“Adoption is when a child grows in the mother’s heart instead of her tummy <3”
First things first, the news you all have been waiting for. Our case is being moved from reunification (getting Tristan back to his bio mom) to adoption (keeping Tristan with us forever). Does that give you goose bumps or what? We are so excited about this progress!Our caseworker had an internal meeting with her superiors on September 25th, to change our case to adoption. We just so happened to be at a funeral for a dear friend that night when we got the good news. We learned at his funeral that he had been a foster child himself. This dear man had struggled with Parkinson’s disease for most of his life. He was an amazing example of faith and trust in God. He was a role model for many to follow. He was a great encourager to those that he knew that were pursuing foster care. It was reassuring for me to see such a great man come from a past of struggles. It amazed me to see all the lives that had been changed because the Hendricks family had chosen to take in an abandoned child. I don’t know much about his foster care story, but it gives me hope to think that Tristan could turn out even half as good as Bob. Getting the news that we will most likely be able to adopt Tristan by his first birthday brought back so many memories of the past 9 months. I remember praying for the expectant foster baby, that God would keep him/her safe. We prayed that God would be preparing our hearts for this baby. I remember getting the call that a little boy was born on the 3rd of January and was in the NICU because he was cold and only weighed 5 pounds 3 ounces (birth weight was 5 lbs. 9oz.). Tristan was an answer to prayer just by being safe and healthy! He had a tragic delivery in a bathroom during a huge snow storm. He tested positive for every drug imaginable along with alcohol and cigarets. He did not experience any withdraw that we were aware of, what a miracle. I remember seeing him for the first time and holding him. That excitement I felt. The same excitement I feel now, knowing he will be mine forever, Lord willing. I also remember all the times I have cried thinking I might loose him. There is still a chance we wont adopt him, but chances are good that we will adopt. I remember wondering if we would still have him when he was 9 months old. Or if we would get to share his first birthday with him. Maybe my hopes are too high, as they normally are. Tristan’s future is in God’s hands, as it always is. It certainly changes how I see Tristan. I just feel more in love and closer to him if that is possible. Alisia’s birthday was September 20th she turned 10. We threw her a birthday party with all her friends and family before going to Myrtle Beach SC for our yearly vacation. She came to Myrtle Beach with us this year as well. I think the realization of Alisia’s and my age difference is really sinking in. I love her to death don’t get me wrong, I’m just realizing that I don’t think I can be a “mom” to her. This is very humbling for me to admit this. Anyone can be a mother figure, or a good example to someone. Viewing her the same way I view Tristan is close to impossible. Tristan feels like my flesh and blood. He knows me as mommy, and that’s that. Alisia knows all too well who her bio parents are. She misses her mom like crazy. She hopes to live with them again some day. The whole situation is confusing, she really is not up for adoption (great grandmother has custody, she is not a foster child), so in order to protect ourselves, and to protect her heart we feel that we should set up boundaries.
Through the encouragement of our case workers, family and our church we have decided to take a small step back. Basically the only thing that is changing is the way we view Alisia. We still care for her and want to help her out in life as much as we can. Ben and I will be a big sister/brother figure, and a Godly example for her to look up to, instead of trying to be part time parents. I’m learning a lot from this whole situation.I see how desperately Alisia needs a mother figure. That causes me to try and fill that role. Being an older sister figure might be more realistic. If it is God’s will for Ben and I to become Alisia’s parents, God will give us the strength and wisdom to pursue that task.
We continue to pray that Alisia will be blessed with forever parents. Parents that are more experienced with teens and older children. Parents who are not just starting a family. We had been taking Alisia friday through sunday to give Gram a break, and to let Alisia be a kid and hang out with her little brother. We’ve had her every weekend for the past 9 months, and sometimes even more! It was a struggle for Ben and I. Weekends are our time to spend together and be a family of three. We’re cutting back to at least every other weekend, preferably because of our schedules we’re hoping to do a couple hours here and there on school nights instead of weekends.
I felt a wave of releife come over me when we talked to Gram about taking a step back. I guess I really wasn’t ready to be a mom to a 10 year old. Thankfully she agrees. Like I said, not much is changing, we’re not just dumping Alisia. The last thing we want to do is make her feel that we have abandoned her as so many have done before.
Again, please keep us all in your prayers. The adoption for Tristan is not final, and our case worker says in the end the judge makes the decision. Please pray that we continue to have wisdom to know how to handel Alisia’s situation.