Choose Joy

Seeking Jesus in this crazy journey

The Greatest Gift

on June 10, 2017

On May 30, 2017 I got home just in time for the doorbell to ring.  Probably the sweetest sound of my recent life.  In that little envelope, a letter “To the adoptive parents, Carey & Alissa Sanders”.  An official adoption order, with a judge’s signature and a date.  What a good, good sight to these anxious eyes.

We’ve been so (im)patiently awaiting this mail.  It had been in court for 12 weeks and 2 days.  Everyone we know (and many we don’t) had been keenly praying.  I’d been posting on adoption forums and emailing our workers for current timelines somewhat relentlessly, desperately hoping for encouragement that it would be soon.

It had been over a year since their Band released them for adoption, months since we’d signed finals, and yet the process was taking FOREVER.  They had been with us for 1245 days at this point.  They’d been in care, respectively, for 2346 and 1729 days.  They’d both been ‘adoptable’ from a legal standpoint for 1860  and 1368 – meaning they both could have been adopted before they were 2 years old.  They’d had another family fight to adopt them, unsuccessfully and with much heartbreak, prior to us stepping up over two years ago.  Our agonizing wait came to an end, because of a lot of advocating, intense documentation, and striving to keep their file on the top of the pile for each and every overloaded caseworker, supervisor, manager, advocate, band member, and judge.

And then it came.  They were adopted.  I read the two pages ten times.  The date.  The judge’s name.  The word ‘adopted’.  The fact that they are ‘Sanders’.  I cried happy tears and thanked Jesus.  We are forever.

There is so much gift in that alone.  There is assurance for them that they will never have to be moved again.  There is the gift of our kids, the unique and beautiful creation of our family.  (People say that “they’re so lucky to have you” but adoption is not lucky.  Kids go through a lot of brokenness to get to the point of needing to be adopted.  Do every foster and adoptive parent the favour of skipping the word “lucky” or “blessed” unless it’s that WE are blessed to have such beautiful kids. ||End Rant||)

But for us, there was this extra gift in the timing of getting these adoption orders.  The next day, we sat at the Cross Cancer Institute for 7 hours while numerous members of a multi-disciplinary team came in and did their questionnaires and assessments.  They used words like “goals of care” and “quality of life” and “palliative”.  We tried to figure out how to control the symptoms, manage the pain, and discussed (at my prodding) end of life.  She told me it would be realistic that I had less than a year to live and to do things “sooner than later” if they were important.

God knew how hard this appointment would be; it lacked any feelings of hopefulness or resilience.  And so the day before, he gave us a little package in the mail that radiated hope and joy.  It was a gift that we could cling to the next day during some of those hard moments and during discussions of so many unknowns.  One thing was certain; we know our family is secure.  We signed paperwork that listed our dependants and confidently checked off the box that they are legally adopted.  What a GIFT!!

And so again, as we step out of some of the darker days of our journey and in general reflect on the really hard parts of our story, we can say without any doubt that we are experiencing God’s hand of provision.  We are comforted again and again by his character – his sustaining power, his sovereignty, his love.  But this time he gave us a tangible (hold it and read it and keep it sacred) gift and we are so thankful.

Praise Jesus.


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