The Adoption: Homestudy #1

IMG_20150624_122550

That’s a picture of my certificate of completed preparation courses 🙂

I’ll try to keep this blog as short and to the point as possible. Firstly, it has been one heck of a journey getting my apartment ready for this child. Emotionally, spiritually, and physically I have had my strength tested. Before I say anything else though, I feel the need to make something clear.

I’m not adopting this child to fill an empty void in my life. I feel as though some people are worried that I’m lonely because I’m single, and don’t have children of my own. Contrary to popular belief, I have lots of children in my life that feel like mine, and I am thankful for the undivided devotion I have to God in my singleness. I’m going to be working as a 12th grade English teacher and am still devoted to my local ministries. All of that to say, I’m not bored. I am confident that this was a calling from God to follow a specific commandment to seek the fatherless and love them with the love of Christ.

Now, I HAD MY FIRST HOME STUDY TODAY! I was terribly nervous last night you guys. Like, sick to my stomach, couldn’t get to sleep til 3am, throwing up on in the night- kind of nervous. I think it’s because I haven’t been submitting my anxiety about this whole thing to God like I promised Him I would. Silly girl. Well, my social worker came over and made herself comfy. We talked for a while about each other just so we could become more at ease. I’m sure she could see that I was still a bit on edge. She checked the apartment and made sure it was “child” friendly. I need to get a few things, but for the most part she was thoroughly impressed. I’m still not sure if I’ll be getting the young boy I’ve been praying for, but he’s definitely still in the system. After she measured his room and checked water temperatures I felt a weight removed from my heart. I think that in that moment I realized something sweet; if this is what God would have for me, there is nothing on this earth that can stop His will from being done. After that, it was smooth sailing. I’ve turned in all of my paperwork, I’m finishing my photo album, and I have to wait 3 weeks before we meet again. In that time, she’ll be reading over my biographical information and joining with other workers in an attempt to determine what child (if not the one I’m praying for) will be the BEST fit for Ms. Solomon. Right now, my age range is 4-8. I know that’s a huge gap, but I feel a sense of peace with that as well. In short, that was the visit. She said the first one is generally the shortest, and I assume it’s because she hasn’t read through my paperwork yet. The next one will probably be the longest, but I don’t feel nearly as anxious as I thought I would. There is one more after that, then I will be qualified to foster and/or adopt a sweet child.

I want to sincerely thank all of you who called or texted me some form of encouragement this morning. It meant the world. It’s so special to know that I have a body of family and friends that are experiencing this process alongside me. I will continue to thank God for your selfless heart and constant prayers, and I have no doubt that He will be glorified in my life as well as the life of whatever sweet child He blesses me with.

P.S.

I have new furniture in my apartment and it is by far the most precious thing in my life. I need help decorating the child’s room, and I am taking volunteers if anyone would like to join me in this portion of the process. I haven’t started work yet, so financially I’m still stuck in this limbo of a time frame. No worries though, I am making due with what I’ve got!

I love you guys

The Adoption: Welcome

adoption-hands

Firstly, I really just want to thank everyone for the ABUNDANCE of support and prayer thus far. It’s only been a few days and I am still overwhelmed with thankfulness. My family and friends have for the most part been extraordinarily supportive and with the hand full of responses that somewhat hurt, God has provided peace as the days go by.

I’ve decided to just keep you all informed on my blog. It seems a bit easier. Also, they’re really informal and can often be wordy. This is primarily because I ramble, so if you’re just like “No Shakiyla, Stop” we’ve probably never held a conversation. This is Just a warning.

Today was a big day. I had my last observation in Student Teaching prior graduation, and it was a breeze. I very seldom get nervous, but I guess that with all of the other things on my mind, I began to crumble under pressure. Even still, my Supervisor was moved at the way my students respond and interact with me after only a few months and that was super encouraging.

Today was also officially the beginning of the adoption process. We had orientation and I met the sweetest girl who is also attempting to adopt for the first time. So do you want to hear about how I almost had a heart attack? Of course you do. I looked at the list of dates for training and the first one of three was on May 16th. Yep, May 16th. Which happens to be my college graduation date. The only training dates after those were in November. Yep, November. So I legitimately took a deep breath and asked the instructor if there were any other options. She said, “Well Ms. Solomon, those classes are the CPR courses and although you won’t be certified, it’s mandatory that you be there. You would just have to re-take that course in mid-July to late August” My response, “What if I’m CPR certified until 2017?” “OH GIRL, YOU’RE FINE THEN!” I’m pretty sure I almost had an accident when she said that. I’ve never felt such a rush of relief. We talked about pretty general things. It consisted of paperwork, our personal objective, and the asking of questions that we’d been holding in the entire time. The most amazing thing about it all though, was the fact that there were so many interracial couples. I forget how sweet racial harmony is because it’s clouded by racism and the hate that it entails. I couldn’t stop smiling at them. They could very well think I’m a complete psycho, but I guess we’ll get past that. May 23rd is my first training session and I ask that you guys continue to pray. Last week I started writing letters to my son/daughter and I didn’t fail to mention, by name, the amazing people that prayed for him/her long before we ever locked eyes.

I’m finally doing this, you guys. Two years is a really long time of having to plead and beg and just wait for God to give me clarity. In that waiting though, I’ve grown in more ways than a few. I don’t think I could explain in words how much peace I have in my being. I’m not sure if that made sense. I just finally feel like I’m on the path God has always had for me, not my own, not rebellion, not walking in fear, just sweet obedience and I love Him for granting me it.

I’m Adopting.

Initially, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tell anyone about this, but I’m confident that was only fear in my heart. I’ll start from the beginning. For the past two years, I’ve been going back and forth with God about my singleness, unhealthy relationships, and seemingly unbearable desire for children. I vividly remember nights when I just punched walls and screamed at the top of my lungs at Him because I felt as though my desires were a mistake. More specifically, one that He promised He’d never make. That had a lot to do with my lack of trust in Him. Well, eventually, I stopped praying about it. I got to a point where I decided that if I was meant to be a mother, it’d happen in His time, and if not, He’d change the desires of my heart. I was exhausted and faithless. Needless to say, those desire have yet to subside, if anything, they’ve magnified.

About two months ago, I started having this recurring dream of me and an anonymous little boy just living life together. Some days we’d play outside, other nights I was telling him bedtime stories. More recently, we were curled up in a blanket and I was telling him the story of what it was like growing up with two brothers. I had this dream at least 4 times a week and it was all I thought about during the day. I despised God because of it. I considered it a “carrot dangling in front of a mule” and I wanted him to stop. Finally, I confessed it to my accountability group (this is a small group of women, including myself that meets up weekly and discus the burdens of our hearts) and I told them about the anger I had toward God. Chelsie told me that maybe, just maybe, it was God showing me a possibility, not the lack thereof. Well, she said a bit more but that was her main point. I let that sit for a while and really asked God for understanding. My heart was heavy, still is. The kids at my apartment started asking questions that I never thought they would. “Ms. Shakiyla, you don’t want kids?” “Ms. Shakiyla, you ever wish you had a baby” “Ms. Shakiyla, can we have some popsicles to take home?” Ya know, things like that. It hurt, y’all. Everytime they said it, it felt like a blow to the heart. Then today happened.

I’m student teaching, so generally I go to Barbe High at 8am and stay until about 3. I love those kids and they are teaching more about myself as a woman than I ever imagined possible in just a few months. This morning though, I had no desire to be there. I had a ton of homework and my apartment was filthy. I didn’t understand why, but I didn’t fight it. I texted Mrs. Vaughn, my cooperative teacher, and asked her if it’d be okay if I stayed home for the above reasons. She approved, and so I did. I cleaned the house, made lunches for the week, checked he mail for the first time all week, WASHED MY HAIR, and decided that I’d bring popsicles to the kids at the bus stop. Usually, I get home just in time to catch them walking through the parking lot, check their folders, and offer them treats from the candy bowl. Today was different though.

I went to the bus stop super early and just talked with some of the women there. Ms. Kim is her name. Ms. Kim started telling me how much she loved seeing those kids run in and out of my place because she sees my heart and it’s precious. She then started talking about her son. Her joy. Her gift from God. In the midst, she mentioned adoption. I asked her if he was, and her face lit up. She gave me a quick run down of the adoption process and the first thing she said was, “I didn’t have a buncha money and I didn’t have a buncha people to help, I didn’t have a husband, but I did have a powerful God that knew the desires of my heart.” The school bus pulled up. Her son got off and I got chills. As she walked off, she told me her apt number and told me to meet her there so we could talk.

I’ve had that number on my mirror since she moved in because a family friend recommended we met up. I was always too busy, but I think that was just God’s timing. I prayed for Ms. Kim a lot, never knowing what was happening in her life. Well, she was in the middle of a heart wrenching adoption process. We talked for almost 3 hours about her life, her struggles, my fears, and my flaws, and toward the end I couldn’t stop crying. She told me, and I quote, “I think you can’t stop crying because for the first time in years, you believe what it is your Daddy been tellin you.” I’m crying now, as I type it. I went a long time not understanding my heart and why I knew I needed to be there for a child. I currently have a lot of trouble in friendships because I don’t feel like they need me and it makes understanding my role unbelievably difficult. Today, for the first time, I believe God’s promise, and with everything in me, I’m trusting Him.

I write this blog because I need prayer. I need y’all to pray that God continues to mold me. I know I have insecurities, fears, and heart issues that need changing in order to raise up a child. I’m young, I know, but my God makes no mistakes. I need encouragement. I need guidance and support. I need to be pushed in ways I’ve never been pushed. I need God’s intervention along with His peoples’. I want you all to walk this journey with me, the highs and lows. Today I’m e-mailing Ms. Kim’s social worker and I’m already getting things going. I’m scared out of my mind and I don’t want to be. I want to be joyful and trusting in God’s provision. I know I have a long way to go, and I finally have faith enough to start. I’m not sure how long it’ll take, but I’m confident He’s din the midst. I will be keeping you updated and I hope that my family is supportive and encouraging in my obedience.

iRant…

Image

Generally before starting a blog I do a ton of research, praying, or even asking others’ opinions on the topic at hand. None of that happened here. This is completely at random and I’m almost skeptical of how it’s going to end.

*dives in*

I just texted a really good friend of mine

“It’s weird how much I love those kids…”

He didn’t say anything back but the more I sat on my couch and thought about reasons that would make my love for anyone weird, it didn’t seem weird at all. It seemed natural. I have this sort of attachment to the children I meet. It’s so much deeper than I’d ever expected it to be. They make me want to be a better woman and love with everything I can muster. I just need for everyone to hear me out really quick-like…

We have GOT to start focusing on the children around us. I know so many people, in so many different living situations, and so many different  on “child raising” that it seems necessary to remind the few followers I have to love a child. Initially, I thought this blog was going to be about the necessity of men in children’s lives, which is definitely a necessity but it is by no means the only one. Hence the picture of the father and son I decided not to take off. I stand firm in the belief that a Godly, confident, humbly selfless men can have more of an affect on a child than they’ll ever know so it frustrates me when I don’t see those kinds of men running to the opportunity to do so. In the same instance. Children need the gentle, quiet, nurturing spirit of a God-fearing woman to set the same example and assist these men in upbringing these babies. I’m not sure if you’ve read my biography but I want to adopt. I’ve always wanted to adopt. I know now more than ever in my life that adoption is and will always be heaviest on my heart. I know that has nothing to do with everything I’ve said thus far but it can, I promise it can. Every time I find myself pouring into a child I feel like I’m doing what I was created to. So many of my relationships with families at Abraham’s Tent are founded on the simple fact that I wanted to adopt those children. Now, that’s obviously not happening BUT that doesn’t mean I’m unable to reach out as far as I possibly can and do everything in my power to show those children that I love them and will always love them. I seriously have no idea what this blog is supposed to be about. I don’t even know what I should title it, or if I should. All I know is, as a body, we need to be sure we are reaching out into our community of children and loving them, Whole-hearted, unwavering, unconditional love.