Today I am feeling a little bit nostalgic.  I've spent some time reflecting on this journey and how I got to where I am today.  How God has brought me to this point in my life with these two boys and how He has broken my heart for the orphan.

Before you start to read this know I am an engineer by education and profession.  I like to figure things out.  My professional strength is a "weaver" or someone who joins others with people who can meet their needs.

So...back to me and orphans....

I didn't grow up thinking about how I was going to be a mom one day.  In fact I can remember back to junior high and I don't remember ever thinking about wanting to be married and have kids.  I'm not really sure what I wanted to do.  In fact in many ways I would tell you the feeling remained until well after college.

When I left college I moved to Omaha and started my career...very career focused.  I traveled a lot and didn't give marriage or children much consideration.  I talked about it every now and then with my friends, but just because it seemed like the "next logical step".

There are certain things I can point to in my memory which make me know this is the journey God has for me.

In 2004 or 2005 I was going to another church here in Omaha.  I have a distinct picture in my head of a recruiting table being set-up there for Royal Family Kids Camp.  I can see the logo as clear as day.  I didn't go and talk to them.  I know now it had to have been M and J and it had to have been year one or two of camp.  The other thing I know now is God must of still had some work to do in me.

In the summer of 2005 I changed jobs and started working at another firm here in Omaha.  At the same time I started seeing stories...lots of stories...about single women adopting baby girls from China.  I was traveling a lot less now and there was a little tug on my heart.  That fall I talked to Middle Sister about it and she was supportive.  I questioned whether Grandma and Grandpa would be.  I can distinctly hear her response in my head, "Whether they agree with you or not they are your parents and it is their job to support you.  If they don't agree with you it will be harder for them, but you know they will still give it their all."  She also told me she had a good friend who was nearing the end of the same process and the next time I came to visit maybe I could chat with her.  I did meet with her friend and when I left the meeting in November I was pretty excited and wanted to start the process at the start of the year.  God had different plans.

As soon as I was gathering information on agencies China closed adoptions to single women.  I was a little bit sad, but not devastated.

I kept working and going along in life when I was given a summer intern to mentor.  T was kind of a shy guy.  We developed a friendship of sorts and would often times go to lunch together.  One day while we were at lunch we got on the topic of church.  I hadn't been going for a while and was quasi-looking.  T suggested I go with him and his family the following Sunday.  I could sit with them.  His mom was the Director of Children's Ministry, but he and his dad would be there for the whole service.

I went to church with T and his family.  I kept going back.  I know now T played a pivotal role in my life.

That first year at church I didn't really get involved.  It was a big place and honestly...I'm really not comfortable meeting new people and doing new things.  It makes me feel sick.  I remember telling Grandma I was just going to go to a women's Bible study for the summer.  It was the summer of 2006.
One of the ladies in the study encouraged me to also start going to the singles group.  I didn't have a lot of friends after all of those years of travel so I gave it a shot.  I told myself if anyone in the group asked me to do ANYTHING in the next six weeks I was going to do it.  Didn't matter what.  I couldn't make a judgment about the group until those six weeks were over.  I sit here today and KNOW wholeheartedly some of the best friends I have had in my life came from that group.  I digress.

It was in the group where I sat through a presentation on Royal Family Kids Camp.  I cried.  I didn't know why.  I didn't have kids and I didn't want kids and I didn't like kids.  NO KIDS.  Yet I got an application to volunteer.

I couldn't decide what to do and waited and waited to apply.  In His perfect timing I ended up applying the day of camp interviews.  Could I come that evening?  YIKES.  What am I doing?

I remember the interview with M and "Aunt" K.  I told them I liked crafts.  I told them I was willing to either go to RFKC or TRAC camp.  I didn't really care.  Remember...I don't like kids.  I only really remember one question from the interview.  M asked me "Are you willing to go where this journey takes your life?".  Naively I said, "Yes".  After all he was talking about camp.  I'm sure God was laughing the entire time.

I went to my first training session not knowing which camp I was going to.  I remember checking in and J telling me, "Oops, didn't we tell you that you are going to both?"

I didn't know ANYONE else going to camp.  I was scared out of my mind.  I got to camp and I lost my heart.  There are kiddos I remember distinctly from that year.  One is a girl, S, who I mentored for four years.  Another boy, D, who I loved and wish I now knew what happened to him, and the boy who became Younger Boy.

I went to camp for two more summers...still unsure about what to do with the feelings about orphans and foster kids.

I started looking on the Heart Gallery.  I was drawn to a boy there and began praying for him.  I prayed for him every day hoping one day he would have a family who loved him forever.  Then one day his picture was gone.  I prayed it meant he had gone to a good home.

In the early fall of 2010 I ran across a blog post which piqued my interest.  This it the post.  Could I do this?  What was this?

I started looking at local foster care agencies.  Church had a seminar on adoption and foster care.  I met KA who went to church and was a foster parent.  I talked to her about her agency.  I looked them up online and sent an inquiry. 

I got a call that day.  Classes were starting the next night.  Did I want to participate?  I enrolled.

I learned a lot in class.  The other foster families were amazing.  The teacher became a friend.

All the while in class I was talking to a friend who was a service coordinator about one of her cases.  About how the boys were really struggling.  I listened intently while I filled out a profile for being a foster parent to boys and girls ages 6 - 10...maybe girls to 13, but definitely not boys.  Again...God laughing.

During the fall I left my job and took about six weeks off while I finished my classes. 

That January I started my new job and still hadn't gotten a placement.  I ended up having to travel out of the country with an expedited passport on 10 days notice.  During that time I didn't have phone service.  I missed three placement calls I would have taken.

Upon arrival home I got a call from my friend the service coordinator.  They were looking for a new home for the two boys she had been talking to me about.  Would I consider it? 

I called my agency.  They looked at their paperwork and said "Are you crazy?  We would never pick these kids for your home."

I took the was Older Boy and Younger Boy.  T was another pivotal person in my life.

Fast forward to camp last summer and the boy I had prayed for from the heart gallery.  He stepped off the bus at camp.  I got to know him and now you know him as Middle Boy.

Where are we going from here?  I don't know, but God does.  In my heart I believe our family isn't complete.  I don't know if I think it is almost complete or there are a number of missing members. 

I think back to discussions with groups about "getting out of the boat" and praying for God to "show you what His will is".  I think about a book I just saw today when I was looking for something else.  The title was "Go and Do".

Hmmm...something to think about.
0 Responses

Post a Comment