Bill has been out of our house for a little over six months and our lives are so vastly different now that we only have one child. That is on child living in the house. We have opened our house up again for a new child that has been displaced from their parents and their home. We notified our agency about a month or so ago that we thought we were ready, but whether it is by the decision of the agency or just God’s will, we still have an empty nursery. The one thing our agency may not understand is the longer our nursery stays empty, the easier it is to let it stay empty.
For those of you that are reading my writings for the first time, or maybe have forgotten, Bill is a young boy that my wife and I took into care. We work as foster parents and Bill was our twentieth child. Bill was a micro-preemie and weighed only one pound twelve ounces at birth. When we met him, he was up to a little over four pounds. And about two and a half months old. He was the smallest baby we had ever seen, much less held.
We went through a lot with Bill. He had about every type of therapy you could imagine. It seems like my wife was running to appointments about three to four times a week. Bill had a very difficult time gaining weight (not a problem that we have in common). Since he was very tiny at birth, the doctors wanted him to gain as much as possible as quickly as possible. Along with being tiny, Bill had (has) sensory problems, particularly with food textures. He was also very, very active. Finally, the doctors decided that if he was gaining any weight, it was better than losing it (in his case).
Well, approximately two and a half years went by and we began working a permanent placement plan for Bill. His birthday was rapidly approaching, and he would soon be three. I guess the Department of Social Services went into panic mode. If he was still in foster care at three it would really mess up their statistics. Normally, a transition lasts three to four months. Bill’s was less than five weeks.
Bill’s new parents have had him for the past six months and his adoption recently went through. We get to see some real cute pictures of him and his new family. We don’t believe that he is fully bonded with his new mom and dad, but it shouldn’t take much longer. Once they are ready, we will skype and if that goes okay then we will try for a short visit. We think they are going to make it. They may have some rough roads to travel, but we all do once in a while.
How are we doing with all this? Do we miss him? You bet. Our house has never been so quiet. I don’t think a day has gone by where we don’t mention him in a conversation. He is very much missed, and not by just us. Family, church family, friends, workers in stores we frequent all ask how he is doing and say how much they miss him. This life we live affects lots of people – more than we ever knew.
Some ask, “why didn’t you adopt him?” Our response is usually, “why didn’t you?” You know, it was never in our plans to adopt, but we didn’t know God’s plans for us. Now that we do, I wouldn’t change a thing. Will God put that in front of us again? Only he knows. Plus, we are getting kind of old to be stepping out like that again. So, for now, we wait to see the next step in his plan for us. We never know what to expect!
***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo, Olivia’s Sweet Adventure, and the soon to be released (hopefully) Secret Lives (of Middle school teachers).
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