You know those days when you get a phone call or a message, vague enough to leave you wondering, waiting for the caller to respond. Yesterday a social worker left a message on my husband’s cell phone, asking one of us to return her call regarding a child we had for several months last year. He thought nothing of it, but my mind started racing. I left her a message and was left waiting, wondering.
This morning she returned my call and asked us to consider taking long-term placement of a sweet 12 year old girl we previously had in our home. My heart stopped. I had considered her asking us, but wasn’t prepared for my reaction when she actually did.
My instant reactions are ones of fear, selfishness, unknowing. This would change our family forever. I worry about hormones and mental stability, knowing history in her family. I worry about the friends we live in community who have two adoptions blowing up right now and a child in a psychiatric long-term facility and the incredible financial stress that would come with that. I worry about our sweet girl; how would she deal with being the only dark-skinned beauty in our family. The questions that would constantly be asked. Is she yours? Really? And the insecurity that she would inevitably deal with. I worry she would be in our home for a year and we’d decide there is no possible way we could go through with adoption and her heart would be broken beyond repair; yet another abandonment. I worry about my age; am I too young to parent a daughter I would have to have birthed at 12 years old? I worry that if we don’t take her, who will give her a better story? Is it even possible for her to break the cycle of poverty and abuse? I worry she won’t be able to be truthful and deal with the hurt of her past, the sins that have been committed against her. And if she does deal with it, will I be able to help her? I worry about how much Mark will be involved and if he’ll look to me to do most of the parenting; is that a bad thing? How will he relate to a 12 year old girl becoming his daughter? How will our little kids adapt? I know she loves them, but will she be able to be a good big sister? I worry I don’t know the right expectations to have of a 12 year old and am I prepared to guide her through the ways of being a godly woman?
Yet I know, God has surrounded our family with his will and his love and as I pray, he surrounds me with his peace. In some ways I feel like we can’t say no, but I don’t want to say yes out of guilt or pressure, but out of obedience, if the Lord is willing this for our family. We couldn’t be more blessed with a church family and others who are a part of our lives, many walking through adoption and raising tweens, many 12 year old girls actually.
What is the Lord preparing for us? Am I willing to walk into it? Can we really do this? God is bigger than me. Than us. Than our sweet girl. Than the sin and destruction in our world.
So now we wait. We talk. We pray. A decision like this can’t be made in one day and by ourselves. Let us look to you and to the godly others that support us and live in community with us. But more than anything, may we hear from you, Lord.
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we may forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.