Straight hair, just the right amount of make-up, and an outfit that says I’m maternal and I’m hip. Isn’t that what you would wear to an adoption party?
I didn’t have a solid idea of what the party would be like. Oh, sure. I had ideas and pictures in my mind of what it might be like. But I didn’t really know. I wondered how many people would be there. I wondered how interaction would be facilitated. I wondered what the next step would be. I wondered if I would be in the same room as my future children. I wondered if we’d see the three sisters that inspired us to start this journey.
So yes. Today we went to a party like no other. We saw individuals and siblings, caseworkers and foster parents, families with children and families awaiting children. We saw teenagers and toddlers, church members and community volunteers, lost and lonely, carefree and courageous.
We arrived a little before 10:00. Surprised at the number of cars in the parking lot, we went inside and received our name tags and a book called The Road to New Beginnings. Inside we found pictures and profiles of all the children who would be attending the party. Basic information filled the colorful pages. There were two parts to the book: individuals and sibling groups. We flipped through the pages, and once again Rob spotted our girls*. We found their caseworker and chatted a bit.
Kids began to arrive and music was playing. It was time to mingle! There were several tables set up along the perimeter with goodie bags to be filled, crafts to be made, dress up photos to be taken and nail polish to be applied. Outside there were more activities including a bounce house and an inflatable mountain for climbing. The kids had info sheets to fill out–favorite ice cream flavor, sports team, cartoon character, etc. They were supposed to find someone who shared their favorites. I helped a few out by sharing my love of chocolate and basketball. Rob contributed to some friends who love football and SpongeBob. We ate lunch and had a chance to chat with caseworkers and foster parents. We interacted with a few kids–so many oh, so cute kids!
Rob and I talked a lot and smiled a lot. We prayed in the car together before we went inside. I prayed silently at various times during the party. Twice my eyes filled with tears. The first time was when we were looking through the profile book. The number of teenagers who need families is honestly overwhelming for me to think about. There are not many things in this world that overwhelm me. Thinking about the number teenage boys and girls who need families to love and nurture them into adulthood compared to the number of families who are choosing to adopt teenagers is overwhelming. At this point in our lives, while we have teenagers in our home, we feel strongly that we should adopt younger children. Yet, I had to make myself think of other things so I would not fall apart into a big emotional mess.
The other time was when Rob spotted our girls.* He saw them first on television this spring when they were featured on the Waiting Child program. He found them in the book of profiles when we arrived at the party. And then he pointed them out to me as he saw them walk in the door. My eyes filled with tears as I saw them. These girls! They have impacted our life in a great way. While we do not know exactly how our adoption journey will end, we will forever know that it started with them. Their story, their faces, their sweet potential inspired this journey. The picture of them that was posted on KTUL’s website has been on my phone for months. It serves as a reminder to pray. Pray for these sisters to be united with the family God has planned for them. Pray for all children that are waiting for families. Pray for wisdom as we seek His will in our family. Pray thanksgiving for the blessings of the family I have. So it should come as no surprise that I had to avoid eye contact with my husband and wipe away a few tears as I stood in the same room as these girls.
We did have a chance to meet their fabulous foster family. We watched them from afar as they interacted with one another and with others. We chatted briefly with the girls as they examined their loot from the money booth. We resisted the urge to scoop them up and take them home with us.
Now is a time of waiting patiently. We are in a good spot in life, you see. We are approved to adopt. There are plenty of children in need of families. We are patiently praying and seeking God’s guidance as we prepare to be united with our children. We are so appreciative of our friends and family and readers of this blog that are joining us in prayer during this crucial time on our journey. Part of me wants to jump ahead so I can see how it all turns out and another part is basking in the goodness of the moment. I have a feeling I’ll be writing about both the jumping and the basking. Thanks for sticking around.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” Jeremiah 17:7
*Again, I do know they are not really ours. But we love them, nonetheless. I’m sure you understand.