Part of the adoption process is logging hours of coursework and trainings as you wait to become parents...again...or for the first time. Our agency requires all adoptive families to complete what they call a "pre-adoption seminar"...it outlines their approach as an agency, the overview of each country's program, and a lot of information on adoption in general. Fortunately, since we already know our program, we were allowed to skip the sections on other countries. South Korea is a little special in the way they do things, however, so we got a few extra sections because we chose this particular country's program.
I thought I understood a lot about South Korea's program from our agency's website and conversations with our case worker and consultant. But one thing I began to realize I didn't understand was the expectation of the foster family. We already knew that the foster family was a big blessing in comparison to other countries because our son or daughter would not be placed in an orphanage. South Korea also has excellent medical care so this was another factor that drew us to their program. In fact, the foster mom is required to take our son or daughter to his/her well-check every month. As I sat in bed listening to our case worker go into detail about the foster family...she began to discuss the strict qualifications for the foster family that would be taking care of our son/daughter. For example, the youngest child could be no younger than 6. Wow. Our youngest is 3! We could not even be a foster family for our own child! Furthermore, our case worker went on to explain that the foster mom would not be permitted to work. Her sole responsibility would be to take care of the child. Again, I hold a full-time job. Now thankfully, I have a great job that allows me to work full-time and have summers off with my children. But, by the standards of South Korea, our current home environment and situation would not be conducive to that which is required of our child's foster family. We also learned that the child typically sleeps with the foster mom so that she can tend to the child's every need. While we were blessed with two great sleepers at a very young age, I began to imagine the exhaustion that the foster mom may likely feel...on my behalf. Exhaustion that I would feel if I was there...with my son or daughter. What a selfless act. Immediately, I began to pray for our foster mom...whom we don't even know...who may not even know our son or daughter yet. But I need to pray for her strength...not just today, but every day. I need to pray that God gives her grace, patience, and unconditional love for a child that she is raising...on our behalf. What a blessing she is to our family already.
One of my favorite things in this process (so far) has been the unfolding of each detail...because each minute detail allows me to pray in a significant way for every piece to our adoption puzzle- including our foster mom.