To be continued . . . .
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Broken, Fixed, Saved
This post will be the most nakedly honest look into us, as a couple, as a family and as Christians. I hope that you are encouraged by what I am going to share. I will try to unpack what just happened over the past 5 days and where we sinned in all of this and what we will do in the future.
When we started the foster/adoption process about a year ago it began as adoption ONLY! We were adamant about not fostering, we had decided that we wanted to grow out family by adoption. As we progressed in the process we quickly realized that we could not adopt any child from the state system until we had fostered said child for 6 months. We discussed it and figured that would be OK, just hang on to them for 6 months, adopt them and be done. Obviously it is not that simple, as we learned, because permanency is not the goal of the foster system; rather reunification with the family is the goal. The state wants all "wards of the state" to be with Mom and Dad or extended family because kids need to be with their families, so they are not too swift to terminate parental rights, declare permanent custody and adopt the child out; we knew all of this from our classes. However, we continued the process because we both believed this was the right thing to do.
Can you see the conflict here? We wanted outright adoption with no fostering. The state wants reunification, not adoption. What that means is we may go through 2,3,4 or 10 children before we have one for 6 months and then after the 6 months it could be 2 years before adoption is offered. Or we could have a child for over 6 months, say 2 years, and the state could move to terminate parental rights, but if the judge says no, then the child stays a foster child. The bottom line is, maybe fostering to adopt is not the best way to adopt, after all will Connie and I want to add a 2 year old to our family 2 years from now? The amount of energy needed simply may not be there anymore because we are not getting younger. Is now the time to adopt, or the future?
With all of the above said you have to factor in the weight of my sin, and our sin as a couple, but more on that later. A few years ago I said "I want my wife back, I cannot have more kids" and it was truly how I felt and I told Connie. You are wandering, how do you stay married, have sex and not have kids? Easy, get a vasectomy, so I did and it felt right and I even prayed about it. It all seemed to fit, I was having surgery to repair a hernia, would already be under, and it would be easy, so I opted for a "2fer" and got fixed, for real (hernia) and metaphorically (vasectomy). I struggled with my decision, after the fact, because as I grew in faith and knowledge I learned from the Word that children are a blessing and here I am telling God I don't want more blessings. My soul was truly in conflict and I was trying to figure out if it was ever OK for me to say "I don't want more kids" did that line up with scripture? Is it wrong to purposely stop having kids? I still don't know the answer, but I know God opens wombs and closes wombs and in hindsight I should just left it up to Him. So sin #1, making a decision based on my selfish desire to have my wife back. (not that she was gone, or bad, or mean, or neglectful, 3 kids take time and energy and I was too dumb to realize this was temporary and a TEAM effort)
Then something "catholic" happened in my thinking, and it was gradual. I would adopt as a sort of quasi-penance for my sin of closing the womb, so to speak, a sort of reparation if you will. I have to tell you I did not see this until my kids were studying Luther and we read about how he tried to beat the sin from his body. When I heard that, the final piece of the puzzle was given me, I was doing the same thing, although attended with a slightly different outlook as I would not call caring for a child asceticism. I think I was trying to right a wrong, when in reality that wrong (sin) was crucified with Christ, it was nailed to the cross, but I took it off the cross and carried in my pocket and acted as if it was never nailed there for anyone to see. Oh, how wrong I was. He saw it and graciously showed me my folly and allowed me to receive peace. Don't think the only reason I decided to go for adoption was solely to make something right, that is not the case, but it was part of it and God showed me that while maintaining the goodness of adoption in my heart. So sin #2,trying to make my sin right, when it was already paid for.
All of the above is pre-last Wednesday (when we got the 2 little guys). Now lets talk about what happened on February at 8:28 P.M. We had met at church with the intention of switching vehicles so Connie could home to do her school prep, but she decided to stay for prayer meeting. I followed her home, she called me at 8:14 to inform that she just got a call from Child Services asking if we could pick up two boys ( 2 and 13 months old) because mom never came to pick them up from daycare. I did not know what to do, but I told Connie to tell the worker to call me. At 8:28 I got the call and it was like this "we have 2 boys that need somewhere to go, you guys are on the list, we have no one else, every one else is ages 4-18, so if you don't take them I don't know where they will go." WOW WOW WOW, what do you say to that, especially when the worker on the phone tells you she is frantic and needs to know like NOW?
To be continued . . . .
To be continued . . . .