The licensing process was very long and seemed to be drawn out at times. After a much long anticipated wait we finally received notice that our home study was accepted and our foster care/adoption license was open. We received the news through an email from our licensor on March 8th at about 3pm. Once I received the email I called our Adoption worker and left a questions on if we could go ahead and inquire about some children we have interest in or what our next steps where.
My heart was racing with excitement to share the news with Brandon as soon as he came home. As he sat in our office doing some paperwork before our Trauma Parenting training we were headed to I came up to him with the news.
Although we knew it was coming any day we were both overjoyed that the licensing portion of our journey was complete and we were finally able to start the process of finding our match. We laughed and cried tears of joy.
(us documenting our excitement haha)
We didn’t have much time to discuss things because we needed to quickly get ready for a night full of more training through the agency. It was the second week of a weekly month long trauma training that was not required but it was highly recommended. Just as I told Brandon that were were officially licensed my phone rang. Rarely getting phone calls, I answered the phone with the excitement that it may possible be our adoption worker calling us back with the answers to the questions I left on her voice mail.
Sure enough it was. As she told me that she completed our application on the MARE site my smile could not have gotten any bigger. She told me the next steps we could take to inquire children we were interested in. Just then she said something that I was NOT expecting to hear. It was those glorious words that every pre-adoptive family is waiting to hear, “I have a match for you!”
What?!?! A Match already! our license was JUST open 2 hours ago! In the past 6 months we were warned by the agency and multiple people that have gone through the foster to adopt process through the same agency that our wait could be years. We have a match in just 2 hours?!?! My heart raced with anticipation to hear more details. I could tell by the nervousness in her voice she was uneasy to talk to me about our match. I replied with “You do? Wow that was quick!”
She continued, “yes, now I want you to be open about the match. It may be a little bit of a crazy thought. You and Brandon are ideally looking for a boy between the ages of 0-8 with none-moderate needs. I have a case that recently became available that lines up with your ideal situation, however its a sibling group. There are 4 boys under 8.” I choked a little on my laugh. My mind raced with thoughts. We are only licensed for one. Could we really handle 4 boys under 8? Could all the built up anticipation of being matched with our child be fulfilled already? I said “can I ask you a question. Are they the four boys that were added to the MARE site this week” She replied “Yes they are on my load, I know, its a lot to take in but I think you two would be amazing with them and they have very minimal needs to none…”
I cut her off. “I’m actually laughing because Brandon made a comment to me the previous night half asleep and we were actually going to discuss them as an option after TIP (trauma informed parenting) training tonight”.
Back Story: Looking at the kids on the MARE site had become somewhat of an obsession for the both of us since before we even started the adoption process. Individually we secretly looked at the childrens profiles weekly and sometimes even daily. When new children became available we would bring it up in conversation. When one we have been keeping our eye on has been matched and taken off the site we mention it. As these four boys were added I visioned them in our home but quickly dismissed the idea because we have both decided previously that we were only interested in one child at this time. The night before we were licensed Brandon and I laid in bed and half asleep he said “we should just put an inquiry on the sibling group of all boys when our license goes through and be done.” (meaning being done with trying to conceive and completing our family with 4 boys) I laughed as his comment and before I could even ask questions he was snoring away. During my break at lunch I text Brandon to ask if he was serious about inquiring on the sibling group of boys. We both agreed that god had been tugging at our hearts and individually we were both becoming more open to the idea of adopting a sibling group into our home but it was a conversation that needed to be had in depth and in person.
After I filled her in with the back story she told me more details about the boys. She mentioned that all for boys were separated at the moment in different foster homes but were hoping to find an adoptive home that would take them all. She suggested that if we were on the fence about the decision we could do respite care for all the families during spring break and use it as a “trial”. The more she talked about each individual boy the more I got excited but still unsure. We ended the conversation that I would discuss the match with Brandon and get back with her. I did not want to say yes or no until we talked.
Before and after our training we discussed the match of the four boys in depth. We discussed how and when we would sell our cars to trade them in for larger ones that would accommodate a family of 6. We discussed short and long term sleeping arrangements and a time line about how long we could stay in our current home before we would have to sell for a big home. All of these things were huge changes but also changes we were willing to make if we chose to move forward.
As we discussed the match and rattled off the pros and cons of the match our decision came down to one thing….conception. Throughout our whole relationship we have always desired a family of 3-4 and now we were talking about a family of 6. If we went forward with the match the option of trying to conceive biological child would have to been taken off the table. Although we do not know where our path of trying to conceive will lead us, it was something we were not willing to let go of after just a few month. We decided to turn down the match and continue on our journey of trying to conceive and adoption. We also chose to turn down doing respite for them because of the situation we did not want to be put in a situation that tore us apart emotionally.
Although this decision was what we both wanted and felt was right the day was tough and full of a whirlwind of emotions. It almost felt like a dream. Within 6 hours we went through the high and excitement of getting licensed to preparation for life changing situations to feeling conflicted and love for 4 boys we had never met. Although we never met these 4 amazing boys I oddly mourned the the loss of them. How could I mourn something that was never there? I was sadden and felt deep guilt by the fact that I could have a home for them but am choosing not to give them that. My gut turns knowing that even a month and half later their case is still open.
As we go through this journey we have always tried to keep faith that god would lead us down the path that he planned for us. As we discussed and prayed about them we felt that god had other plans for us. Now I am left frequently praying for the path of these four boys that deserve the world and a family where they can all be reunited.