Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Adoption Story

The past 7 weeks have been some of the most difficult in our lives. God calls us to care for orphans and that is what we have done for the past year. We obeyed God and brought two Liberian orphans into our home and called them our own. We have had many struggles along the way and have learned so much as we cried out to God and depended on Him. Recently, it became clear that God wanted us to do something more for Jerome, to get him help that we were not providing, that we are not able to give. It was one of the toughest decisions in our lives, but we decided that Jerome would heal, and become more of the young man God wanted him to be, in a different family. This decision was not made quickly or without much prayer, seeking of wise counsel and many tears. It was heart-wrenching, but we know that we did the right thing. God has confirmed it in so many ways. It was the most humbling thing to admit that we were not able to help Jerome. I wanted to believe that we were what was best for him, that God would equip us, that everything would be alright. But it wasn't getting better and we began to see that Jerome needed more. I wish I could say more about what exactly was happening, but in order to protect Jerome's privacy, and that of his new family, I cannot. I wish that I could, that I could get everything off of my chest and share so that others could totally understand our decision, but that wouldn't be right.

God used us to bring Jerome here, and now he has placed him in his "forever family". I like to think that we laid a foundation for the new family to build upon. In fact, this is exactly what they have told us that they believe about us and have seen in Jerome since he came to live with them. That really made Cameron and I feel good, that there was a purpose in Jerome coming to us. Cameron and I believe that by placing Jerome in another Christian family, who is better equipped to meet his needs, we are caring for an orphan in the best possible way.

Yet, Jerome did change while he was with us in so many ways. He even received Christ, which I believe was a genuine decision.

God, in His sovereignty, orchestrated all of the events surrounding Jerome going to his new family. It was amazing to see God at work in this situation. Through my pain, I was able to see God's love both for Jerome and for me. Jerome's new family was chosen specifically for him. Cameron and I had talked about what kind of family Jerome would best heal in and the family God chose met every single one of our criteria, down to minute details. It was amazing. We will remain in contact with Jerome's new family. They are godly, so loving, so amazing. It has been an honor to get to know them.

How are our children doing? They are doing well. Of course, they miss Jerome. However, they have expressed sadness mixed with relief. Jerome is also doing very well in his new home. He transitioned well to life with his new family. He talks about our family with no bitterness or anger, but with fondness and appears to be much happier where he is.

I have debated whether to make my blog private and open it only to friends and family. I have also considered quitting blogging, knowing that we could face some pretty severe criticism. However, we do not want to hide our decision, because we are confident that we made the right one. We aren't happy that our adoption ended, but it is part of our story and we feel that we need to share it.

Adoption is a difficult thing. Did we go into it naively? I don't think so. We knew it was going to be difficult and were up for the challenge. Ultimately, we did not place Jerome in a new family because it was too hard for us. Nor did we do it because we thought Jerome was a "bad" child. We did it so that he could heal and we had his best interests as our top priority. We know that what God has planned is not only for Jerome's good, but also for ours. A decision made in prayer, in faith, cannot go against God's will. And so we trust that God has a purpose for this past year.

I will continue to blog, but I may not blog about Jerome. It is a wound that will take time to heal. I know that many of you know our story and support us. I know that some of you only know the story that I posted on this blog, but you still support us. However, I know that there are many other adoptive parents reading this blog who would never consider placing your adopted child in a new home, think it is wrong, and will not agree with our decision. I will tell you that one of my good friends, who has 3 adopted children, strongly disagrees with disruption and pointed us to numerous other options during this year when things got difficult. However, when I recently shared our whole story with her, she agreed that in our circumstance we had no other choice. I don't tell you that to justify our actions, but to point out that while a last resort, placing a child in a new home sometimes IS in the best interest of the child. However, I commend all adoptive parents who, despite their difficult circumstances, and their child's "issues", continue to parent their hurting adopted child. It is a difficult calling, but a highly commendable one.

I know that just as there are a lot of hurting children, there are a lot of hurting adoptive parents who feel that there is no where to turn, no one who understands. You are not alone. There are so many in the adoptive community who are willing to reach out and help, myself included.

Thank you for your prayers and your support during the past weeks while we were going through this most difficult time.

For His Glory!

In Christ, Laura

27 comments:

Christine said...

Thanks for posting this, Laura. I understand ... truly understand that some children need a different forever home for them to heal. Doesn't mean you don't have a good home or a good marriage or good parenting skills. Some of our children just need some very specific circumstances. Many times you can't know the depth of all they need until they have been with you awhile.

Praising God that the forever family was identified.

You are such an amazing, loving and strong mother.

3 for Me! said...

I will continue to pray for you...

Jen said...

Laura,

Thank you so much for posting this! I don't know if I was the friend you were referring to or not, but I am a friend, I do have 3 adopted kids, and I, in most instances would not support disruption as an option in all but the most extreme of cases and after talking with you, we COMPLETELY understand and support your decision in this (so I am guessing that it might be me!)

BUT, even if you are talking about another friend, I just wanted to say here (so that others might know):

THANKYOU for being so open and honest about this. We KNOW how diligently and intently you prayed that the Lord would lead you to the right decision. You and Cameron searched and prayed about every option and did not come to this decision lightly or quickly and I just think that in this whole process God has been glorified (which is our ultimate purpose in life, right?)!

I hope and pray that others might see how our God is a God who redeems and how he used your family and now Jerome's new family to redeem his life. Praise the Lord and we thank him that you were willing not only to take the risk of adopting an older child, but then willing to make the heartbreaking and hard choice to disrupt because that really WAS what was best for Jerome and for your family, and THEN to even be willing to share with others so that they might be equipped and encouraged.

To me, you and Cameron have one of the most inspiring adoption stories I've ever known!

May God continue to bless you in every way and to use your story to glorify himself and to draw others towards Him and towards adoption! AMEN!

Jen said...

I'm glad you're blogging again. Thanks for sharing about your decision. This week I am reflecting on Peace for Advent on my blog and just posted the lyrics to "It is Well". I've needed to reflect on those lyrics myself lately and was thinking of others who I could pray that for. I pray it for you. I cannot imagine how difficult things have been for you lately, but I'm so glad to hear that it is well with your soul. It sounds like you made the right decision. Good for you for doing what you knew was right for Jerome and for being willing to stand up to the criticism. I pray that you feel loved and supported by many people through this time. Much love from Mozambique.

Rachel said...

Laura, I am praising God that you had the courage to make this very difficult decision. Although I only know what you've shared on this blog, I do agree that while disruption isn't an appropriate answer for many families, it can be the best option for others. Praise the Lord that you feel so comfortable with Jerome's forever family and I pray that you find support for your decision in the adoption community.

Thank you for sharing this on your blog.

Blessings,
Rachel

Anonymous said...

Laura:

I'm so sorry for the pain you're feeling and will be praying for you and for Jerome! Just from reading your blog it's obvious that you place a high priority on the call of God on your life to parent your children well and to His glory and I'm sure the decision to place Jerome in another family wasn't made easily or lightly.

Blessings in Christ!

Lisa H.

Tereasa said...

I appreciate the grace and honesty you offered in this post. Although I do not completely understand your situation, I do know that things don't always turn out the way we hope. When we truly seek God's will, he often directs us in a way that is painful, but ultimately better. I will continue to pray for your family.

staci said...

Laura,

I think you are an amazing person. It takes a lot of courage, resilience and bravery to make all of the decisions you have made. I thank you continuing to blog. It can not be easy to put yourself out there knowing so many people will reading and perhaps judging. While I do not know any of the details, I can tell from reading your blog that you gave this decision your all (heart and soul included) and then gave it to God. That takes a lot of strength and wisdom!

Wife to the Rockstar said...

So glad you are sharing. You will be helping many people by doing so I am sure.

You are one amazing woman! And God WILL be glorified through this.

Love you.

Matt and Lindsey said...

Thanks for your honesty Laura! I know it wasn't an easy decision to make and I'm sure it wasn't easy to post about it. We will continue to keep your family and Jerome in our prayers!

Amy said...

I'm glad to see you're back. :)
I appreciate your honesty, and wouldn't for a moment consider judging your decision. My heart goes out to all of you.

dkt said...

Praying for you still. May God bless you with peace that passes understanding, in the coming weeks and months.

Kami said...

So glad to have you back, Laura. I praise God for you and your open heart. I am so blessed to be your friend. ( thanks for the recipe!)

Donna Barber said...

HI
I have followed your journey through friends and you have been in my thoughts often. I hope you know there are many of us out there that know what you are going through and are there for you. Feel free to call anytime. I wish your family well-db

Just A Family said...

Laura,
My heart goes out to you and your family.
I have had a friend who had to make this difficult decision as well and it was the BEST thing for the child and her family.
I'm very proud of you guys.
Know your in our prayers..

much love,
Robin

Doris Korte said...

Laura: Glad you are back! I have missed reading your blog. I know your decision has not been made lightly and that God's will was sought for Jerome's future. Rest in the peace that only God can give, be assured he is using your faithfullness to help others. Amanda has had many struggles this year with Michael and his education & therapy needs. She also misscarried twins in Oct. Give her a call if you get a chance. Let her tell you about the misscarriage if she choses to. She was so open about her other losses, but this one has been doubly difficult. They may try one more time, or may try to adopt again. She needs prayer. God Bless you & Cameron, your an amazing couple with a beautiful family.

Renee said...

Laura,

You are very courageous.

Your selfless love for Jerome overwhelms me. I can't imagine how hard this has all been.

I know that God will be with you and Jerome all your days. May He continue to be glorified through you.

With Love..

Anonymous said...

Wow, your honesty and courage overwhelm me. We also had a very similar experience and had to disrupt in 2001. It was the hardest thing we ever did, but we know it was the best thing for our child. Our then child is in the right home now. Even though we feared harsh judgment, we still had to do what we knew was best for our family and the child. As it turned out, we received tremendous support from our friends and family and I hope you receive the same. If anyone judges you.......that is their problem. You have a close relationship with God and you do have Jerome's best interest at heart and are making a prayer based decision. We don't always understand God's full plan when we start out. Sometimes we are just stepping stones. Many prayers for you and your family and for Jerome too. I don't know the story, but I hope he gets the help he needs. Thanks for sharing. I know you will help a lot of people by being so honest.

Paige

Donna said...

I echo the many sentiments here and praise your courage to post your struggles. It is important that we share the good as well as the bad so we can encourage one another and not paste an unrealistic easy face on adoption issues. We continue to pray for your family.

S and K said...

Laura,
I just was thinking about you and praying for you and wanted to let you know that you are on my mind often.

The Lord has blessed so many through you and your family and will continue to.

Praying for Jerome often also!

Blessings,
KT

Anonymous said...

Laura and Cameron I think you guys did the best for Jerome. And if someone tells you it wasn't, don't let it get you down because you and God are the only ones to judge the situation and your actions not everyone else. I work with Cameron and I would not judge him for this. I know he is a very good hearted person. You guys tried to help him and sometime not everyone has the ability to help everyone. I give you high five on finding someone that could help him and love him. That must have been the hardest thing. Because I do not consider you guys quiters. You guys seem very loving to all of your children. You guys have a very nice family. I am a mother as well and I know that it is very hard and trying. YOu guys did the best for Jerome so don't let people comment stop you from writing about your family. You guys are wonderful parents so keep your heads up!!!!!

Diane said...

I am so glad to see you are blogging again. Your blog was an encouragement to me as a mom. I was so disappointed when it was gone. I am so sorry for the trial you have had to endure. This is one reason I am very afraid to adopt. What if... Are you glad you adopted even though you have had to go through all this? I have said I don't want to shrink back from hard things but I have to admit that God needs to give me the courage to adopt. I believe Gos has been calling me and preparing me for many years. When I read your blog, even this post, it gives me some courage - but I have a way to go still. I respect you and I see that you and your husband are very wise. Thank you for following God and enduring faithfully in His will. Please let me read your blog even if you go private. If you need to know who I am you could look at my blog. I'll be praying for your family.

Brandi said...

Oh Laura,

still praying for you and your family as you heal. I know how hard this decision must have been and all that comes with it. Making HARD choices for our Kids' best is a difficult but rewarding thing. You have been a true mom to him in this.

WIth love,
Brandi

Live to love and laugh said...

Laura,
I have prayed so much for your family over the past few weeks. I believe your decision is only between you and God and it is not all right for anyone to judge. Please don't let others bring you down. It is easier to say "it is wrong" when you are just on the outside looking in.
Your family will be in my prayers. I am glad to see you are back.
Cindi

Michelle said...

Wow, what a hard decision. I am amazed at your bravery and transparency. As a mom who is beginning the adoption journey, I really appreciate all that I am learning from you and others who are willing to share the happy parts and the sad parts of adoption. Thank you for this.

Sharon said...

The most important point in this whole post is that you were trying to do what was best for Jerome. God does equip us, sometimes to make hard decisions. You are in my thoughts.

Deborah said...

I just found your blog. Although we have not experienced an adoption disruption, as foster parents we have had to make similar decisions. As much as we would like to think that we can be the ones to help every child that comes to us, we simply can't, and to go on knowing this is just going to cause more damage to the particular child and to the other children in our home.
It's a difficult and humbling experience, but one you grow from.