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THE RISK… the relief… {Heuvel Family Update}

5/09/13

THE RISK… This whole process of foster adoption has been refining. More refining than I ever had imagined. The emotions have been so hard to articulate let alone communicate. It has been a process that I have been working so hard to be surrendered to. Most days have battled between hopeful and intensely frustrated… some days feeling defeated. Keagan’s case has been so different from Jax’s. When Jax came home he was placed with us as a concurrent placement… and his case was being transferred to adoptions… his case was very promising and there was significantly less risk.

So when we made the decision to bring Keagan home we knew that we were literally starting from the very … very… very… beginning of the process. It was so fresh that there had been no court decisions about anything… The RISK was huge. In the beginning I kept telling myself we would deal with the decisions as they came but that for the time we would love on him as our own. We still get the question of “Does that mean you could loose them? Could they go back?” And We had said from the beginning well before even Jax came home that even if our home was used as a safe place for however long we had them… we would love them with all we had and that we would trust that our home was used for just the right reason at just the right time even if we never understood why. I will tell you… honestly those words battled in my head early this week. I struggled to trust the Lord in what he is doing in and through our family. The trouble with desiring to love Keagan as our own… is that that is exactly what we have done… We have fallen in love with him. Over the top in LOVE and the thought that he could be on his way to reunification gripped my heart.We knew it was possible… we knew that was the risk and we made the decision to love him anyway.

Keagan had a hearing this week where the judge decided whether birth mom would be given a plan to reunify with him or whether his case would be transferred straight to adoptions. In the days leading up to the hearing I struggled with a fear like I have never felt before. A fear that we could loose him. Even worse than the fear of us loosing him was the fear of not being able to protect him… what life could be like for him.

Yesterday the call came through. When I saw his social worker’s name show up on caller ID… I couldn’t answer fast enough. I could hear it in her voice… but I still needed her to tell me. It was like I could breathe again… Like the massive amount of weights were lifted off of my shoulders…

She said that the judge had decided to bypass services and move his case to adoptions. I could hardly speak I was full of tears… tears of relief. It wasn’t excitement… it wasn’t really even joyous… it was a refining relief. It is still painful on some level. The reality is still that there will be loss for Keagan. The loss of a relationship with a birthparent and it seriously breaks my heart and I know that in their future we will have to be prepared to have some big adult conversations with them but for now… there is RELIEF.

For now we keep him and love him like crazy.

There is still a long road ahead of us before things become official for both boys. The next step for both boys is to terminate parental rights and Jax’s court date is later this month and Keagan’s was just set for late summer. The process itself has been more tiring that we expected. We really hadn’t felt any change or positive movement forward in either case… since last August when Jax came home. So I feel like this decision was HUGE for us! It gave us such encouragement to have confirmation of where we are headed. For now, until rights are terminated visits will continue which has proven to be the hardest part possible. But it is heartening to know that the end is coming closer…

I found this chart that they shared with us during our initial foster parent training. I really like charts, diagrams, and lists… I like to know where we are and where we are headed. I feel like it is super helpful to give a better picture of where we have been. I am constantly walking the balance of transparency and protection of privacy for our family. But we work hard to share information that will hopefully keep our family and friends connected with our family in prayer and also we hope that it is helpful to other families who are where we are or considering the incredible journey of foster adoption. We know there is lots… LOTS of confusing information with the different hearings and such and we love to privately answer general questions about the process or our experience too. This whole process is simply something that you can not to alone! For more information about getting involved in adoption small groups Click here: Love All Our KidsDiagram from Center For Families, Children & the Courts : Caregivers and the CourtsWe have had some hard… hard days with this process… And moments like these below keep our hearts happy… We snuggle a little longer, hug a little more, and giggle lots! These sweet faces… the ones we can share and the ones that we can’t are what make our days worth it… 

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  1. Heriberto Eddie Carrillo says:

    Hi Kori and Jared, My name is Eddie and my wife Estela and I were directed to your blog by our great friend Hilary Seymour. Wow, what a find. We are in pretty much the EXACT POSITION you are. We have two foster children, Emilio, who’s rights have been terminated and just waiting for adoption date (fairly easy case) and Erick, who’s services were just terminated last month but who we had for 14 months before reunifing with his dad, only to return to us in March after being away 8 months. I know sounds crazy but we know EXACTLY what you are going through. I know about the “so you still can lose them” and “you are much braver than I would ever be” sentiments by well-meaning friends and family. Now to see a couple that is going through the same thing doesn’t make me feel better, it makes me feel normal if you know what I mean. May God bless you in this continued journey. Each day with our kids is a blessing from him.

  2. Grace says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart in words! What a gift that will be later for the boys to reflect on. Your love in action is an amazing example to all you encounter!!! The Lord will give you exactly what you need each step of the way….how great He is!! The boys have an amazing mommy, daddy, brother and sister and Father 🙂

  3. Suzanne Yarberry says:

    Kori Heuvel, I was a CPS FR worker for 12 years with Stanisluas…my heart aches for you as I read your journey. I know it is a heart wrenching one but one will worth the journey whatever the end result. You and your husband are amazing parents and I am so thankful you are sharing your journey with others. It is so needed. There is just not enough support for foster-adopt families. Praying for all of you in your quest to complete your family. luv, Suzanne Yarberry.

  4. Stephanie Clayton Burrage says:

    I love following your story. Reading the journey of the boys reminds me so much of when I adopted my sons – the bitter sweet news of parental termination is so real. On one hand you want to party like there is no tomorrow yet your heart breaks for the birth family. God bless your precious family.

  5. Carissa Stewart says:

    ♥ this, thank you for your transparency, and I will be praying the armor of God over each member of your family. (((hugs)))

  6. Val Coenen says:

    Oh, Kori how emotional, I have tears in my eyes. You are such a “loving person. People talk about making a differnece but you and Jared DO IT. WHat you are willing to do for those boys! Your heart is wide open, I will pray extra hard for you and Jared to have God give you the wisdom and guidance but after reading your blog, he has already blessed you. Love you both, Aunt Val.

  7. Eryn Crawford Kesler says:

    You know this post gets me right in the heart….tears in my eyes, even though I already knew all of it! LOL. My heart is in this with you, sweet friend. I love you so much!

  8. Cheryl Trumbly says:

    Love you both. So proud of you

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