Wins & Losses in Our Foster Adopting

My wife and I are in the waiting process to be finally certified as foster parents, and THEN we begin the wait to be matched with a child.  2 months passed between the last two appointments we had with our social worker and now it’s been another week and a half since our last meeting with her, which is supposed to be our last.  Now we wait for her finish up the report on us and see if we are certified.  Our social worker is great but this process feels like forever!  On top of us getting fidgety from waiting, we’re also nervous about losing the baby.

But that’s the risk with adopting through the foster system.  We want to meet a real domestic need in our country where children are removed from their parents for the child’s well-being and these children need parents.  But the court offers the birth parents a period to get their act together, whether it’s ditching the drugs or the abusive boyfriend.  If the birth parent does all she is supposed to do according to court order, then she can get her baby back.  It would be heart-breaking for us I’m sure if that happened after having loved and parented a child for anywhere from 6 to 18 months.

But during our present waiting period, it has given my wife and I the time to refine the focus of our hearts in this foster adoption.  Our focus is one of grace.  It’s grace to the child if the child loses her birth parents and we are able to adopt her and offer her a family.  It’s grace to the birth parents if they earn the right to get their child back and we were able to care for their child and encourage them along in the meantime.  How can we not celebrate if we get the chance to permanently welcome a child into our lives for a lifetime?  But at the same time, how can we not celebrate if the birth mother overcomes some major demons in her life and achieves a healthy place to parent her own child again?  We have to see that the outcome either way will be a win.  The strange dilemma is while the outcomes are a wins, there is also pain in either outcome because it means someone has lost something whether it is us or the birth mother.  I think even if we were able to adopt the child permanently, my heart will still grieve for the birth mother who lost her child.  Is it possible to celebrate a victory and feel the hurt of loss at the same time?  Is it possible to feel like we won but there was a loss at the same time?  I think so.  It seems like a conundrum.  Mostly we think to put ourselves in a win situation and avoid the loss.  But I think when we strive to genuinely love and offer grace in the midst of brokenness, experiencing both win and loss is not uncommon.  The danger is in striving to live only in the win, we dismiss ourselves from exercising and experiencing real and profound grace.

Thank you for keeping up with us as we go through this foster adoption process. I will try to write more on it as we go through it.

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