Saturday, September 6, 2008

Learning to Wait

For those of you who know me, you are well aware that patience is not one of my strong suits. I'm more of a "when I want it, I want it right now" kind of girl. But the last two years of my life have been a practice in patience, and on learning to wait.

It's been two years now since Nate and I decided we were ready to be parents. It's been one year since we decided we also wanted to be foster parents. We took a leap of faith and trusted that God would work out the details of how those two things would fit together. Throw in the possibility of adopting (which we knew was a definite possibility once we became foster parents) and we were worrying over how we might, very suddenly, end up with a household where the children outnumbered the adults! But we love kids, and considered ourselves ready for the challenge.

After trying to conceive for over a year, and shortly after we signed up to become foster parents, we found out we were expecting. We were ecstatic. This was it. By the time we had our foster care license, I'd be six months pregnant, and we'd be looking at taking foster care placements right around the time that we gave birth to our first child. We laughed a lot and made preparations for multiple babies, a house full of toys, and a whole new level of stress in our lives.

Unfortunately, as is becoming common in our life, things did not work out exactly how we planned. We miscarried in mid-November, and were thrust into something I would never wish on anyone; grieving the loss of an unborn child. Our hearts were broken, but we continued to trust that the Lord had a plan for us as parents, and that we needed to rest in that, be patient, and wait.

January came around, and we preapared for our first day of foster care training. The night before our first class, I got sick, and ended up spending the night in the ER. The next day, I was exhausted and feeling terrible, so we had to call and cancel the class. The rules are, if you miss the first class, you can't come at all, so we had to postpone the whole thing. We were disappointed, but still prepared to trust, be patient, and wait.

It was months before we found an opening in another class that would work in our schedule, but finally, in the spring, we were able to start our licensing. 30 hours of training, two home visits and mountains of paperwork later, in July, we finished the class. Now there were only a few technicalities left, a few things to be signed, and we would offically be licensed foster parents. While still praying that God would allow us to have another child of our own, we prepared, again, for the arrival of a foster child. We were told we would have our license by the first week of August, and we waited for that phone call, excited and ready for this awesome life change.

The first week of August has come and gone, and still, we're waiting. There have been hiccups and stalls in the licensing process, but each time we've called our case worker, she has assured us that things were going well, that our paperwork was almost processed, and we should be recieving our license any day.

Then, last week, a phone call, but not the one we had wanted. Our case worker (who is not at fault for this being a long process, and has been a HUGE blessing to us through through it all) called to let us know that DHS had lost our official fingerprints, and that our file couldn't be complete without this piece of our background check. They would send us out new paperwork, we would have to be re-fingerprinted, and it would take another six weeks to process.

I was furious. Fingerprinting has to be done before you can even APPLY to get into the foster care training class, and ours was completed almost a year ago. They had it on file, and had approved us to get into the class long ago. We had dotted all of our i's, crossed all of our t's, and still here we were, waiting for something we could not control.

It's been a sad and frustrating year for us, but we continue to wait and trust that the Lord's timing is perfect, and that there are reasons beyond our knowledge why things turn out the way they do. We desire to be parents, and trust that someday, this will be a reality for us. We ask for the prayers of friends and family as we learn, first-hand, what it means to be patient. As we learn to wait.

We find comfort in scripture, and in sharing this struggle with friends and family, who have struggled themselves to start families and become parents. We find comfort in knowing that we are not alone, that life is not always fair, but that God is faithful.

Nate and I continue to hope we will be parents someday. Until then, we're learning to wait.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

1 comment:

Melissa Ulrickson said...

I just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you today! I didn't realize you were facing all of this.

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