I remember clearly when God told us we were going to adopt Ian. We were at the Park Place Mall play area. I watched Ellen running around playing. I felt so much love for her and pride. Then I noticed the other kids and how they were so beautiful with all their differences of abilities and skin color and appearances. I felt a strong sense of peace come over me and a sense that it was time for another child, one that didn’t look like us…our daughter was a spitting image of me when she was little and had fulfilled that dream that blossomed during infertility. Two weeks after this epiphany, I held Ian for a few moments at a staff meeting at the foster and adoptive agency I worked at. The foster mom across the table was sharing that they didn’t feel led to adopt him but that the state needed a family who were. After I held him, though I wasn’t a huge fan of boys (because they were weird I thought 😂), I couldn’t get him out of my mind. We got a call asking if we were interested in adopting him a few days later. God did that…he put our story together and that gives me hope that all of this was fore-known and a part of Ian’s story that he needs to really hang on to Christ.
Ian has been out of home for 4.5 months. He’s been in crisis beds, a psych hospital, a group home, and now Residential Treatment Center in Tennessee for the last 1.5 months. This all occurred due to his unsafe behaviors and choices; he needs something right now that we can’t give him. We visit him monthly and talk to him several times a month. We hope and pray that he will be filled with God’s strength and grace and be able to come home eventually.
I’m struggling with the supposed to be(s). Ian is supposed to grow up in a family not in a group setting. We are supposed to be Ian’s family, teachers and guiders, not staff at Residential Treatment Center. But those are all human thoughts and I know God has the bigger and better plan even in this.
Today we sung Psalms 23 song which says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies…”. This is often the experience I have in dealing with Ian’s behaviors at home. He was offered vows and relief from our enemy to just explode or treat our family in a mean way; we were also offered relief and sinned against him at times. I sensed the enemy mocking us. But God was and is still with us even in this current status of our family. God was and is still with Ian, offering His hand and a new way if He is willing to take the risk. We all have to accept His offer if we will accept his way and it may not look like we think it is supposed to. I don’t know if Ian will come home. Either way sounds scary…fear of Ian and his choices that we’re all at the mercy of if he comes home. If he doesn’t come home, the fear that he won’t receive what he needs to grow up into a young man that God means him to be. Every time that the thoughts come up, I have to actively offer Ian back to my God with faith that He loves Ian more than we do and that He’ll reach Ian even without us.
The walk is lonely and all about faith.
We ask for our community’s prayers and those who wish to travel with us. This journey is lonely and sometimes we need a place to cry and process the pain and the unknown. We thank those of you who have traveled the last 10 years with us. This will be a long journey and one in which we wait to see what God had planned from the beginning.