I don’t really have any particular point in writing this today. I just feel like getting some feelings out. Back in February (2019) our church talked about Cherish Kids. It’s an organization our church started years ago to assist the fostering and adoption process for families. My wife and I looked at each other. I could tell in my wife’s eyes what she was thinking. I was thinking, “Oh crap”. She had brought it up a few times over the past couple of years and I just discounted it as her being in her 40’s and going through woman stuff. This time was different, though.
I had quite a few moments thinking to myself, “The big kids are moved out. One is married. We have one part-time kid we share with his mom and one full-time kid. We have plenty of room. Every child deserves an opportunity to learn from good people and rock life. Everybody deserves a chance. I want to help”. So, you guessed it, we started down the long road of adoption. The process takes time as there are many classes and certifications that must be completed. In the state of Missouri you must foster a child for 6 months before adopting that child. I will say that I’m impressed with the due diligence being done, nowadays. See, my mom and aunt were adopted. They are 2 of 3 daughters to my grandparents. My grandparents split when my mom was about 6. My mom and aunt were adopted out of their family to 2 new families. They stayed in touch as they went through life but it wasn’t all candy canes and lollipops. Today, the background checks, training, vetting and checks and balances are pretty spot on. This ensures that the child isn’t simply a money maker to the foster family and that the child is going to an appropriate home that will support their lifelong growth and support. I’m proud to be able to do this and I know my mom will have a special place in her heart for our son. She is an amazing woman and the toughest woman I know. I kind of feel like this is completing a circle of some sort.
There are quite a few websites out there that can guide people on their journey. Cherish Kids was instrumental in guiding us. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned. I knew quite a bit about ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) through my work with Boulder Crest Retreat and working through my own story. I’m familiar with traumas people experience in life and how to work through those. I feel prepared. My wife is an amazing woman with a servant’s heart. I feel we are ready for this. I’m not naive to think that the house will always smell like unicorn farts. I’m aware of the struggles we’re bound to face. Heck, we faced quite a few already raising teenagers now in their 20’s. Being blessed with a strong family support system on my side of the family as well as my wife’s side is a HUGE plus! My wife’s sister and husband have fostered and adopted, themselves. We are ready, and I’m excited!
Today I’m just kind of soaking it all in. Yesterday we had our final team decision meeting for our new son. Yes, the Hood family is growing again. He’s 12 and will be moving in with us tomorrow. He was able to spend 9 days with us over this past Thanksgiving break. My heart is overflowing with joy because of the large family he’s is about to join. He already has. He has a heartbreaking story like so many others. That ends tomorrow as his past becomes his own story and the page turns revealing a new chapter in his life. All of us will blend together to make this a successful story. God has been a major driver through all of this. We’ve been in constant prayer for us, our kids, for our “Bonus Son” and our family as a whole. Today is the last day of this chapter for me. Tomorrow begins a new chapter in my life, in our life. I won’t say there won’t be peaks and valleys as we regulate ourselves to maintain the sine wave our life will track on . There will be struggles. All struggles are good if you strive to grow through them. We will because we have a strong family and God in our corner. My kids are amazing and have been very supporting through this. They are very excited as well.
So, this is the last writing in this chapter of my life. I am so excited and feel prepared for this journey. I am eager to watch our family grow over the years. It feels me with joy knowing that we’re able to provide this life giving opportunity. God is good and we know that keeping our eyes on Him that He will provide and protect as we grow. Thank you for reading this. If you feel led to offer an opportunity to provide a thriving life to a child in need, do it.
Here is another great resource for adoption.