I explained that well, and I hope that you all don't think less of us because we aren't going to rush into finding another potential placement. I'm not yet ready to give up on this one, and I just don't feel like it's fair to anyone to start over right now.

We are just going to take this one day at a time, and I'm trying to be strong for Hunter's sake. My heart is broken, and not just for myself but also for Hunter, for this child, for V's family, for the foster parents who want what is best for V... the list goes on. I have literally felt physically ill over this since I first heard that things were happening with this case. I knew that adoption wouldn't be easy, but part of me thought that maybe the biggest hurdle right now would be doing it on my own. Guess I was sorely mistaken!

Please be praying for everyone involved in this. Pray for a quick resolution. And if it's God's will that there is a way for this sweet boy to be with his family, that would be amazing! It would be so neat to witness a miracle and see this child returned "home" if everyone is capable and willing to care for him. Really, that would be ideal. But, if that isn't going to happen I pray that it becomes apparent quickly so that he can be placed in a permanent home where he can learn to feel safe and secure and overcome some of these adaptive issues that he has.

Love you all,

B, E & H

Friday, August 3, 2012

At a loss for words

I really don't even know what to say so I'm just going to keep this post short and sweet. Over the course of the past 24 hours I found out that things aren't always what they seem. I can't give details but it looks like this process is going to be a LOT harder than we imagined. There are a few different things going on with V's family situation and right now it looks like it will be quite a while before any of these things are resolved. As a result he will not be moving in with us in 10 days like we expected.

I honestly don't even know what to make of all this or where to go from here. I have literally been on the phone ALL DAY and had my conversation with Ben cut short this morning. Before I can give you a better idea of what is going on I need to talk with my hubby and see what he thinks. I really appreciate all of your prayers right now, and any encouragement is so welcomed. However, please be patient with me if I can't return your calls, texts or emails as I have both boys this weekend and I'm just trying to keep it together.

Thanks for sticking with us through this process. I am trying to remember that God has this all under control and HE is in charge.


B, E & H

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, 
who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28