|Tiny Eli shortly after he came home!|
I remember in this time period thinking that we were only going to pursue children who were legally available for adoption...I was determined to say "NO" to foster care. I didn't want my heart broken. I didn't want P's heart broken. I really didn't want to care for and love a child (potentially for years) only to have said child taken back to go home to a family that didn't make good decisions. I really thought that I couldn't handle it - ever.
It brings to mind the old saying about God laughing at our plans...
Because our hearts changed. When Eli came home from Korea, we fell head-over-heels in love with our sunny little boy. And it wasn't long before we both felt the nudging in our hearts that we should pursue adoption again.
So we researched, though not as much as last time. We thought we knew what we wanted to do (go back to Korea). But after much discussion, we decided that adopting Korea program wasn't what was right for us right now. And we really, really wanted to adopt again....and we figured that it would be SO MUCH EASIER if we just did a private domestic adoption. So I began researching agencies. In the meantime, I began to hear about a local agency that specialized in foster care. I heard about them at church. In the community. From friends.
I fought the idea. I really did. What would it do to Eli to have a child in our home that left after 6 months? 9 months? a year?
At some point, P and I decided to go to an information meeting...at least so that we could confirm that this was not the right path for our family. We left the meeting that night, intrigued and excited. We prayed that we were doing the right thing for our family...and sent in the application. It really didn't take long before we were approved and had a little guy, "W", move into our home.
I can't believe we are now a foster family. W has already left an indelible mark on us in the short month he's been here. We have learned so much about each other, our strengths, and our weaknesses. We love him, and it will be hard for all of us when he leaves to rejoin his original family.
But we're far enough into this to say that we did the right thing. P and I know that Eli really wants "somebody to stay forever", but in the meantime, he's learning to be a more giving, caring person. I see him playing and helping W and I see so much of the truly wonderful person that he is. And we pray that the impact we have on W will stay with him forever....even (because he's so young) if he doesn't consciously remember us.
And while we're fully hoping to adopt again...we feel that we are in the right place at this time. I don't want to sound corny, but I do feel that we are doing exactly what God would want us to do. Foster care is not the scary scenario that I'd pictured at all. We do have a hurting child. He is traumatized by what happened to him. But with God's help, we can help him heal and become stronger.