It does, however, seem like a good space to make a bit of an announcement....
Our not so little family will be growing again.
Since our family's methods of growing (and shrinking) are generally not of the most conventional sort, I suppose I should expand a little.
Brian and I have discussed adopting an older teenager for around two years now. It's something that we've known we have wanted to do and have talked about for a long time. Over the last year we have had several happenings that have lead us to believe that we were ready to go ahead and pursue this dream of growing our family.
So, very long story short, here we are. "Ruth" is 15 years old and is going into her sophomore year of high school. We have been pursuing her since December. Over the course of the last six months we have been in close connection with her caseworker and therapist, and have slowly gotten to know her via facetime chats, visits to her hometown, and now through her visiting us.
Given that Ruth is 15, she has complete and total say over whether or not this move and adoption will happen (as she should). Because of that, it is still feasible that she comes to visit this chaotic, busy, grace-requiring family and chooses that she would rather stay where she is. It doesn't seem super likely that this will happen, but it is possible, and to that we say - God's will is so much better than our own, and we trust in what He has for us.
The other most frequently asked question is, "What do the girls think?" They are thrilled. Actually, when we first talked to them about it, we told them that we had been introduced to a girl who does not have a Mommy and Daddy taking care of her right now, and doesn't really have a place she calls home. Their response was - Well we have room! She should come live with us! We're a fun family! Brian and I felt really blessed by their response, and they have only become more excited as time goes on.
So, why a teenager?
I think there are a lot of answers for that question, but I'll try to be brief-ish.
So, being in foster care sucks. Being in foster care for a long time sucks even worse. What is worse than that, though, is being in foster care, being legally free for adoption, and pretty much being sure you'll never be adopted. This is the reality of most of the children in foster care over the age of about 9 (unless you have super cute younger siblings). That sounds harsh, but it's just the reality of the situation. Children considered to be "older children" in foster care are rarely adopted, and most often they age out of a system that has not prepared them for life on their own.
On their own.
No one to call when they have a flat tire. No one to salve the pain of a first heartbreak. No where to go over Christmas break. No one to stand an cheer with tears in their eyes at college graduation. No one to hold their hand as their body wracks with pain bringing their first little one into the world.
Worst of all, no one to look into their eyes and with absolute conviction say, "I will love you no matter what. There is nothing you could do to make me love you more. There is nothing you could do to make me love you less. Forever. Forever."
We feel pretty confident that God is not done growing our family and we know that he has given us a burden here. We are confident that what he calls us to he will provide for. He has shown us this over and over. With Cassandra and Mena, with X-man, with Bella and Tootaw. He is faithful on this journey.
So we will continue to walk in it.