I never thought to adopt, prior to taking a foster parenting class with my wife. I think it was just a few of the classes in that we both felt moved to foster/adopt. That is, to foster parent a child(children) with the intention of eventually adopting them when their parental rights were “severed,” and they were open to be adopted. We found out during the class how many kids were “in the system” in AZ, and it was mind-blowing and heartbreaking all at the same time–it was upward of 4k then. I don’t know what it is now.
Since the completion of our class and the receipt of our licenses to foster, we came across the profile of a young man named Jimmy (I don’t know what the rules are about using real names, so I am changing it here). The profile did not explain anything of consequence regarding Jimmy’s earlier life, but it had a brief description and a small photo. I can’t speak for my wife, but there was something about that tiny photo and the brief description therein that moved me incredibly. I thought about how someone could condense my life into a small thumbnail on an Excel sheet, or what my life would look like if they did.
What does a life look like isolated into something like a sentence fragment? I don’t know. Jimmy has had his challenges, and like anyone else in his situation, did not deserve them. I can’t speak for everyone, but I think that in many cases–maybe close to all of them sometimes–nobody deserves the stuff that happens in their childhoods.
Today I was thinking about the adoption experiences of some of the people I know here, and how extraordinary those people ended up being, and the wonderful things they have brought to my life–there are several people like that, and I love them, friends and family alike. I want my wife and I to help someone have an extraordinary life. For my part (and probably my wife’s, too), I plan to do that by explaining to little J that he might not have chosen his life to be the way it was. He might not have chosen us. We chose him, though. We want him to know he’s wanted, and loved, and we will work through what comes as a family.
I don’t know–I can’t figure it all out today. I know it will be a challenge, and we will need to pray without ceasing and increase our patience and stamina a hundredfold. Three boys, man. That’s no joke. I need to talk to a couple of my friends for advice. All of that said, I am so glad that God has chosen to bless our family in that way.