Today was a day of new beginnings for Amaris and our family. Today she is adopted into our family! While it is a happy day it is also sad, it is a beautiful and tragic situation all wrapped into one. Our family gained a sweet girl but another family was broken apart. So while we celebrate we still see the situation as it truly is.
The three people I have to point out first are the boys. We are so proud of them. Foster care requires the biological children to give a lot -- sharing their toys, giving up having their own bedroom so someone else can have one, sharing time with their parents, and understanding far more deeply the hurt of the world then they need to know. Connor is amazing with her! He puts her to bed sometimes including books and hugs, takes her outside with him when he shoots baskets, and makes her feel important. Colby will sit with her on the couch and teach her games on the iPad or explain a TV show. He is so patient to help her. Carter has shared his birthday (they are 3 days apart) and growing up with her. People ask if they are twins, even though they are not, he loves her like one.
In case you are wondering our back story, here it is.... After much prayer, we made the decision in 2013 to become foster parents. We have had 12 children in our home at some point for various lengths of time. The story I need to share is that in 2014 we had said goodbye to a placement. We were heartbroken. The boys asked much quicker than we were ready if we could help more kids. Our boys were 2, 4 and 7. I remember a conversation with Connor about who we would help next. He told me a little girl the same age as Carter. I told him that foster care didn't work like that. We took several calls that didn't work out for several reasons, for example they found family that the child could live with. When we took the call for Amaris, we only knew that we were taking in a little girl who would be at our door in 30 minutes. After she came to our house, we looked at the paperwork and saw that she was 3 days younger than Carter. I told Connor God could not have answered his prayers any closer. We know she was supposed to be placed with us.
We never intended to adopt but only help children and families. Once we learned that Amaris needed a forever home, we couldn't let her leave.
I know people are curious about her story but it is not our story to share. As foster parents it is our story to carry. We have learned her story piece by piece, cried over and for her and her story, prayed over her and her entire biological family, and carried her story for 2,277 days. Now as her adoptive parents it is our job to carry her story until she is ready to carry it herself. Obviously she carries part of her story every day but our job as foster parents is to carry the part that she doesn't need to understand at this young age and allow her to simply be a kid. When she is ready to carry her story, we will give it to her piece by piece. As we give her back her story it will be hers to carry. Our job will change, then it will be our job to hold her up while she carries the story - the heartache, the trauma, the memories, the pain and the happy times too. We are choosing to telling her that we will stand by her forever and that she is always home with us.
For 2,277 days foster care was a part of our story but today she is adopted.
Finally, we are still foster parents. We are still signed up to help more kids. We have seen the hurt and need first hand. We cannot turn our heads and hearts from it. We are choosing to love more kids, whenever everyone in the house is ready and the call comes again.