I confess that I've been keeping a significant secret from my blog readers for about 3 months. It's been difficult to do but the day has finally come where I get to tell my secret. God willing, we are about to become a family of 5!
Several years ago Rob and I found ourselves hoping to give a forever family to an older child in need of a family. As I understand it, once a child reaches the age of 5 it is hard to find an adoptive family for them. Once a child reaches the age of 11 it is even more difficult to find a home for a child and once they reach their teen years it's nearly impossible. One statistic that I saw is that the average (older) child spends 60 months waiting to be adopted. That's 5 years! Many age out of the system and are left with no family support once they turn 18.
Anyway, God laid on our heart many years ago that perhaps we would be able to make a difference in the life of a child through adoption. I kind of thought it would be a little bit later in life but it appears God has other plans!
Three months ago we decided together that God was asking us to have another child. Our focus quickly turned toward adoption and we settled on a girl somewhere between the ages of 8 and 16.
We spent the following months doing loads of paper-work, having interviews and doctors appointments, fixing up our house and talking and talking and talking in preparation for our future daughter. As of mid-August we are officially certified in the state of Oregon to be foster and/or adoptive parents!
During this time there have been a select group of kids' profiles that we've had access to (you have to wait until you're certified to see most of them), and there has been one young lady that really stood out to us. We've spent every day this summer checking to see if she was still available, and finally got in touch with her case worker once our certification was complete.
I spoke with an intermediary case worker last week. She handles state-to-state adoptions since the child does not live in Oregon. This particular case worker gave us more specific details about the child and then forwarded us along to her actual case-worker once we affirmed our interest in her. After months of anxiously waiting, I finally got to speak with her actual case-worker yesterday!
It appears that they will likely be taking our family to the next stage of this process (they are still waiting to hear from one other family also), and we could hear in as little as 3 weeks whether or not we will be selected as her permanent family!
If we are chosen (which is still an if, so please keep that in mind!), a transition plan will be set in place where we visit and have frequent phone contacts until it has been determined that it's time for her to come live with us permanently. Once she has been placed with us it takes 6 months to 1 year until the adoption is final.
Please understand that we cannot be forthcoming with many details about her and her life up to this point, as she is 15 and we very much want to respect her privacy. Also, there certainly are many things that could happen between now and then could affect our future and hers. We are still in the early stages!
This is where you come in. We would like to solicit your prayers for our family and for this particular young lady. Pray that she will quickly be placed in a family that will be the perfect fit for her, that God's will is done in her life and in our family. Pray that if it's our family that the process will move quickly and that the transition will be an easy one.
Also, this seems kind of trivial in light of the situation, but we're also praying for two gently-used (very clean, yet very cheap) top mattresses. She will have her own room but we decided to go with bunk beds. We have the beds but we don't have mattresses yet. Ideally, we need to have these in the next two weeks so we can include a picture of her room in a scrapbook that we will send her that introduces her to our family.
Anyway, that's our news. I'll be sure to keep you updated. Please, please, please pray with us over the next couple of months regarding this. We are anxiously awaiting the unfolding of God's plan for our family!