Our decision on the next steps to complete our family.
I do not have a green thumb. Most plants throughout my life have come to their final resting place in my hands. I would either forget to water them, water them too much, or just plain look at them cross-eyed. Whatever it was that I was doing wrong, the result was the same.
I have had more luck since we moved to Maryland. Therefore, with great trepidation and some nervous energy, my husband and I planted a backyard garden.
We have all the basics: tomatoes, peppers, lettuce spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, broccoli and some herbs. Things are progressing nicely. In fact, I now consider myself a gardener. It is not just a hobby, however. It is my newest form of therapy, and I have come up with some great new philosophies while puttering around back there. I have formed some new ideas on parenting, and how raising kids is like raising a garden.
The ground that you plant your seeds in is important and it takes a lot of preparation to make it ideal for plants to grow to their full potential. With kids, it is important to prepare the environment that you are bringing them into, both physically and spiritually. I think that is why parents traditionally have 9 months to prepare. Whatever your parental situation is, you can prepare a place in your heart and your home for the little seedlings to grow. Whether they have been placed in your home as seeds or transplanted there, they can and will flourish.
It is also important to catch weeds before they have a chance to take root. I had a lot of experience with this fact when the scrub oaks were shedding seeds all over my fledgling garden. It was easiest to get the seeds out before they dug their way into the ground. Inevitably, I missed quite a few. By the time those mini trees popped their heads up to where I could see them, it would take a bit more effort to remove them. If I let things progress and those buggers took and built a stronger root, it was downright difficult to get rid of them. With our kids, we have to be as progressive as we can with weeding out bad habits and behaviors. The earlier you catch them, the easier it is to correct the problem. A little behavior in a small child might be somewhat cute, but it can turn into a full-fledged monster issue if you let it grow.
I will not bore you with any more of my musings, except to say that the nurture and care that a garden takes is worth it. It takes but a season to see the fruits of your labor. A child takes significantly longer to grow, but I know that the work and dedication that we put into our daughter is worth it. I also know that things will be the same with any other kids that enter our life. The fruits born of each child’s life are different. Yet they are all sweet.
It is hard to believe that it has been about a year since we started this process. It has run the gamut of emotions. As we have searched for that child (or children) that are to be a part of our family we have done things like passing out our info cards, inquiring about children and sibling groups in foster care and working with Spence-Chapin in New York with babies with special needs. Nothing has panned out with any of these.
It can be an emotional roller coaster. We see a child that we think would be a good match for our family and nothing happens with it. We continue our search and try other means.
We have a meeting with our adoption case worker this week to renew our home study. We have some things on our minds right now that we are praying about and thinking about pursuing. Once we have an answer from God we will share with our friends, family, and the world.