One component of our case file is a collection of reference questionnaires, completed by two of our siblings and three friends last spring. This was a much bigger favour than any passport application guarantor ask I ever got. It was a multi-page, paragraph-answer package that, while I never saw the questions, I’m sure sought thorough confirmation that we were upstanding citizens and qualified for resource parenting. I am forever grateful for their time and effort in helping us with these forms.
This leads me to the importance of a strong support system. We knew this on our own, but it has been impressed upon us at our training and by our case worker. It will most definitely take a village, as it has with all of our children. I believe that one of the ways God’s grace will fill in our gaps is going to be through the kindness of our community. Even in these early days, I am so thankful for the periodic and simple “how’s the adoption going?”s and the listening that comes after. Oh, the listening. Thank you Jesus for the listening. Seriously. The adoptive community is such a minority where I am that at times I have felt like a loner surrounded by nobody who understands. But when my people listen to my updates or rants, their understanding expands and they become that community for me more and more.
And speaking of community (guess what my word for 2016 is going to be??), I have started connecting with adoptive and foster families, locally and across the continent. We have shared stories, are following each others’ series, and their encouragement has been life-giving. I look forward to having their support and advice in the months and years ahead when our child finally joins our family, and to having the opportunity reciprocate.
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17