First, let me apologize. I promised to tell you "very soon" what the new direction in our lives would be, and...well...it's taken me a little longer than I expected. I recently found out people were taking bets on what it is, so to relieve the suspense, I'll tell you now! We are working towards adoption! Now, here's the back story.
We had always thought we would have some biological children, and adopt some children. After trying for biological children for three years, that wasn't looking real great. Breast cancer was the final kicker on that one, for several medical reasons. So, we changed our plan, and decided that we'd adopt all of our children. We wanted to adopt infants at first, which would probably mean overseas adoption, and then later adopt older children, possibly from the foster care system.
For the most part, in private adoptions, birth parents choose the adoptive parents for their children. You're not guaranteed to be placed with a child no matter what, but having breast cancer in my recent history makes it even more difficult to be chosen. So, we planned to adopt overseas. We chose a an agency, chose our countries we were interested in, filled out our application, and paid the deposit. The next day, we received a phone call. "Um, about your breast cancer....was that recent?" they asked. "Yes," I said, "I just finished treatment in July! However, my oncologist has completely cleared me for adoption, and is willing to provide a reference or anything you need." I thought they would be excited for me! After all, we want to bring orphaned children into our home. What could go wrong? "Well, we don't work with people who've had cancer until it's been 5 years." I couldn't believe it. I understand that some kinds of cancers unfortunately give you a much smaller long-term survival rate than others - but mine isn't one of them! Even my specific type of breast cancer is among the "better" kinds to have. So, we changed our plan, and decided we would adopt through the foster system first.
At this point, we are signed up for our first class on adoption through DHS (required first step). After this first class, they run background checks (fingers crossed....j/k!), then we take 6 weeks of classes, finish our home study, then work towards placement. The process can take 6-8 months, sometimes more, ocassionally less.
We've always wanted children, and we've always agreed that God already knows our children. He "knows the plans he has for us," and we trust that He has chosen our children specifically for us, and chosen us for them. Admittedly, we have struggled with not understanding why some people have families so easily, while it has been such a struggle for us. But, at the end of it all, we believe and trust in God. It's one thing to say we have faith when things are easy, but it's a blessing to have a chance to see that God is still faithful even when things are hard. Please note, I did not say it feels good. But truly, it is a blessing.
We're uncertain what our future as potential parents looks like. Adopting older children can have extra challenges, and we're pretty sure that don't have all the answers. I doubt we have even half of the answers. But, we do have the knowledge that our salvation is sure because of Christ's death and resurrection, and we have the love of Christ in our hearts - and we'll happily share that every day of our parenting careers.
So, please pray for us -for wisdom, direction, and strength. We're excited, a bit nervous, and eagerly anticipating seeing what God has in store for us!