When my husband and I first began the adoption process over a year ago, we were strictly in a domestic infant program. Long story short, God has opened our hearts, and we are now open to children up to the age of 7, and sibling groups.
Can you offer advice to my husband and I as we continue to wait for a match? It has been over a year and we haven’t been chosen to move forward with any particular child/sibling group we’ve inquired about. We feel pretty alone in this pursuit because we don’t know anyone else who has gone this route before.
Once you decide to foster or adopt children, the period of waiting can seem like eternity. There are so many steps to get licensed in the first place that when you come to the end of the mounds of paperwork and you take your final hours of training, you feel as though you are just days away from welcoming children into your home. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. I am going to offer you some practical and spiritual advice.
Practically: What is the hang up? A year seems like a very long time to wait for children when there are so many in need of a home.
Is it your agency? Call around to other agencies and explain your situation and ask if a year is the normal wait time. Ask your licensing worker if there is something specific holding you up that they have not told you. Ask if there is something you can do that would bring you a child(ren) sooner.
Is it your criteria? Are you willing to take children of different ethnicity then your family? Are you open on the genders? Are you willing to take children who have challenging behaviors, drug exposure, or some developmental delays? We all have to make wise decisions and not take on more then we can reasonably handle; however, I believe we can stretch ourselves more then we realize. Adoption means taking care of children with many deep hurts and wounds, so a majority of those children fall into those categories.
Is it because of “when” you will take the child? This is different from state to state, so it may not apply to your situation. If you are adopting through foster care, some families will take that child as soon as they are “likely” to be adopted (parental rights are severed, but there still could be a lingering relative out there). They then foster that child for the time necessary to complete the adoption (6 months- a year). Other families are too terrified of losing a child that comes to them, so they are only willing to take children that they are 99.99% likely to adopt. It is not wrong to be in the second category, but if there is a family in the first category available, I suspect a caseworker would place the child with that family, since the sooner the child can be transitioned to a permanent situation, the better.
Spiritually: Waiting on the Lord can always be such a difficult path to walk. This is not unique to adoption, but to families trying to get pregnant, singles searching for a spouse, a discontent employee searching for a more meaningful job, and probably every Christian who has seen life go a different way then planned. Take heart in knowing that the child the Lord has for you was chosen before the foundations of the earth. The Lord knows who you will call your son or daughter. As difficult as waiting on the Lord can be, if we turn to him with our burdened heart and seek him to be the refuge of our weary dreams, it becomes such a special time where the Lord grows our faith, dependency on him, and our trust in his plan.