It has been six months since I last blogged. I want to thank those who have continued to ask about my journey and have asked when I would start writing again. It has been a bumpy year, and I took my blog offline (six months ago) for two reasons. (1) I was interviewing with churches, and I realized that I wanted to be able to tell them myself. (2) There was such an undercurrent of uncertainty in my life, that I felt I couldn't be completely authentic here.
Now, I'm in a new place (physically, and frankly life is much better) and I'm ready to get rolling again. Here's a teeny bit of back story as well as a preview of the way forward.
|What I've been up to since moving to Georgia.|
On the day that I started my home study, I also found out that my position would most likely be eliminated. (You might remember back in the fall that I mentioned a hiccup in that department.) I will spare you the dramatical details and just say that it felt like I had been kicked in the stomach by someone wearing golf cleats. And most of the pain involved wondering how I could continue to pursue this dream of parenthood in the midst of such ambiguity. After calling my adoption agency and asking them to please-for-the-love-of-God not deposit the very large check I had written that morning, lots of conversation with trusted friends and family led me to stay the course. Still, this derailed me several months as I restarted the process of interviewing agencies to determine who could best handle my case if I moved. I wound back up at the same place where I started, Adoptions from the Heart (which if you're doing an adoption in the northeast you should most definitely look up, and you should tell them to give me a discount for the amount of business I have sent their direction.)
By January, I was 100% certifiably ready to adopt a baby - just waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting. The average wait time, in my agency, for a person open to transracial adoption is six months, so in many ways, it seemed like it could happen any day. I rationalized that this would simplify my life so much. It would certainly be easier to tell interviewers that I had the cutest baby in America than explain that I am in the middle of the adoption process. But that didn't quite happen.
As April tiptoed into May, I called my agency to figure out my options. Dear sweet Ashley managed to listen to me grapple with what to do next as if I weren't a crazy person. I was committed to keynote the Montreat Youth Conference at the beginning of June and had already promised to put my adoption on hold to honor that commitment. And then there was the matter that I had no idea where the heck I was going to live and who was going to pay for me to eat, but it probably wasn't going to be Pennsylvania (which meant that I couldn't accept a baby in PA, anyway).So the adoption went on hold. All my beautiful home study documents, the slick and sassy profile book, and my not-at-all awkward pick-me, pick-me video have been collecting dust for over three months. In all this time, my siblings have added three new babies to the family - round, smiling, gassy characters who will be the cousins of my tot-to-be. Beautiful, exciting stuff, but still exacerbates the sense of being left behind. As we pack for the beach, I remember last year's beach trip when I announced my news and expected to be sunscreening a tiny person this year.
|I think I have adopted a cat. On a scale of 1 to insane,|
how crazy is it for me to also adopt a boxer, pre-baby?
But (hallelujah, praise the Lord, do your best happy dance), Shelbi Latterham has a plan. At the end of May, I accepted a position to pastor Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta. I should stop and say that God is really, really good. It is not a lie to admit that I have wanted to be at DHPC ever since I heard two years ago that it was a possibility. No lie; I have witnesses. And I would hopefully (most likely, probably) be headed there, position elimination or not. It's a feisty little church in a rockin' part of Atlanta that will be a-okay with me blogging about God loving and wanting full humanity for all God's children, not just the straight ones. I get to preach . . . all the time! Their committee was fully supportive of my adoption plan, and there's a nursery just begging to have a tiny PK crawling around. It's a beacon for creativity, and it doesn't hurt that there is a coffee shop across the street. God is really good! This is also the part where I offer a public service announcement for anyone who wants to tell me that "God had a plan all along." And I will warn you I might be tempted to put my own golf shoes on (or borrow some, anyway) and stomp on your toe. God has answered my prayers in more ways than I could have hoped or deserved, but that little phrase is too easy, too shiny; it (unintentionally, I'm sure) attempts to put pretty frosting over a lot of ache that deserves to not be prettied up. I'm good, really good; I'm just not pinning all the messy mess with the pretty ending on God.
So, back to the plan. All I have to do now to resume the matching for adoption is get a new Georgia-fied home study (blerg!). Next week, I close on a house in Atlanta, which will mean I can actually start the blasted thing. It is the first house I have ever bought, and it's the first time I've felt entirely comfortable thinking I would stick around long enough to get my money's worth. It has a yard that will be perfect for a rope swing, and a street where Lil' Latham can learn to ride her/his bike. I have seen more of my family in the past few weeks, since returning to Georgia, than in the past four years. I am elated that my child (and my child's mama) will be close to family.
My agency in Pennsylvania has put me in touch with an agency in Georgia, and I will start gathering all the necessary data to redo this hefty beast of a home study. But I'm not doing it immediately. I want to give my church some of my undivided attention and feel that they deserve my certain presence through Advent and Christmas. So my goal is to open myself up to matching in late December (for advance placements, only, and in January for emergency placements too). I continue to covet your prayers and continue to be grateful for this journey despite its bumps. Until momdom arrives, I have a bathroom to renovate, some freckles to earn on the beach, sleep to bank and a brand spanking new job to start. Peace and love to all of you. I bid you adieu with your daily does of adorableness below.