Saturday, January 24, 2015

Foster Care/Adoption Journey Part 2. Long-Term Discernment

Our Foster Care and Adoption Approval Journey
2. Our Long-Term Discernment
7. First Placement (This has NOT happened yet!)

2. Long-Term Discernment
Since the very beginning of our marriage adoption and foster care was something that we discussed. We knew when we got married that having biological children would be difficult. We didn't think impossible.  In November of 2011, when we learned that we would not be having biological children, we started thinking more seriously about foster care and adoption. But we wanted to give ourselves time to heal and mourn; time enough so that when/if we started the process towards adoption, we knew we weren't looking for a replacement child but rather because we felt called to grow our love through this particular journey. 

There were a few times between November 2011 and June 2014 that we almost reached out to start the process but it just didn't click. Honestly, sometimes it felt like it was G-Man who was holding us back from it. He didn't feel 'ready' (whatever that means). But through that waiting, I grew in my understanding of my own feminine and mothering heart. God was using Grant to slow me down, as He often does. 

We thought we were waiting for G-Man to have a better job; to be a little bit more financially set. So we focused on finding a better job for G-Man. 3 years, multiple novena (including a 54 day rosary novena) and (no lie) more than 400 job applications, and only one interview. Yes, you read that right. This has been so hard on G-Man and myself. He is doing everything, including reaching out to people he knows and reviewing his resume with professionals. Nothing. We finally had to reach the conclusion that he is not meant to leave his job right now. He is still applying to other jobs and still working hard at his current job (and loving it!) but we realized that, right now, this is where he is suppose to be.

Once we came to that realization, we changed our focus. Our focus became readying ourselves for parenthood. In my case, readying my heart for heart break and motherhood. This particular journey to opening my heart again to the possibility of motherhood started in October, 2013 at the course Theology of the Body and the Interior Life run by the TOB Institute. (Read about that here

I left that course with the goal to be pregnant with grace, with divine life, with Christ's love and life within me. So since that course, I have had this frequent mental image come throughout prayer times. The image is of my womb. (Stay with me, this is going somewhere). My womb is the inside of a church and Mary and Jesus are dancing together in it. Sometimes it is the Child Jesus in Mary's arms as she dances around. Other times it is Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus all holding each other. And occasionally, it was the image of Christ as an embryo implanting in my uterus. All of this to say, I was feeling more connected to myself as mother, regardless of my childlessness. God was slowly revealing and reawakening my mothering heart. (Someday soon I want to share with you my reflections on femininity and motherhood, especially as an infertile woman. But that is another post. I touch on it here) I started associating mothering more with femininity and less with children (biological or otherwise). And the wounds caused by infertility were starting to heal. 

So we entered 2014 with the sense that God was preparing us for our own 'nativity.' 

From January to June I was discovering peace and a mothering integration in my life. My heart started to feel steady rather than bruised. This was a slow process, I almost didn't even notice it. There were (and are) still days of deep sorrow because of our infertility but the balance of good days to bad was shifting. 

Looking back on that time, I don't know what sparked that moment when we decided to reach out for more information about foster care. It was just a moment, a second, when we decided to have another conversation about adoption. But this time, we took action. This time, we were ready. So in June, 2014 we reached out.

Discernment was about to become much more active!


  1. Discernment is such a process! It is so different for each person.
    It's too bad your DH had to go through all of that work just to stay where he is. Good for him for not quitting and for staying the course.
    I love your series!!

  2. Sometimes rushing into things leads to disastrous results, so it's probably good that you and G-man have taken it slowly even if the impulse is to do it quickly. Being a mother is not just about giving birth. It is so much more than that, kind of like what you said. You have my prayers.