I have always known that adoption would be part of my story, so it was no surprise that over a decade ago when I met my future husband, he said it was on his life-list too.
We married in 2006, and after a few years of thinking our dog was quite the responsibility, I gave birth to three boys in less than four years. They’re six, four, and two at the moment. I don’t think I have to tell you about the mess, the noise, or the goofball factor at our house. We are in the THICK of it.
Then, this past fall, I started feeling it. The nudge. The stir. The don’t-forget-that-adoption-dream calling. One night over a foot rub and a Fallon rerun, I shared with my husband that a whole lot of winds had been nudging me in the adoption direction. He replied with a solid me too.
Three month’s time and a couple hundred pages of paperwork brings us right up to today — home visit day at the Harrison house.
This also translates to kid interview day. As in, my kids are going to be questioned about me. About us. About our parenting. Our lifestyle. Our habits. About what it’s like to be a Harrison.
What kind of warped job interview is this?
Perhaps even more twisted is that we’ve been prepping them to tell the TRUTH.
I imagine this might unfold like one of those dreams in which a bizarre scenario transpires before your eyes, but when you try to shout to those involved, you simply have no voice.
Or maybe it will be more like a naked-in-the-school lunchroom scenario?
Heaven, help me.
What if my kids get silly-nervous and answer every question with their most favorite words: toot, swirly, and whoopee cushion?
What if they tell the adoption worker about the time I was ragingly pregnant with number three, and I stepped on a sharp toy, chucked a rolled-up magazine at the wall, then collapsed on the bed for a seismic cry?
What is our adoption worker going to think about my clean-but-not-folded laundry mountain, or the rust stain in the tub, or my oldest son’s bedroom that desperately needs touch-up paint? (Wait, isn’t there still a mini Christmas tree in his room?)
What kind of placement are we?
Alright, joking aside, it IS nerve-wracking to be sized-up on our parenting habits and our children’s behaviors and the condition of our home – to know we’re under scrutiny. But doesn’t it seem that many good things in life require us to check our egos and endure some discomfort? To get moving, get real, and get out of the way?
Yes, we know this is a RIDE we are embarking on. In some ways, I feel like I just stepped blindfolded onto a rollercoaster and threw my hands in the air (hypothetically speaking of course, ‘cause y’all know I don’t do rollercoasters).
We know it’s going to be scary-exciting. We know it will be hard work. That it will change our family dynamic. That there are no guarantees.
We know we’re going to be stretched.
But we also know these words from Luke to be true:
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
– Luke 12:48 (Holy Bible – NIV)
Friends, I have no idea how this home visit is gonna go down, or what goofy things my kids might say to embarrass me. I don’t know how this whole foster-adoption roadmap is going to unfold. Heck, I don’t know if a map even exists.
What I do know is there’s beauty in vulnerability – in getting in the passenger seat and just trusting. . .
Trusting that there is a child out there who has been ordained for this family — that I am the mother he or she needs, and my husband the father.
Trusting that our flawed but dogged marriage will continue to serve as a stable foundation for a growing family, and our bright, wild sons will be joyful and compassionate brothers
That somehow, we will find our future child — or our future child will find us.
I trust. And I pray.
I pray that our child will be protected from harm, and that comfort will find his or her birth family. That we will learn how to care for yet another human being with layers and complexities.
I pray that our modest home will be room enough for another big love. That the bounty on our table will be abundant.
Most of all, I pray that our family’s language of love will be understood by the one who joins our messy, spirited tribe and learns to call us, one day, home.
*Featured image via Canva