We got the call. We were chosen as a forever family. What’s the next step now? More waiting. We anxiously awaited the kids’ case file to arrive. They had to wait on the latest evaluations and reports from specialists who have been working with them. The case file contains everything about their history which is kept confidential until you are selected for adoption. We received the call that the file arrived on CD (instead of giant boxes of files – woo hoo!) to the CPS office, and we immediately jumped in the car to pick it up. We spent about 7 or 8 hours yesterday afternoon through late last night going through each page. We had prepared ourselves for the worst, and we were very pleased to see many, many positives.
Right after you are matched, the caseworker gives you a little more information that was not shared before matching, usually about serious issues or potential problems (which might prevent a family from wanting to continue with the adoption). We learned of a few things as we waited on the detailed files to arrive that seemed a little disconnected. BUT, we knew that whatever was in their files – God was bigger! God never looks at us and says you are too (fill in the blank) for me to love you, and we weren’t going to say that to these kids because of something from their past that was not ultimately their fault.
We were pleasantly surprised at how resilient these kids had been to some serious trauma they should have never had to experience. They do have some things to work on (as do ALL kids – biological or not), but they’ve done exceptionally well in school, love God, and have shown great gains during their time in foster care. Reading their file helped us to understand their story fully and make sense of some disconnected information given to us in the waiting. We feel a great deal of compassion and empathy for them. It is almost like we were grieving for them as we read page after page of their life history. It is devastating that children should have to endure such challenges as they have, but the good news is that Jesus brings us HOPE and HEALING! He’s already started a good work in those precious kids, and HE WILL continue it until the day of completion!
We feel blessed to be given the opportunity to open our home and family to these kids and share a new journey with them as a forever family. We hope to provide a nurturing environment which will allow them an opportunity to experience God’s healing and have a fresh start at family.
After we read the case file through and agreed to continue with the adoption process, a “presentation staffing” was scheduled. It nearly took an act of congress (or maybe the delay was because of congress), but we finally had the Presentation Staffing meeting. We certainly had to trust in God’s timing to coordinate schedules of everyone involved. The meeting was for the kids caregivers and agents to share any more recent updates or information about the kids with us and our agents. The meeting went well. It was short since the caregivers were busy with sick kiddos at home and picking up the other kids from school. We were excited to hear such positive things and the growth they’ve had while at their foster care placement. They seemed like great kids, and we couldn’t wait to meet them.
This meeting was the last step before getting to set up a face to face meeting with the kids. Since they are several hours away, we prepared an extended hotel stay. Normally when matched children live closer, play dates or visitation meeting with CPS are set up several days apart, but in our case, we needed to plan to stay for the week and visit with them daily after school. If our visits go well we could bring them home for a weekend visit to our house. Following successful visits, CPS will meet with everyone and give their approval for placement in our home.
We’re getting so close! You truly can’t receive a better Christmas gift than to bring children into your family.