What follows was actually written around March 19. I didn’t share it at the time because I felt like it didn’t fit with the overall “theme” of my blog. The truth though is that I never wanted this to be my story. I wanted a different story. I didn’t want foster care to be my “thing”. I was a biological child in a foster home growing up (more about that here) and I had seen the hard parts. I fought the distinct tug towards it for several years, but as God tends to do, he eventually brought my heart into surrender and, finally, obedience. I’m sharing this with you at 2:30 a.m. I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had unfinished business.
We’ve been on this foster care &/or adoption journey since March of 2016. I blogged about the beginning here. Our home opened in February of 2017. This post is an act of obedience. I’m allowing God to lead the content of my blog. It turns out the theme all along was obedience. I knew I needed to share this part of my journey in order to be transparent and honest with you. It’s an important part for you to understand what comes next. As much as I enjoy sharing these posts, they are truly my reflections and remembrances of God’s faithfulness.
My phone buzzed. Unknown number. Deep in conversation with my work friends over lunch, I ignored it. Time was short and I had recess duty. After a few minutes, the lull in conversation allowed me a quick second to check my voicemail. “It’s the adoption specialist,” I gushed, barely able to contain my excitement! We had been waiting on a call from her. In the past she had merely returned emails so I knew this had to be the news we were waiting for! This was it! We must be matched!
I rushed to a quiet corridor connecting the lounge to the teacher’s restroom. In my excitement I struggled to remember how to make a call. They were finally calling! I waited while the phone seemed to ring too many times, then, finally, the line went quiet and someone said, “Hello?” “Hi, it’s Cassandra! I had a missed call from you?” “Yes, this is Dianne, the adoption specialist. I’m calling about your adoption inquiry?” Seriously! Come on! “Yes?” “They’ve been matched with another family.” All at once I was cold and hot. I felt a little dizzy and tears stung my eyes. Diane said a few more things that I can’t really recall, and then I squeaked out a small, “Thank you,” before ending the call. I had so many questions.
How could this be?
“God! I trusted you! I knew this was crazy, but I trusted you. I wanted those kids. We inquired against all odds, knowing that you would provide the way. We began construction. I could see these kids in our future. We wanted to be their “match.”
The rejection stung. They say not to take it personally, but when an adoption specialist looks at your home study, your life, summarized, and tells you that you don’t match? That rejection really hurts. Its a loud, “You are not enough,” or perhaps, “You are just too much.” All of those doubts I had suspended and ignored for the last month came crashing back over me.
You don’t match.
Why would God ever use YOU to do something so important for him?
You are inadequate.
I took a deep breath and walked back into the room where I had just shared my excitement about this phone call. Tears welled in my eyes threatening to come, but I held back, knowing that I couldn’t open the flood gates now. Not 15 minutes before recess duty. Not when it was only noon and I needed to be emotionally present for my students.
My friends noticed the crestfallen look on my face, and I whispered, “They were matched with another family.” I don’t know what the right thing to say in that very moment is, I’m not sure there is any right thing, but they reassured me that this was God’s plan. This was a truth that I knew in my brain, but in my heart I was hurting and, to be honest, a little angry.
New emotions began to surface:
I have to tell everyone now. All the friends that were praying for us… and I have to break the news to my husband and kids.
“God, now I look foolish and you look like you are not trustworthy.”
I don’t want to do this. We aren’t doing this anymore. We are done. No more fostering. They haven’t been calling us anyway because we are obviously inadequate for that as well.
And definitely no more adoption events. I can’t do this again and again.
Can we be done?
For the last few days, things have been quiet. I’ve been quietly mulling over these events and how they played out. How I trusted God for this to be a match, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t his plan. At times that is ok with me because I know that I know that I know He is good and he is well able to carry out his plans for my life, and it still stings that this adoption wasn’t a match, but it wasn’t. There are still kids out there who need a home, so we aren’t done. We can’t be.
As much as I’ve wanted to quit over the last few days, God keeps reminding me, tenderly, “I do this for you. I choose you. I want to be your match. I pursue you. I do it again and again. Sometimes people reject me and that hurts but I love them just the same. I keep seeking them out. My love for you is unmatched.”
He chose me. His love for me is matchless! I don’t always understand the plan, but I have to trust that the creator of the universe knows exactly what he is doing. Even when the answer is no.