Secondly… when we first started the process… there were so many people who immediately want to tell you the horror stories and speak yuckiness about what “could” happen and I feel like it is so important for the good stories… the stories of healing… the stories of God’s faithfulness to be shared so that others can be encouraged and challenged and open up the adoption conversation for more families.
We have been sharing some incredible stories lately… I seriously can’t get over them! And every time… without fail when I add a story to our blog I am full of tears and emotion. This process is one that is so closely connected to the heart that it is a constant battle for balance… the balance between the reality of the situation and the emotions of the day! If I am being truly… truly honest… it is so hard for me to write about our personal adoption stories right now. I took a little look back at how many times I have blogged about our own story and whelp… pretty much less than the fingers I have on one hand since Jax came home. I work so hard in life at trying to be positive… and optimistic… and inspiring with my words and actions and most days right now are a fierce internal battle to cling to the good things and hide truth away in my heart. This process is challenging everything inside of me… challenging everything that I thought I was made of … everything that I believe… and most days it easier to not be so vulnerable with that struggle.
Our Little Update: Jax and Keagan are settling on in! And just in case you are wondering why being a photographer I can’t seem to get my composition quite right with these photos… because they are still technically dependents of the state we get to protect their cute little faces in photos that are public. I can’t stinking wait until we can share their smiles!!! Jax came home in August when he was 7 months old and placed with us as a concurrent foster adoption placement (which meant that if reunifications with birth parent wasn’t possible we were the “concurrent” plan for adoption) And things have been slowly moving along. There was a set back in January… paperwork wasn’t quite filled out correctly which set us back another 3 months… but we just got word that our next court date should be in April where they will be requesting for termination of rights. Most likely that will be contested which would allow another month or so for a hearing before rights would be officially terminated. Until rights are terminated he will continue having visits with birth mom. Social workers affirm us as much as they can that for Jax it is just waiting out the “process” and moving through all of the legal steps before us. And that it’s not really a matter of whether or not we will get to adopt him but more of a matter of when. So we wait…
All the while loving on Jax… He has changed so much since that first day when we brought him home. I can still picture his scrunched eye brows and the concern in his eyes that cut straight to the heart. It was hard knowing that in his little life especially being sooo young and little that he had experienced so much unknown and insecurity. Watching his demeanor change is one of those things that makes the hard days easier. Watching him explore the world around him. When he first came home at 7 months he could barely roll over… so to watch him be on the move… and on the verge of walking makes me really proud. I treasure his smile and his little excited shriek when he is really having fun. There is a spark in his eye that we didn’t get to see at first. We are working daily on routines… and teaching him that we are worthy of trust and love… and daily reminding him that this is home and that he is safe. We have some big pictures up in the boys room and he just recently learned how to point to each one as we call them out by name… and his face lights up when we say “Jack-Jack” and he points to himself. I feel like he knows he is loved. I long for the day where he IS officially a Heuvel…
Our sweet… sweet Keagan!! Keagan was our surprise! We got the call on New Years Eve that birth mom had had another baby and that Children’s services was going to remove him as well and that they were looking for a placement for him. Jax and Keagan are one year and one day a part… so lil’ crazy but we loved the idea of keeping biological brothers and we have wanted four kiddos when we dreamed about our family… so for us we this was a huge step of faith… having 4 babies 4 and under… but we are in love all over again! It felt like because we had already fallen in love with Jax and Keagan was his brother… Keagan was pretty much love at first sight! His transition into our family felt more smooth. Although Sleep would be a great thing right now… we are desperate for some sleep…
Keagan’s case is significantly different than Jax’s. When Keagan was placed with us it was purely as a foster placement and the unknowns are pretty brutal. I feel like we are loving him with all that we possibly can… loving him as our very own. But There is still a very long court process ahead of us. And because of the status of his case the social workers are harder to touch base … We did find out this week that they are going to request to bypass reunification services and in March we will find out what the court decision is… which would move his case closer towards the possibility of adoption. This news is a bit encouraging for us right now.
(I love this next picture of Rhian and Jax… he got to ride the lil tykes four wheeler for the first time… Oh boy did his face light up!!!)
This past week I read this entry in the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and whoooowweee… did I need to read and reread it! A reminder of where to hide my heart… and surrender my fears, hopes and dreams. I worry lots about our situation… and the week in and week out details… and if you know me at all you know that I’m a little type A… and I like to work hard to make things happen. There really isn’t anything that I can do apart from loving on all 4 of our little loves and move forward with each day. It’s hard that so much of the Foster Adoption Process and system is out of my control… Even though this journey is literally the hardest thing I have ever walked through it is growing our family… and growing our hearts.
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