I remember a night early on in our foster- adoption process long before we were even matched with our sweet Jax, it was the night I stayed up late reading the foster care rule book. I remember being saddened by some of the things that were in there as rules for foster families…
Things like –
“you have to hold a baby while feeding it a bottle until they are 7 months old”
“a child can not have a bed in the hallway or other living space”
“you must feed the foster children the same food that is prepared for the whole family” – as if there are people who will offer food to foster kiddos that is lesser in quality.
These crazy rules break my heart. They break my heart because they are there for a reason… most likely because someone before us broke them. The thought of someone breaking rules like these really grieved my heart. It was from the start of reading the rule book that I started journaling and praying through each part of this process. I wanted to make the choice to really process my heart and thoughts through this journey. Process the the frustration, process the grief, process the anger, process the joy and make sure that we weren’t just going through the motions ( or E-motions 🙂
So going back to that night early on where I was learning our handy dandy rule book… I was hit with a waive of grief for a birth mom that we didn’t even know yet. Grief in knowing that as we were joyfully growing our family… regardless of the situation that brought our child into foster care… there was a momma who was looking her baby.
Months later I was talking with a friend who had taken the risk of foster adoption … he said something that stuck with me and he said ” we recognized that our best day was her worst day”
That day for us was last Thursday… And this is just not how I expected to feel.
I love this quote that my sweet friend sent me last week.
For those of you were are new to foster adoption… or people like me who are easily confused by the process of foster adoption 🙂 (Here’s a quick recap- After a child is removed there is hearing to determine whether reunification will happen or whether they will look for an adoptive home. At this point they can “terminate services” which means they can terminate the plan for the child to reunify with birth parent. The next big court day is the .26 hearing which is where the judge makes a decision on parental rights. There is still a whole lot of work and 6 month reviews and all sorts of court stuff before, during and after those two but those are the major ones) So for us… our .26 hearing was last week and the judge decided to terminate parental rights for Jax. And yes absolutely… the first moment was full of relief… full of excitement… full of the thoughts of moving forward for the future of our family. But to see the look and tears in her eyes broke my heart. It absolutely did. It took me hours to even share our news on Facebook. And we were so thankful for every single comment of excitement that our friends shared but I couldn’t help grieve for her all over again.
I feel like every week he changes so much! And Jared and I talk all the time about how we can still see walls of protection come down. When he came home in August he had this furrowed brow and there is just a light in his eyes that has come back. And with just having tubes put in he is starting to add more and more words… starting with Momma (and Dada) which we are pretty stinking excited about! And my absolute favorite is that he just started signing back “I love you”… He is keeping us on our toes… because he never stops and is usually climbing to the top of whatever he can. He adores his brothers and sister… and is still covering Keags in kisses. He also waves and says hello to every person we pass by.
I keep saying that adoption is such a beautiful heartache. And it is every step of the way. We are excited to move forward. Jax will have a good bye visit and then we wait 90 days. There is a window of 90 days in case of appeal and then at that point we will be weeks away from finalizing his adoption. Still no absolute timeline but we are for sure getting closer to being able to share these cute faces. Can’t wait to have them officially Heuvels and we are looking forward to sharing more with you as we move forward. Thank you again… to all of our family and friends who have supported us… encouraged us… challenged us… loved on us… cried with us… and even just helped us with play time, meals, and laundry 🙂 We couldn’t walk this road alone!
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Love you all so much- it is a beautiful heartache. Perfectly described:) love & hugs
I remember going through this. What breaks your heart also are knowing the questions that your babies will have one day regarding their birth parents. Adoption is a journey of mixed emotions.