For our Gladney
families this is a mandatory training if you are adopting an older child. Tonight Tyler went to serve on a panel of parents, where perspective adopting parents can ask questions openly & honestly.
It’s a little funny to us that he is on the ‘knowledgeable panel’ because it was around this time last year that we were headed to our Pathways training. You should know we left Pathways emotional train-wrecks! For 2 days we heard stories, did activities, studied, & listened to experts: all about adopting older kids. It was information that we were not fully prepared to hear.
We had not had our homestudy done yet. We had in our minds that there would be a 2-4yr wait before we would be matched with our kids. We came to the training with expectations. We came to the training of dreams of a house full of children, behaving perfectly, adapting perfectly, loving perfectly, & well basically everything was perfect. Then a big dose of reality hit us in the face. The Tuesday before our training we got a call from our agency about 5 kids available for adoption ages 2-6 & got stars in our eyes.
Adopting is hard. You don’t know everything. You have to be open to trying new things. You have to lower your expectations, & then lower them even more. You do not know where your child has been, what they have been through, who has influenced them, their expectations, or their personality.
A few weeks after the training we would say yes to our family. And the very next thing we did was sign up to go to the Pathways training AGAIN! Why? Because this time we were headed in with the right mindset. We were headed in to gain knowledge, build our toolbox, learn from the experts, start thinking & conversing with each other about every situation we could think about & how we planned to react.
If you are going to or have completed the training I pray that you don’t let the hard outweigh the child. Parenting is so hard (hardest thing we have ever done), but it is also the most worthwhile thing we have ever done. We left that training after the first time with our hearts broken & doubting if we could even handle 1 child let alone 5. Again know this was not the training’s fault, it was ours, we had not done our homework. We had not read the books, talked to other adoptive families, searched for blogs, openly asked questions to our agency, emailed with other families adopting from Colombia; we had a heart but no plan.
The heart is important, it is what called you to this journey. But remember…He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered (Proverbs 28:16).
If God has called you to adopt, do not be afraid! Don’t let worry set up in your heart, don’t let other people’s doubts or concerns guide you, don’t let the media dictate your decisions, don’t even let family tell you what’s right & wrong. You turn to the truth, to the Bible, to the One who first laid this calling on your heart. Then you need to start walking wisely & do your homework. If we would have only acted out of our own understanding we would not have 5 kids calling us “Papi & Mami” everyday.
The verse really is true…I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
We must look so silly to God when we try to do things on our own, just like our 2yr old taking 6 minutes to dress herself when Mami is sitting inches away ready to help…
… ask for help families! That’s one of the blessings of working with Gladney!
At the dinnermesa.