This week might be the longest week of my life.
My husband and I have once again found ourselves in a season of waiting. As I wrote in my last post, we are in a matching process for a foster-to-adopt placement. That process is still ongoing, but is (thankfully) wrapping up now.
The way it has worked for us, since this is kind of an unusual way to get a foster placement, is that this child is approaching a Termination of Parental Rights hearing after being in the system for a very long time. The social workers believe that her next placement should be her forever home. She cannot remain in her current home for several reasons. So we found out about her about 6 weeks ago when the foster care team leader at our agency said ”I’d like to tell you a little girl who needs a placement. We’ve been trying to figure out what to do with her, and everyone around the office says ‘You need to talk to Krista about her.'” So she did. I sat in her office and got the scoop, then met the little girl’s foster dad about an hour later and heard even more about her.
I went home and told Brandon everything I had heard and we discussed our thoughts and concerns. The next week, we met with the foster mother, the state/DCBS worker, and the foster care team leader for a very long time and heard in great detail what this child has endured; how she has been failed by her family and by the system. We asked lots of questions about her struggles and also about her strengths.
And then we met her.
She was at the office for an appointment and as we were wrapping up our conversation, she came in to see her foster mom. She walked in, wearing this lavender dress and a little white sweater, and she peered at us from her big brown eyes under her messy brown hair. It’s a surreal feeling to look at a stranger and know that one day she might be your daughter.
By this time, the worker knew we were interested and she had narrowed her search to us and one other family. At that meeting, it was decided that each family would get two “playdates” with her, in the same relative location under the same circumstances, and the girl’s foster mom will get to judge our interactions and fit. She doesn’t technically get to decide, but her opinion and observations will take on great weight for the worker. We set up our first playdate immediately because that’s how we roll. We met at a local Chick-fil-A for two hours one Saturday and had our second one a little over a week later at a park. The other family finally had their second playdate yesterday, this process being dragged out weeks longer than anticipated.
During the past 6 weeks, I’m sure I’ve driven our worker and the foster mom absolutely bananas with my questions, but it’s all because I’m trying to prepare for this child as much as I can. This kiddo comes with a lot of “baggage” and it will absolutely be a big adjustment for our family.
At this point all we can do is wait and pray. Both families have done all they’re supposed to do, so the foster mom will deliver her report to the decision makers and we wait for the phone call or email that will change our lives.
I feel at peace. We couldn’t have done more than what we did. I have to remind myself that I’m not in control, I’m never in control of this. But I don’t believe in coincidences and I don’t think it’s an accident that our lives have intersected at this time.
So we wait. Not exactly patiently, but I’m peaceful. God is sovereign. He has never forgotten this child. He has never forgotten us. And He’s got this.