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