When we started talking again about adding to our family through adoption, we had a lot of options laid out in front of us and very vague ideas about what any of them truly entailed. We knew that there were healthy kids, sick kids, young kids, old kids, local kids, far away kids, and on and on, all that needed and deserved to be loved and be part of a family.
We were eager to start the process though we didn’t know exactly what path we’d be taking so we started out looking at the different sets of procedures and regulations. In searching about homestudies, we found out about the Utah Foster Care Foundation training course. We decided it was a good idea and here is the biggest pat on my own back, but we were right! J We LOVED this class! So completely incredible to learn what we did—and to do it surrounded by such caring, loving individuals! It was 32 hours of training and all of it was a great, realistic look at the journey we were about to embark on, not to mention fantastic information for all parents and caretakers of children in general.
At the end of the month long set of classes, we were given our Utah Foster Care Foundation Pre-Service Training Completion Certificate and wound up armed with a lot of new information, but back where we started in trying to figure out what route to take to our special little son or daughter. Whatever the path, we knew it was going to take some cash, so we started our fundraising effort with a Valentine’s Day Bake Sale. It was an amazing event and really opened our eyes to how much support we have around us! (We would not be able to walk this path if it weren’t for the friends and family around us that are willing to walk with us and hold our hands along the way every once in a while! We cannot express our gratitude for each and every one of you.)
As we went through the classes, we kind of got a better idea of what we would and would not like to do. We wound up with an opportunity coming into our lives that seemed to be a very clear, quick option. Robert’s mom does Christian ministry through the State Prison and had facilitated a couple adoptions through the ministry in the past. Basically, if an inmate gives birth while serving her time in prison, someone must come forward and take either temporary or permanent custody of the child. After the bake sale, it just happened to come up that there was a young woman in the prison who was due in a couple months that was looking for a family to adopt her child. The doors seemed wide open for us, so we decided to pursue this option and see what came of it.
After a few months of following this path, we decided that all that we would take from it was a learning experience, and not the sibling for Silly Lily that we’d been looking for. There were too many obstacles and it never quite felt like we were in it all the way. Yes, there was a lot of hope there for a while, but it turned into a situation that we did not want to work through and was not the best option for us, our family or for the birth mom. It was very tough to make that call, especially getting so close to the mom’s due date, but we did not feel comfortable with the short or what we felt would be the long term results of this relationship.
The only remorse I have about how the prison option ran its course was that I forced back some of the bad and tried to just show the good of the situation, thinking that in the end, we would just have our shiny, happily ever after and no one would have to know the trials and doubts that we faced. When we parted ways with the birth mom, it caught many of our loved ones by surprise and it still feels as though they are disappointed with us.
Though it seems like an extremely quick turnaround, we have been putting a lot of thought and prayer and hope into another route that may come to fruition soon. Though we had some hesitations, this option just FEELS right. The most normal comparison I can make is when we discussed trying to get pregnant again after our situation with Jackson. Though there were things that scared us out of our mind, we both just knew that it was right and it was going to turn out right. This choice was more about what we wanted and less about trying to please others. Though I can’t make any official announcements yet until it is a little more confirmed, it is a little more true to what we’d imagined when we first spoke of adoption years ago and it feels like the best choice for us. I can't full explain it, but I’ve just got a feeling that this is what we are supposed to be doing.
Because I feel that this is where we are headed, I feel compelled to share a great quotation and dedicate it to our newest addition to our family.
“By choice, we will become a family, first in our hearts, and finally in breath and being. Great expectations are good; great experiences are better.”