I've always been drawn to the passage of scripture where Jesus went to the garden to pray the night before "the plan" was to unfold. Obviously He knew the time and He knew the incredible importance of the moment. It was a process in full motion that intensified the moment He entered the garden.
There are many aspects of this moment in the garden that speak to me. But for just a minute, let me focus on a few words He uttered: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me" (Luke 22:42 Complete Jewish Bible). Willing? Why did Jesus say this? You can't really say that He thought the Father would take Him up on this one. After all, it was their plan. No, I think this is a moment that Jesus was having in the process. Its a process that had become so arduous, so intense, that the soul is exposed and for a brief moment purpose is lost in a forest of overwhelming emotion. It was a moment, a brief, fleeting moment, where something rose up in Jesus that wished that the whole deal didn't have to be this way. It is one of the moments that reassures us that Jesus was, in fact, fully man as He carried out His divine mission.
I identify with this type of moment. Karen & I have had many of them over the past few months. You've had them too. Those moments when it just seems overwhelming and something slips out of your soul that wishes for it to all go away. We have met our "moments" in our current process of adoption. We have not written much over the past few weeks partly because of technological challenges while in the mid-west and partly because, well, we've had our share of "moments". But by way of update, I'm going to take a brief minute to let everyone know where we are these days. I supposed all adoptions have their struggles. Ours mostly come in dealing with the system.
Two weeks ago we returned from the mid-west with the 2 new children. We had to leave a couple of days early after receiving word that Karen's grandmother was struggling to live and may not make it through the night. After leaving the mid-west we realized that the new children did not know what they were doing with us. They had not been prepared for who we were and what we were doing in their small town (i.e., they did not know we were there to welcome them into our family and that our plan was to adopt them). As we got closer to NC it became more apparent that this was a significant issue as the 4 year girl cried herself to sleep each night. Sometimes this has been better and sometimes worse.
To give some background, our children have been in the same foster home for 3 years. We thought this would make their little lives better than children who are moved around from home to home while awaiting adoption. And while this may be true in some regards, it does not translate into smooth transition for the children. They have only known one "mom" and when that "mom" has told them she will always be their mom the idea of moving on to their permanent family must feel a little more like kidnapping than the love and security of a forever family. But the truth remains, she chose not to adopt them and for whatever reasons did not prepare them for being grafted into our family. I could write a book on the things we experienced in dealing with the foster mom but I will save that for another time.
To add to the drama of the transition, no more had we arrived home that we learned that Karen's grandmother had, in fact, passed away. We returned to the western part of NC to attend the funeral and by the time we did so, 6 of the 8 of us had acquired either cold or flu-like symptoms. It has not been until the past 3-4 days that we have actually settled into any type of routine. The routine has been fruitful. The new children are enjoying themselves and seem to be feeling safe and comfortable here. We have not had tears at night and we have had lots of laughter during the day.
Now is where it gets dicey. The social workers devised a plan whereby the children would stay with us for a couple of weeks before returning to their previous foster home for a few weeks before coming back to us for a few weeks before returning to their foster home for a few weeks before coming to our home permanently! Yes, read that last sentence several times. It says it all! Just reading the plan will make your head spin! But that is the plan under which we currently operate. We've pleaded with the social worker to simply leave them with us but so far to no avail. Karen & I are sweating great drops of our own, feeling like this plan is a setup for failure and ultimately will lead to incredible mistrust, insecurity and confusion in the children. After all, broken attachments are tough to heal in a child and we're just going to keep ripping them apart over the next few months? We really don't have to speculate about the impact of this plan as it has already generated significant confusion, anxiety and frustration in the new children as well as our other children.
But rules are rules, right? At least that's what we're told. Forget whether they make sense for the children or not, the paperwork has to be done. And to some extent I get it but when bureaucracy trumps common sense it doesn't set to well with me and I promise you somebody looses. In this case, its the children.
So where are we? Honestly, we're not sure. We've got at least one child who is lost and confused right now, a system that seems dead set on stamping in insecurity and stacking the deck against successful transition all in the name of paperwork, and hearts that hurting. We've passed Phase I which is simply to meet them but it sure seems like we are walking through a field full of emotional landmines that could detonate at any moment and send this entire adoption into oblivion.
Oh that this cup would pass!
I could write much more but perhaps I should stop at this point. We will try to post a few times this week to update our situation. Karen & I wish to thank all of you who have been such a wonderful support over the past few months. You have truly been a blessing to us. If you have adopted and have a story to tell, we would love to hear it.