We left the hospital feeling like we failed. With an empty car seat behind us, we sat emotionally and physically exhausted as we returned to Houston from St. David’s Hospital in Austin. The next day, we sat around the dinner table with our four kiddos. They ask “where is our baby brother?” ”What happened?” “Why did CPS not let him come home?” Understanding that God is sovereign in all things, our only answer was “God wants us to do hard things.” This is a refrain my children hear often from me, but today as their mom and dad sit with blood shot eyes and no appetite because of stress, they get to see us practice what we preach.
Now, there is no time to describe the roller coaster of our adoption experience. We arrived at the hospital when our son was one day old and from the moment we arrived we experienced one major hurdle after another. “You can only jump one hurdle at a time,” I assured my husband. Since CPS was involved, it made things even more complicated. We had made arrangements with the birth mom to adopt her child privately. Even though (after a bunch of drama!) we got the mother’s termination of rights and a hospital release, CPS still filed for custody. We sat with our son that Monday morning in a hospital room making phone calls, praying and trying to figure out what to do as we had no representation in court that was to meet later that day. Despite our best efforts, at 4:00, we got the news that our son was going into CPS custody. “Should we just walk away?” my husband rightly asks. We knew that we did not want to work with CPS, for several reasons I won’t go into (not only due to space, but because I don’t want to discourage anyone from working with CPS). Being foster parents was not an option for our family and the possibility of going through up to 6 months of litigation to fight with Austin CPS in court seemed unreasonable. However, as it stood, God had not yet completely shut the door, He just allowed things to be difficult. We knew we were not in sin. God calls us to care for orphans (James 1). We knew were fighting for the future of this child from being at the mercy of a godless government agency. He was worth fighting for and we had to recognize this as a trail that God desired us to walk through. Physically, mentally and emotionally we were exhausted. But spiritually we were solid. While there was chaos all around us, we hung onto the things we did know for sure: God is good. God does not leave us or forsake us. The testing our our faith produces perseverance and hope that does not disappoint us, which is why we can have joy (also James 1…whew, good thing the kids and I memorized that chapter this summer!) We acknowledged that we did not need to fear difficulty and hardships because we knew God ordained them. God wants us to do hard things.
After 2 weeks in foster care, our son was placed in our car seat and we brought him to Houston. A month later CPS created case law in order to turn him over to us for a private adoption (something that truthfully everyone said CPS just doesn’t do!). God placed so many amazing Christian sisters in our lives like our lawyer and case managers who literally dropped everything they were doing to come to our aid. God was so merciful. Next month we return to court to finalize the adoption. Honestly in the back of my mind I expect something else crazy to happen when we arrive in court. But that’s ok. Because God who began this good work will bring it to completion…no matter how tumultuous the path may be.
**I'm thankful to know Janice and her sweet kiddos. It has been a blessing to watch them go in faith on this journey!*
Janice & her hubby
The sweet kiddos! All of them!