A father to the fatherless...God makes a home for the lonely...Psalms 68:5-6
When Luke's sisters, Miss C and Miss S, moved in with us, they came as respite because, in spite of all the work we had done last fall, when CPS turned us down as placements for the girls all work came to a halt. We were hurt and discouraged and we never finished up getting our license.
When it became necessary and the state decided this summer we were a placement option after all, we began to finish up the last bit required of us to get our license, including a new home study; an always stressful experience, but made easier because after all we had been through, the agency made it as easy on us as they could, and still be in compliance with the law. I was thankful for that, because I have to admit there were a few times when I wasn't sure I could take much more.
And yet, I knew I would, anyway. Whatever it took...
We had been keeping the girls two weeks at a time (all they would allow
for respite) for a large part of the summer to give their foster mother a
break. Back and forth the girls continued to go as we waded through the process once again, until finally everything was done.
And when the girls came for their next "visit", they brought everything they owned, because no one planned for them to ever leave again. We still didn't quite have our license so they still came as respite, but we were assured it would be issued any day.
Within the week, they said. So we waited.
The week passed.
By next week, early, they said.
That passed, too, and school started. Even though we are a homeschool family, we have to get a special waver to homeschool foster/adopt kids, and they had to be enrolled in public school before we could even apply for the waver, which takes a while to get, I'm told. But without a license and placement papers, I could not enroll them in school.
By Tuesday, Thursday at the latest, they said.
Tuesday passed. Thursday came. It was last day they could legally stay in our home without placement papers. I got a text early in the day, telling me their computers were down so they could not check to see if everything went through, but they were contacting a lady at the adoption office, and they were sure she could pull it up.
And she did. And found that somehow, we had never been "checked" out of the system when we adopted Tommy and maxed out our home. And before they could "check" us in, we had to be "checked" out. And they weren't quite sure how to go about that, but they were going to contact my old caseworker.
As the day passed, there was talk of sending the girls back to their old foster home so the agency wouldn't be out of compliance. That was a very last resort, they said, and they were working to find a way not to do that. It would have been a terrible thing to do...
...I knew stressing wasn't going to help, so I prayed for great wisdom for the agency, and mercy for my girls...
And at 4:30, I got a call. THEY DID IT. The license was issued, and the caseworker was on his way with placement papers.
Wow, that was sure at the very, very last minute, but who cares? It was DONE!
Soon the worker was here, and not only did he have foster placement papers (the girls have to live here as foster placements for six months before we can finalize the adoption) but he said the main office had sent along an "adoption selection staffing" paper, which declared us as the family selected to adopt the girls. Like I said, we all knew this was the goal, but usually you don't get this paper until much later along, so this was quite a blessing to have, the caseworker assured me.
Pulling a large stack of papers, we began to sign. Even the girls had to sign papers:
...and then it was over. They are here. They are staying. I look at them with different eyes now. I knew I loved them before, but now, I can relax in giving them my heart.
If I can share my heart with those of you who are considering foster/adoption, I think I might do it through these pictures. This process can be awfully frustrating. It can be devastating at times. It can certainly put gray hairs in your head. But after all is said and done, it's worth it. The signing of these papers gives these girls a home. It is almost like a birth, when you do this with adoption in mind. It starts a process that makes a family.
We are so blessed to be chosen!