From the begining of the "paper work phase" (dec-may) we were told that one of the most important parts of the adoption application process is the home study. The home study consists of a 7-9 hour interview at your home over the course of two days. This two day process is what can make or break your application with your adoption agency. The home study is a stressful part for every adoptive family and this momma was all worked up in a tizzy the whole month of may preparing for it.
I went OCD making sure our new house was baby proofed, organized top to bottom and every inch of the place spotless. This has been the only time in my children's life that I have not been worried about them eating off the floor because it was soooo clean;) This month was also a lot of great conversation for Scott and me. We spent several nights asking prep questions, or questions we thought they might ask us, to each other. We laughed a lot but also couldn't help but wonder what the one caseworker who was assigned our home study would think of us.
Would she see how much we already loved this little girl? Would she be a Christian and understand that God has called us to this? Would she think our children are too young and think we need to be put on hold by the agency? A hundred or more questions plagued me at night and this month was a real struggle of spiritual attack for me. The enemy wanted me to be distracted by doubt instead of on my knees in prayer for our sweet little girl in China.
As we neared the date we got a little more details of how these two days were going to go down. The first day would include a tour of the home and a 2-3 hour interview with our caseworker and our family. The kids would be present and she would ask us questions about parenting and discipline and she would observe our interaction with them. Our caseworker mentioned that she might even ask our daughter, who was extremely verbal even though she was only 2 yrs 3 months, a few questions too.
Needless to say, I was frantic. What if she doesn't like our home? Who knows what will come out of Lillys mouth? What if Fischer throws one of his outrageous fits on the floor? What if the caseworker doesn't like our parenting style? What if Lilly hits Fischer for taking his toys? Ahhhhhhh!
I had my friends pray peace over us and Phil 4:6 became my anthem "Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and pretition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God and the peace of God which transcends all understand will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." I knew in my heart that God called us to this, I needed to be confident in that. He has already given us so many signs and clear direction through the process thus far, he would carry us through. BUT the enemy was doing a full court press on me:(
If we survived day one...( I know a little dramatic but this process seemed so daunting at the time;)) day two would consist of 5-6 hour interview with no kids. The casework would interview Scott and me together and then separate the two of us and ask us questions as individuals. These questions would consist of...What is the worst this about your spouse? What is the best thing about your spouse? What do you think of your spouses family? What is your family like? If you could change one thing about your spouse, and you can't say nothing, what would it be?
Are you kidding me??? I am supposed to be honest about all these things? I have an amazing husband but we can both tell you WE HAVE OUR FAULTS and we are FAR FROM PERFECT!! So, Scott and I asked alot of these questions ahead of time so we were not surprised or angered by the answers. (This was really good for our relationship and thought we might try to revisit these questions annually or something!)
The day approach the end of May and it was time for the caseworker to come. Everyone was dressed in sundays best and smiles ear to ear;) I was ready to get this over with;) Up walked this adorable young gal from Oklahoma who was so sweet and immediately I had a peace. The first day went very well. No major upsets with the kiddos and Lilly did great when asked by the caseworker..."Lilly would you like to have a brother or a sister?" to which she looked over at her brother who was banging her baby doll around and smiled at the caseworker and said, "SISTER!" hee hee it was soo funny!
The next day was going so well and then it was my turn to do my individual questions. I was excited to get some time to talk with our caseworker by myself. She seemed like a girlfriend I was chatting with from college and catching up on old times. (Except for the fact that she had to take notes the whole time which is super nerve wracking. ;) We talked about my family and I asked about hers. We talked about Scott and my kids and thoughts on being a mom. When asked about our daughter in China, I got emotional which is very normal for me. Everything was going so well...and then she asked me a question I had never thought about..."What are your thoughts and feelings about the birth mom that abandoned your daughter to be?"
The question caught me so off guard, I was speachless and frozen stiff. I honestly never thought about that. Tears of angry and sadness started to come. Anger because how could someone be so heartless? This one of Gods greatest gifts in life, NEVER to be tossed in a trash can or an ally all alone! Tears of sadness...what was her life like? Does she realize what she is doing? Does she care? Was this a hard decision? Does she know Jesus? ....I get choked up just thinking about these questions I still have and may never know the answers too.
One thing the Lord reminded me of in that moment was the verse that had become my anthem for this. The verse does not just say to not be anxious and to bring your requests in prayer but WITH THANKSGIVING present your requests to God. That day the Lord reminded me that I was to be THANKFUL that the Lord could redeem this awful situation of abandonment and turn it into something beautiful, adoption- a complete family, where MaeLynn will never have to worry whether or not she is loved or will be provided for. I probably never know the answers to the questions I have about our little girls birth parents but one thing I can do is pray for their salvation so that when the day of the Lord comes and we are all united in Heaven, I can meet them and let them know how faithfully the Lord loved their little girl and we are family forever in Christ. Please join us in continued prayer for the salvation of MaeLynn's birth parents.