I love titling this post...FAQ's as if this blog is so popular because that's just funny to me.
I love getting questions. With me, you shouldn't ask questions unless you are prepared for lengthly answers. I don't look at questions as offensive (unless they are truly just offensive) but rather as an interest in my family and kids. I also use questions as a way to educate you on the need and ways to get involved. So again, ask at your own risk but don't be afraid to ask.
These are the most common questions I get about adopting the girls and their situation in general. Another disclaimer is we are a pretty open book with Trey and Addison and will be with the girls as they get older. They will know they were adopted. I also get that not everyone is like that and we totally respect that too. I'm sure it's different if you adopt from birth or have different circumstances leading into adoption.
1.) When did you know you wanted to adopt?
Um...adopt? Never really. I had much different plans. I was going to foster a ton of children, have all these little names and faces and one day look back on the hundreds of kids we came in contact with. It was going to be my ideal picture of foster care.
Seriously, adoption wasn't on our radar and again it's different in the foster care world. The goal was for the girls to go home with their birth mom until rights were terminated. Then the plan (on DHS side) was for Grace to move in with her aunt. Then at one point the plan was for the girls and brother to all move somewhere. So, our heart and mind was guarded and we were going along with the plan. Now, I can't say my prayers didn't reflect a mothers heart but I can truly say that it was always that God's will would be done and revealed and that throughout the plan, we would glorify God. Even if they were both moved from us.
2.) Do the girls have the same mother AND father.
As far as we know, yes. I will say....they are so much alike. They sound alike, Grace walks with her hands behind her back like Anna used to, they both yell NO at the top of their lungs the exact same way and so forth. It's honestly funny to me how many times I get asked this question, but apparently that is high on the curiosity radar.
3.) Why did they come into care?
This one is asked a lot and if you know me well enough, I have shared some of the specifics. To be honest, J.O. and I didn't fully understand all of the details behind this until we received the disclosure packet before adoption. Our parents have been given the full details in this packet and have seen it, but other than that we plan to keep some details to ourselves. Annalise and Grace will know these details one day and particularly Annalise will have some tough choices to make on how much she wants to know and chooses to share. The short of it is, birth mom was pregnant when Anna came into care so for awhile she hid out until after she had Grace. It was a bad decision and bad decisions had been made for Anna but it was the only thing she knew to do. It's truly amazing what having little to no support in life will do for you and what having the WRONG support will do. She once told me she did something (that seems crazy) on the advice of a distant relative and she thought she was helping her kids by doing it.
I truly don't mind sharing parts of their stories and someone once put it this way....sharing their story keeps me sympathetic. I can become so desensitized but once I share their story, I am reminded of how far they have both come.
4.) Do they still see their brother?
Yes. When in foster care, they had visits with him twice a month that we arranged and now it's just at our discretion. Like with anything, life is busy and crazy but when there are opportunities to get together they do. It was tricky at first, but now it's just one more piece to their story and we are praying for wisdom on how to navigate that part.
5.) Will you still foster?
Who are you asking? Me or J. O.? Since he doesn't read this blog or have Facebook, I can say I am not sure. We plan to remain open right now because we (I) know we still want to help out. I want to do respite and especially be able to help our friends that have foster kids. Eventually I would like to do emergency placements but for right now we are pretty maxed out on space. When you have young kids, who really don't need to share a room, you have to get creative. Our 4 bedroom house is now a makeshift 5 bedroom with plans of what to do about that in the future. So basically, not sure. I know this.....God has called us to be active in our community on behalf of these kids. How that looks specifically I am not sure. However, I have learned that when you truly follow Him, it will be revealed. The easiest thing right now would be to close our home and move forward in this life of 6, but we do know that's not the right choice. So, we will remain open, I will clean my home for DHS visits, we will do the CEU hours, and we will pray.
I think that's it right now. I am sure there are more. Oh like....will they all 4 go to private school? Right now, our plan is to pick our favorite and send that one to private school and college. Trey is in the running, so be looking for updates.
Seriously, no clue. What I have learned is that it's okay to do different things for different kids. I think that's reflective of what I have learned from the second our home opened. My plan stops and His plan begins. It might be confusing (to me) at times, but it's always revealed and it's always the best plan.