The day we went to meet the kids we would be adopting was a day of full emotion. I gave the eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral earlier that morning, and then we were off to Amarillo to meet them for the very first time. Tears of sadness and joy! I pinned a post from Pinterest when we first started the adoption process that said, “We’re in love with children we haven’t even met yet!” We now know what that writer meant. We may not have been pregnant, but this journey has sure had its share of emotional labor. It’s hard to believe and imagine unless you walk in those shoes. We learned about them in July and finally were meeting them in December.
We walked into the CPS waiting room, and after signing in, the receptionist said, “She’s having a hard time containing herself, huh?!” I have never been so anxious in my life. My heart was pounding out of my chest. On the way over, Matt mentioned that he would probably cry when we met them. I told him try not to cry but to be excited. Then… what do I do… I sat in the waiting room chair and my eyes filled with tears. He laughed so hard at me. Of course, that’s the way things work out.
The kids adoption caseworker took us to a conference room and asked us if we had any questions before bringing the kids in. She brought in the kids, and we hugged them. They were just as precious as we imagined they would be. The kids asked us some questions they had prepared, and we shared more about our life and family with them. I brought pictures of their bedroom furniture we recently bought and set up in their rooms, and they really enjoyed seeing the pictures of where they would be living. The more we talked, the more they opened up to us. It was a little awkward at first, but we tried to show our excitement and keep the conversation going. The children’s caseworker and CASA advocate was there during the meeting, and they also helped the kids with conversation at times. We shared with them again our adoption story and how God has led us to their profile on a day when we were down and discouraged. We just knew they were meant for us, and that God had good plans for us as a family. The more he talked, the more we saw how similar he is to Matt. He asked about paintball, hunting, “really nice cars” and outdoor activities which is all right up Matt’s alley. Their personalities are also very similar. They are both thinkers and engineers at heart. They love building things, and he can’t wait to work with power tools. She is just as bubbly and outgoing as we heard about. She “wanted to make a presentation” to us by reading aloud her scripture cards. She is also a lot like me – creative, a list maker (lol), and a problem solver. She LOVES horses. When asking her about other things she liked, she said “um… horses.” She is super sweet.
We brought them each a small gift of a journal, pen, and magnetic bookmarks which we gave them toward the end of the meeting. We shared that the journal would be to write down any questions or thoughts throughout this journey as well as to write down prayers to God and Bible study notes as they felt led. Journaling is an important part of our lives, and we thought we would start out sharing this with them as well – especially since they already love the Lord.
After our meeting, we all went out to dinner together (including the caseworker). The kids rode with us in our car. They asked to pray before we traveled and to turn up the Christian radio station. We talked about Christian music artists that we both love and different stores we passed along the way. We went to a really cool hibachi restaurant they recommended which had all the tables set up inside a mock ship. There was a moat around the boat and rain showers would come down from the ceiling every 15 minutes or so. The food was excellent, and we had some great conversation. Just in case you didn’t know and are ever considering adopting from foster care – you are NOT allowed to pay for the caseworker’s meal. In fact, they are not allowed to receive anything from you – including homemade goods, bottled water at your house, not anything! But, we did pay for the children’s meals. We took a few pictures at the restaurant to remember this occasion. Our caseworker recommended taking lots of pictures during our pre-placement visits and making a small album for them to keep.
One surprising thing we learned was that the kids would be able to stay with us all weekend – in our hotel room (This was due to special circumstances at their current foster placement. This is definitely not typical). We would pick them up from their schools on Friday, and they would stay until we returned them to school on Monday morning. We would have the whole weekend to spend time together and bond. We were really excited, except for one problem… we booked a king bed hotel room since we didn’t think the kids would be allowed to come back to the hotel with us. So, last night we asked the front desk what we might be able to do. The issues were that they had NO open rooms with 2 queen beds, and we booked online with a special discount code. The front desk lady, Pam, was really nice to us but wasn’t sure if there was anything she could do to change the rate or even find us a room. She suggested we contact the hotel chain number and see if they would be able to honor the rate we booked at and move us to another room – if they could find an opening. She also offered to give us a roll-away bed for our king room which would be tight. She left a note for the day manager as well. I was going to work on figuring something out and look up other rooms and rates last night, but the internet wasn’t working very well. We ended up just praying and heading to bed. When we woke up the next morning, there was a note under our door. It stated that there was a room with 2 queens and a pullout couch available at no extra charge if we would like to switch. What a blessing!!! God is so faithful! We didn’t have to stress, make phone calls, or beg and plead our case – God worked it all out for us. Plus, our new room was so big and nice – perfect for our needs that weekend!
God had his hand on us and this entire process. We had many, many people praying for us, and we are super appreciative for everyone’s prayers! Adoption is an emotional and exciting journey… plus, we went from “just us” to parents instantly, overnight!
LET THE ADOPTION ADVENTURE BEGIN!!