Pondering Adoption #2

familyI haven’t really talked much yet about our subsequent adoption. Partly this is because there are so many more things to consider this time around, and partly because this isn’t a done deal. I relate this to marriage, in that, just because you’re “ready” to get married doesn’t mean your future spouse will immediately *poof* right there in front of you, ready to walk the aisle. There’s far more to it.

As I’ve said before, when we adopted Lindsey, the things I’d feared all turned out to be pointless concerns with no substance to them. However, we were blindsided by completely different issues that we were unprepared for. So we approach this now with with a bit of wisdom from experience.

We also have more to consider as far as how another adoption will affect the children we already have — and that’s key, because our first responsibility is to the children God has already given us to parent.

Our family dynamics now are entirely different than they were three years ago. There is much to consider in regards to how this will be for Lindsey.  In those past three years, Kathryn has had huge changes, too: not only a new sister in our household, but in her dad’s household, she has a new step-mom, step-brother, step-sister, and a new baby brother.

Sometimes it bothers me that our family will never be normal. I know, I know: “normal” is just a setting on the dryer, but what I mean by this is that we will never be the only parents for any of our children (unless I miraculously conceive), and our children’s siblings will never all live under our roof. That’s hard. Really hard, in a myriad of ways. Adding another child will add another layer of not-normal. Some days, I’m okay with that — but other days, I just don’t know how much I can handle.

We’ve had calls about a number of children, far more than the first time around. Sometimes we recognize that a particular child’s situation or difficulties simply will not mesh with our family, so we have to say no — but the hard thing is this: because of Lindsey, and because of other foster children we’ve met in various way, I know in a way I didn’t a few years ago that every call we get is a REAL child who needs a family. So sometimes, saying no feels like playing God.

So we pray for guidance.

One boy in particular has been often on my mind. Ken and Lindsey have met him, and perhaps that encounter — Lindsey’s encouragement to him to allow himself to be adopted, and Ken doing photos for his adoption profile — was all there was of the Lord’s intended overlap of our lives. But maybe not. On paper, he’s not the child we want to adopt. There are complications there that would definitely kick our not-normalness up a few notches. On several occasions recently, I’ve told God that He’ll have to be very clear in showing me that this kid is the one, if He wants us to pursue this. Then I put it (and him) out of my mind. Until this boy pops back in again.

There are hard days, when I can’t seem to figure out how the heck to parent the kids I have, and on those days, I wonder, “What am I thinking? We can’t add another child to this equation. Not now.” But I’ve recognized that this is Satan’s doing: giving me these doubts because he doesn’t want us getting in his way. I wholeheartedly believe that adoption is a mission field right here in our home, so that makes it something Satan doesn’t want us doing.

This isn’t really a post that wraps up all neat and tidy. It’s just letting you in on where I am right now — in this not-normal, blended and adoptive family with teens and preteens, and one son getting married in a few months. Your prayers are very welcome.

(Oh – and something else to share! Looks like our family will be interviewed next week for a local television show on adoption, specifically the importance of permanence in a child’s life, so I’ll let you know when I have details on when that will be on the air.)