Foster Care to Adoption

Happy Thanksgiving!

For us this holiday comes a week after adopting our foster child.

Some readers may remember some of the more harrowing events of the past three years — years filled with doubt, fear and moral dilemmas.

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This girl is thrilled that I can finally share her picture!

This summer after a host of obstacles (some created by the system and some by us), we were asked to make our final decision. I’ll be honest, my husband and I hardly spoke to each other for the month of August as we each grappled with the finality of the decision. I realized that I’d been sort of waiting for this girl to do something bad enough to justify backing out.

Foster kids have a way of pushing you to your limits, and I wondered what my limit would be.

The county gave us a month to decide. No more hoping the kid would do something insane so we’d have an excuse  to say goodbye. We had to decide if we could love this girl “as is.” Plenty of people told us to cut our losses. Even the county workers had said this girl was a “hot mess,” but … my heart said she was already family. One day as I walked the dogs my decision was made. Biblical love is really hard. You have to lean into the pain. You have to work harder and you occasionally have to step back to see how far you’ve come.

I’m basically a selfish person who wants to write books and ride horses all by myself. I don’t feel like helping others all the time, yet in some deep way I know we’re called to do it.

My husband was driving home from work one day and suddenly felt that he was Jonah fleeing God’s calling on his life. Despite it all he knew McKenzie was already his daughter.

Not quite the Hallmark happy ending but that’s real life for you.

Once the decision was made, a weight was lifted. Maybe that’s God’s grace. McKenzie has come a LONG way. We all have.

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McKenzie with my niece (her new cousin)

At the adoption McKenzie gave an impromptu speech before the judge. Three years ago she was so jacked up on meds and so traumatized she could only drool and occasionally threaten to stab people. Now with her two sisters (adopted by another family), her new family, and countless county and foster care workers in attendance she spoke from her heart with power and eloquence about finally having a family. I was so proud of her. Even my son got choked up. The county workers were sobbing.

I didn’t cry, but I did feel at peace. I remembered the day I first met McKenzie. I told my husband that I already felt like she was my daughter. That feeling ebbed and flowed over the three years, but on adoption day it was as if we’d come full circle.

 

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Just some of the members of McKenzie’s new family. The entire family is coming to our house to celebrate Thanksgiving and the adoption!
The Tenafly Road Series
“Characters so deep you follow them into the abyss, hoping to come out unscathed, but never returning the same. They will haunt me forever.”

23 Comments Add yours

  1. Lily Pierce says:

    That’s awesome! ♥♥

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    1. It was a lovely day. Thanks, Lily!

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  2. Luanne says:

    OK, well, you had me sobbing! Congrats to everyone!

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    1. Thanks, Luanne. Now I have to have her take the DNA test to see if she’s weirdly already related.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Luanne says:

        It would be quite a coincidence! Either way you are related now!

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  3. What an emotional rollercoaster. Congratulations to all!

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    1. Yes, it’s been crazy and challenging and I suspect that won’t change much. 😉 But it’s good to have celebrations.

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  4. ksbeth says:

    huge happy congrats!

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  5. cindy knoke says:

    She is lovely and I am happy for you both.

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    1. Thanks, Cindy. Are you off to anyplace interesting for the holidays??

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  6. What an amazing story. Congrats to the whole family!

    I still think you might have a dandy memoir that could come of this tale … Hint hint.

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    1. I’d really have to figure out how to do it while respecting McKenzie’s privacy. Because you know i’d want to give the gory details. LOL. Maybe under another name … 🙂

      Happy Thanksgiving to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t realize I was crying until I felt the dampness of my fingers on the keyboard after wiping my tears. Welcome home, McKenzie.

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    1. Keep the crazy times coming! LOL.

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  8. delphini510 says:

    Ahh … Adrienne, so much love and fear shown in your post. I am happy for you that you found the answer that felt true and happy for you all. Congratulation to you and your new daughter.
    And have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    miriam

    Like

    1. Thanks, Miriam. Sitting on the fence is far more painful than making a decision.

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  9. Heartfelt congratulations to you all

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  10. 🙂 A wonderful story of love and humanity ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. bluestempond says:

    I’m really happy for all of you. That is a big commitment, and it sounds like the decision made itself out from under you.

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    1. Thank you. i guess you have to go with your gut even if it feels too hard… 🙂

      Like

  12. equinoxio21 says:

    A belated happy Thanksgiving… A Family celebration. 🙂
    Welcome to McKenzie. Wishing all of you lots of happiness…
    🙂
    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

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