Thursday, January 15, 2015

Getting Real: Why Adoption from Foster Care Matters

We were having a conversation about foster care and adoption with a group when this statement was made...

"Yes, but it really adoption really doesn't change that much does it?"

Adoption from foster care changes everything and nothing all at the same time.

In some ways nothing has changed from January 4th to January 5th.  The kids go to the same school, sleep in the same beds, our daily routines and rules all stay the same.  In our every day lives-nothing has changed.

However, at the same time everything has changed.

Legally: Now our kids are considered ours, not the states.  We make the daily decisions for what doctors to go to, if their faces can be shown on social media, and whether they can travel out of state.  They are now legally eligible to be on Tony's insurance, rather then state insurance.  We can call them legally a Snyder.  We are able to choose how to discipline, whether they need a dresser or not, and what water tempature we can bathe them in.  We make all medical, school, and financial decisions.  We no longer have to send school reports to a caseworker (or have her visit on a weekly bases) or figure out what to do about our child's picture in the paper.  It seems like a million and one ways that our lives have changed legally.

Identity: "Mr. Snyder, your mom is here." were the words that came out of the teachers mouth on the 5th.  Snyder. Our kids have received a new identity.  They are officially Snyder's.  When I married Tony I still felt like a Grey.  However, while there was still Grey in me, I legally belonged to the Snyder family.  When I walk into my in-laws house I am one of them, permentantly.  When someone calls my name, that is the family they associate me with.  My kids are the same way.  It's a new identity.  A sense of belonging.

Permancy:  The world between birth family right's being terminatied and adoption happening is like no man's land.  A child has lost their ties to the past. The kids legally become orphaned, with no parents.  They feel that loss.  On adoption day they are told they are offically part of something new.  They are no longer floating around like "a man without a country."  They have a permant place they belong.  There is no threat that they will ever be taken away.

Security: After termination we were going through a rough time with one of our kiddos.  I looked at a fellow mom who had adopted from foster care and said, "You know I don't have to keep this child.  They aren't legally mine. I CAN ask for them to be moved."  All she said was, "Yes you can."  It was so good for my heart and yet so challenging.  In those days, weeks, and months that Tony and I spent hours going "what are we going to do about this child."  We secured in our heart that they are ours.  As much as the challenges they are going through suck, they are ours.  It is our job to walk thro
ugh the hard with them.  It cemented our commitment to them.

Spiritually:  Adoption is a Biblical issue.  Adoption hits on God's heart.  Romans 8:5 states, "The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'"  That is the heart of adoption.  It makes a permanent, unbreakable bound, just as salvation does for believers.

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