A friend at the gym asked me the other day, "Signing up for any marathons this year?"
"No", I responded. "Not planning on it."
"Oh, I bet you'll be signing up for another one before you know it! They're addictive and you LOVE to run."
He has a point, I thought. And yes,I would have already signed up for at least one marathon, a few triathlons, and a half ironman, if life wasn't taking a different turn for our family this year.
We're adopting. And after all the hours of training, wisdom of those who have gone before us, and some gentle nudging by the Holy Spirit, we've decided that 2012 needs to be dedicated to our family. We're scraping every activity, commitment, and hobby off of our plates that we can possibly live without. Instead our days will revolve around helping our new son and our biological children adjust to a new life- as a family of 6.
We've chosen to adopt out of the Denver County foster care system. And in our perfect vision for our family, he would be a 2-4 year old male(and my husband is hoping for a boy of African-American ethnicity). But honestly, we won't know until we know until we know......
I've been assured (again and again and....again) that it's going to be hard. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the main priorities of those who train prospective adopting families are:
1) Make sure they know it's not easy.
2) Help them lower their expectations.
3) Tell them it's going to be really hard.
Children who come out of foster-care, orphanages, or any less-than ideal start in life will have experienced trauma. A good rule of thumb is, the amount of time a child spent in a traumatic situation, the same amount of time will be needed to deal with the trauma. Professionals say you can expect the child to be about half the age developmentally as they are physically. So adopting a 4 year old is really like adopting a 2 year old.
But despite all the warnings and the setting aside of things (like races) that are important to me, I am beyond excited for what this next year holds for our family. The kids have been anxiously waiting for "Brother" for the last three years and I think we are all getting more excited as the "gotcha" date moves closer and closer.
So when exactly will Brother become a part of our family? That is a question that only God can answer, but my best guess is sometime this spring. We still have to do the homestudy, but we were told by Denver County that we should expect to be certified in 6-8 weeks.
The bunk beds are up and now we are all just waiting.......