November is National Adoption Month. Every year, our Children's Court opens on a Saturday to finalize as many adoptions as possible to bring awareness to the need for foster and adoptive parents in the United States. Right now, there are over 500,000 kids in foster care in the U.S. Some of those kids will be reunited with their biological parents but others will need adoptive families. In the United States, there are currently 129,000 children in foster care waiting for adoptive families. In New Mexico, we currently have 350ish kids waiting for forever families. Today, we finalized 5 adoptions through our agency and 42 adoptions in the county. They are all incredibly important and reason to celebrate but one was especially close to my heart.
One was a preteen who I have been working with for about a year and half. In that time, she was devastated by saying goodbye to her biological mother, disappointed by a family member who turned out to be an inappropriate placement option for her, felt rejected by an adoptive family who had become pregnant after her placement with them and confused by two chaotic short term fostercare placements. This child is not easy but she is amazing. She can be self-centered and controlling. She is also bright, determined, caring and funny.
Earlier this summer, I was doing the bible study, "No Other Gods" by Kelli Minter with some wonderful friends. Here is an excerpt from my notes from August 14th... "I've come to realize that I have made my work a god in my life. I sometimes feel like if I don't fix something, it will stay broken. If I don't make things happen the way they should, everything will go awry. I live under an amount of stress that I don't think God wants in my life. I finally understand that when I go overboard fixing things for people, I may be getting in the way of God's plan for them. He is probably teaching them (and me) something in the struggle. This may not make sense to you but it is HUGE for me. In the meantime, I have a client, we'll call her, Ann. She is 12. Her mother made a voluntary adoption plan for her earlier this year and I placed her with a family. This family became pregnant immediately after the placement and chose not to continue with the adoption. This broke Ann's heart and created a sense of responsibility in me that was overwhelming. I felt like I was the only one that could/would figure things out for her. I couldn't sleep, I was always worried about her. I received several inquiries from families who were interested but none of them seemed right. For the last several months I've been reading a blog I found online written by a mom with a large family. I found her blog this spring when I was searching for information for a client. I was so interested on how in the world this family was thriving and loving and living. We'll call them "the Smith family". During this time, because of this study, I'm slowly realizing the depth of my misperceptions regarding allowing work to be a false god in my life (according to the bible, an idol is something other than God that we set our hearts on , that motivates us, that masters and rules us, or that we trust, fear or serve).
One morning, I was sitting outside in the backyard doing my biblestudy before work and realized the damage of my selfishness and attempt to control. I cried out to the Lord to take this situation. I admitted that He is the only one who knows where this little girl needs to be. I am powerless. I do not know what's best for her. I immediately felt a sense of peace. It was like the Lord was saying to me, "Megan, I've just been waiting for you to get here". As I was getting ready for work, I thought, I wish a family like "the Smiths" would send their profile. They seemed to really get what older kids need. They seemed to be the type of family that would stick it out no matter what. Later that day, I read "the Smiths" blog and there was a post about the fact that they had moved around the kids' rooms and there was an empty bed in one of the rooms and that if they ever adopted again, it would need to be a teenage girl. I about fell out of my chair. I literally wept. I knew in my heart I had to email them and just ask. Would they be interested? I sent an email that evening and by the next morning, they'd written back and said they were shocked, considering it and praying about it. Hope! I felt like I was going to sing. I just kept praising God. God was moving in ways that I could not even have imagined. After a few days, the Smiths said they felt that God wanted Ann to be in their home and they were interested in proceeding. I'm telling you, I couldn't stop praising the One who knew exactly where Ann needed to be. Walls I worried would be insurmountable were crumbling. I am shocked, humbled, amazed and so incredibly blessed to be witnessing the miracle the Lord is creating for Ann. Please join me in thanking God and asking for his peace, wisdom and grace. Please pray that Ann will be able to open her heart and be vulnerable. She is an incredible kid who has had so much disappointment in her life. Please pray that I can step back and observe the mighty hand of Ann's true Father."
Today we finalized "Ann's" adoption by the "Smith" family. God is good. She is home.