In life, the average person makes thousands of decisions a week. Some may be as small as deciding between lasagna and meatloaf while in the grocery store. Others are much more significant, such as deciding when and how to purpose to that special someone in your life. In my own life, I have made some wonderful decisions. Such as getting my real estate license at the age of nineteen and purchasing a home at rock-bottom prices in the beginning of 2014. I have also made a few terrible ones: Choosing to build a home at the beginning of 2007 and believing I could ride out the recession with the aid of credit lines, for instance. Even in the aftermath of the worst decisions, however, you can usually find a silver lining. When the bottom dropped out of the real estate market and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at an all time low, I was forced to take a job. The first shift work I had done in the better part of a decade. Believing this to be rock bottom, I convinced myself that the job would only be for three months, six tops, and that I would soon be back at the top of my game selling real estate full time. What came next was total devastation. Short sale on the house, sold the BMW, hung up the recreational pilots license, bankruptcy, and finally, though not immediately, my fiance’ terminated our relationship. But, had I not ended up in what seemed like dire straights at the time that I did, I would not likely hold the position I do today, with a job that I love earning an above average wage. I also would not have been able to write the remainder of this post.
Two years after all this transpired, I got back together with my ex-fiance’, and we, once again moved forward in our relationship.
In opposite directions.
As some of you may remember from my first post in this series, she and I had a pregnancy “scare”, which ultimately ended our relationship and drove me to what has become the best decision of my life: Getting licensed for foster care. And, a decision I was nearly (and sarcastically) committed for making as a single man working a graveyard job, when I was matched with a beautiful set of eighteen month old twin boys. In over my head, tired beyond belief, and run nearly to the point of failure on several occasions, only to suffer, a year and a half later, with a period of a couple months where reunification was back on the table and I was being asked to work with one of the parents on a plan for transitioning the boys back to their biological parents. But after this long and arduous period, parental rights were terminated and, a couple months later, the twins were cleared for adoption.
I remember those couple of months as being the most emotionally trying time in my life. I wasn’t eating, barely sleeping, and unable to muster the faith to ask God for peace. What I did do was far worse. After the boys were asleep in their beds, I would drink and pray. But my prayers were not for peace. They were threats. Threats regarding the things I would say and do if after putting them in my life, He were to choose to separate them from me. These threats would usually end in tears as I contemplated this reality, followed by a series of apologies and pleas for forgiveness for my complete and utter lack of trust. Asking Him to make some allowances for my attitude, given the circumstance.
I have always believed that I had the ability to affect change based upon the strength of my own will and my determination to succeed at a given task, but even I could not ignore the extreme coincidence of having had everything in my life drive me to a singular purpose, which would conclude exactly the way I had envisioned, where the boys entered the system precisely the moment I was concluding my licensing requirements, and, now, two long years later, almost to the date, I will walk into a court room at the end of one path, and walk out at the beginning of the next, with two boys entirely my own, with my own name.
My own family.
Even in my most arrogant times, I could not deny the hand of God in these, otherwise, impossible odds. Believe me when I tell you this. Getting licensed for foster care has completely changed my life, not to mention the lives of two little ones who have reached a place deep withing my heart that I never knew existed, and turned my entire world upside-down. This has been the most difficult two years of my life, and I would do every second of it over again in a heartbeat.
One other addition that I’ve failed to mention is that, as of about four months ago, I took in another child. An eighteen month old girl, who speaks at a kindergartner’s level. She is sweet and beautiful, and, while I don’t yet know how long our journey together will last, I do know that it will be an adventure that weaves itself into the very fabric of my being and binds us even tighter as a family. I had intended to keep this story-line about my journey from a prospective foster parent to adoption, with the boys at the center, but I can’t help but see how much they’ve grown and accepted our newest addition into our odd, unconventional family, and how much we’ve all grown together because of her. So, I only think it’s fair that she be included in our story, until the time comes for her to be reunified with her birth family or move into a forever home, and if that forever home happens to be mine, I can only imagine what the next years will bring.