A week or so ago, “Ronnie” (the person assigned to us for our home study and foster licensing) reached out to my husband and me to let us know a sibling group had come available for adoption.
After asking many questions and reviewing the file, Steve and I graciously declined.
While explaining our reasons to Ronnie, I said, “For lack of a better analogy, I feel like we are on one of those reality shows where we are being asked to marry someone without ever meeting first, and as much as Steve and I have dreamed of having children, this just doesn’t feel good at this point.”
Ronnie’s response was a bit of a surprise. She explained she was relieved to hear this. She then shared that many foster families go into adoption “desperate for a child” and she is glad to know we are willing to foster first in order to take things slow to be sure it’s a good fit.
Having been licensed as a foster parent ten years ago and now again, Steve and I know all too well how easy it is to want a child so badly that you say yes without even knowing if it is a match.
Many well intentioned people are willing to take any child no matter what, or go into adoption with the hope of feeling good because they are ‘fixing/saving’ a kiddo. Others go into it trying to fill a void for reasons of loss or infertility, while some others have a religion that has taught them that having a bigger family means greater after-life reward.
Steve and I are very grateful to be past this now.
Looking back ten years ago, we were willing to adopt for very unhealthy and selfish reasons: in hopes it would help us feel more “whole and complete.”
Back then Steve and I didn’t realize we were broken. Boy, did we have a lot of growing up to do! We needed this time to discover who we really are.
And though there are still days I wonder what ever happened to little Cynthia, I am very grateful we were not chosen as her forever family.
Because this notion of needing someone else in order to fulfill you is a a false illusion that will just leave you feeling lost and unfulfilled.
When you go into any relationship—including fostering or adoption—with the idea that someone else will make you whole or complete your family, it is a sign that you need to do more inner work.
For as Patricia Fry once said, “Two halves do not make a whole when it comes to a healthy relationship. It takes two WHOLES,” and I might add, two wholes who are compatible and bring out each other’s soul potential.
Thank you so much God for helping me see this importance of individual wholeness and authenticity. No matter what happens from this point forward, I am grateful to know that apart or together, Steve and I are already complete.