Today marks the third anniversary of JR and Elissa’s adoption. Our first forever family day. On one hand it’s hard to believe it’s been three years while one the other hand time has flown by so fast. When Todd and I decided to become foster parents adoption was only an idea, a dream really. Never would I have thought we would be here 6 years later with not one but five amazing little loves that now call us mom and dad. Adoption is beautiful.
I look back over the last three years and see just how far JR and Elissa have come. We have had our share of wonderful memories and a few times I am sure we would all like to forget. But through them all we have stayed strong, stayed faithful and given God all the glory. Without His masterful plan none of this would be possible. I owe everything to Him and thank Him daily for allowing me to be their mom. He could have picked anyone for the task but He blessed me with it and it is my honor and privilege to do so.
When I think about JR’s journey with us, tears always seem to find their way down my face. I remember seeing him for the first time such a tiny and very sick little 4 and 1/2 pound almost two month old. From the very beginning he has had my heart. He has fight a long hard battle to make it to where he is today. He still amazes me and the doctors, therapists and his teachers with the amazing process he is making. When you are told early on a child may not walk, may not talk, and may never have a “normal” life it can scare you to death, I will not lie. We even had friends and family ask us if we were sure we wanted to adopt him because of all of his special needs. Seriously? Like I would love him less because he is different. Not even close. The truth of the matter is he had my heart from the moment I first held him. I would go through hell and back for him if I had to. From start to finish it took over two and a half years to adopt him but I would do the whole process all over again. Yes he has some special needs, but that’s what makes him so unique. He sees the world so freely. He does not judge others on race or gender or social status. He loves everyone. He gives the best hugs and can make my darkest days bright with that smile of his. And because we serve an awesome God he is now not only walking but running, jumping and climbing. He can say over 200 words now and his new teacher even has him reading sight words. Praise God. He has had several surgeries and came out stronger everytime. He may not eat like other kids his age or act “normal” in societies eyes, but if we were all same life would be very boring. He was made special to stand out from the crowd. And I would not have him any other way.
Elissa, my dear sweet diva. She was almost 2 before she came to us. Her life before us was dark and full of neglect and abuse. No child should have to go through that. But she is a survivor and she has overcome her past. She has come a long way from her early days with us. From a child who could not feed herself or walk she can now out eat the best of us and is one fast little runner. She is extremely intelligent and loves life. She has a laugh that can be heard from miles away and she loves helping take care of her baby sister. So thankful that the caseworker was able to place them together.
If we would had said no and not taken the call to take a weekend placement for a baby boy, I would not have the family I have today. That one call changed everything. Bringing JR into our home and into our lives has not only blessed us with him but because we had him we now have Elissa, Eli, and Sadie. Some would call it chance but I know it was all God’s plan for us. Is foster to adopt for everyone? The answer is no. The process can be long and aggravating. The court hearings, the MDT’s, the birth parents visits, the home inspections, the training, all of it can be a little overwhelming. It takes time and patience. Many give up before their blessing is given. My best advice is don’t give up. These kids need some one and that someone could be you. Is foster to adopt worth it? The answer is Yes. Yes it is. We can not safe every child they call us with that needs a place. Personally we have had the privilege to help and love over 20 children through foster care. God blessed us by allowing us to adopt 5. This time last year while we were celebrating Forever Family Day we were also spending time at the hospital getting to know our newest daughter. Funny how timing works out. I am forever grateful for the wonderful caseworker and adoption specialist that worked so hard to make sure we became the family we are today. I owe them so much.
If the thought of adoption has crossed your mind I urge you to look into foster care. Many children in foster care become available for adoption. There are hundreds of thousands of kids in foster care now and not enough foster homes for them. I ask that you pray about it and consider opening your home to a child in need. Everyone child deserves a forever home full of love.
From our beautiful chaos to yours adoption is beautiful. What is God calling you to do? Maybe you are also called to celebrate forever family day.