Well, we finally have something to update!
We recently felt like we had come to a fork in the road with our adoption options: it has become increasingly clear that adopting out of DHS or the Cherokee nation is not going to happen; by the time their children are legally free to be adopted, they're much older than what we feel would fit with our family right now, with Gentry just being 3. So we pretty much had one road of traditional foster care with the hope of adopting or private adoption.
I really thought foster care was the direction we were heading; we had previously discussed private adoption, and the cost is just overwhelming. But we each took a day to pray and think about it, and I just realized that my heart/mind/soul are not in the right place for foster care. Every caseworker I've talked to has made that very clear- we shouldn't foster unless our mindset is 100% that we want reunification for the child. I could say those words but I would not mean it in my heart. I don't want reunification, I want them to be a part of our family, forever. We still feel like foster care will have a place in our lives but for some reason I have this strong desire for Gentry to have a permanent sibling before we start having kids in and out of our home. I think it would help her deal with all of the unknowns of foster care.
So with foster care off the table for now that just leaves private adoption. And all of the sudden we just stopped fighting the fear of money and accepted the idea. And it has been such a huge weight lifted ever since! I had prepared myself for foster care but every time I thought about it I felt apprehensive and pretty much terrified. Now I feel completely at peace and so excited, which I'm taking as a good sign. Things have just been falling into place since that decision. We've turned in our application with Catholic Charities and received our massive packet of papers to turn in. Third time to be fingerprinted, background checked, home studied, references, 16 page autobiography, etc. But they say the third time's the charm! Catholic Charities is a local mission that provides crises pregnancy services in Tulsa and we actually met with them over the summer and loved everything we heard, but at that time the cost was still too daunting so we didn't pursue anything more. I just remember how calm and peaceful the woman was we spoke with, and after going over all the details and "what ifs" she basically said, 'but none of that really matters, God is in control of all of this and He knows which family each child will go to'. It was such a wonderful reminder that my God is bigger than all of this; He's bigger than my fears, our shortcomings, the broken child-welfare system and any situations that may arise working with a birthmom. The idea of even interacting with a birthmom scared me to death before but now I'm really excited & praying for her daily. I can't wait to meet her and hear her story and share ours. I'm praying for a great relationship with her.
Adoptions at CC range between $10,000 and $25,000 which takes my breath away a little even when I type it. But we just feel sure that God is going to provide, and that somehow the money will be there, as needed, each step of the way. The majority of the cost starts once we are matched with a birthmom. We're excited to start some fundraisers very soon! As always, we could never thank all of our family and friends enough for supporting and praying us through this journey.
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life" | Psalm 143:8
Sweet girl mailing off our application!