Come Home Day

All of us are moms, which means that somehow the Lord has blessed us with the incredible mission of raising children. All of us have our own stories of how we became mothers, whether through giving birth, adoption, marrying someone with children, or becoming a guardian of a family member’s child.

For me, the gift of adoption made me a mother. Originally in 2011 and again in 2014, my husband and I ventured into the world of fost-adopt and brought home our children. We became certified foster parents in order to be placed with children that were looking for adoptive homes. In January of 2018, the term “foster family” was replaced with “resource family” and the rules/regulations of the process have changed slightly. As with any government update, there is a time of transition while the program begins to be instituted. Please continue to pray for the system as it adjusts to its new terminology and procedures.

Many people stop to thank us for “taking these kids in and giving them a home.” I have to admit however that I didn’t go into adoption thinking about changing these children’s lives, but rather, I looked at it as my way of becoming a mother.

October commemorates a special time for our family. Our oldest children came home during this month, all those years ago. We had met them only a few weeks earlier after finding out we had been chosen as a match by their social worker. Meeting them for the first time was an unbelievable moment as we looked at these children who could potentially become ours. A few weeks later, we were picking them up and bringing them home, forever. Foster parents never know how their stories will play out and so when we brought them home on that fall day in October, we didn’t know if we would be able to adopt them or not. We picked them up from their current foster home, loaded up their belongings and drove home. There is no manual that tells you what to do next. Bringing home any child comes with so many questions and concerns. In the few days since we had met them, we painted their rooms in colors they had chosen, but we weren’t even sure if we would have them share a room or if we would give them their own rooms. It was daunting trying to figure out what they ate, if they liked or didn’t like things, if they needed help using the bathroom or even bathing themselves. It was a constant guessing game, as I’ve found out is typical for all parents. Reflecting back, I’m sure their minds were filled with questions as well. Would they be able to stay here? Was it safe in our house? Would they get three meals a day? Would we “give them back?”

Somehow months turned into years, as time always flies with children. We had settled into our routine for that season of life and had desired to grow our family again in 2014. We ventured back into foster-adopt and brought home our youngest child. When we met our youngest son, the social workers had not allowed us to bring our older children with us to meet him. They wanted us to meet first and would facilitate that meeting at a later date. Turns out this process surprised everyone. We met him and two days later went back to pick him up and bring him home forever. The first time our older children met him was when I placed him in his car seat inside our van. We went to gather his belongings and when I came back, he was holding hands with our other son. These two children didn’t know each other until that very moment and yet the bond was already growing.

I marvel at God, how He builds all of our families. Until two years ago our youngest son didn’t exist to us and we to him, yet within days our family had grown and even to outsiders, it was apparent that he was ours and we were his.

And so, we celebrate Come Home Days. Some years we celebrate more than others, depending on how everyone is doing emotionally. Some years we need to remember how we all came together, while other years we’re too busy living out lives, to stop and take note. No matter how our families came together, we are a family. Hopefully we’re all taking the time to stop and look with wonder and awe at the ways we have grown together. What are special days that your family celebrates?

 Copyright 2018 Courtney Vallejo. All Rights Reserved. 

Image Credit: 2018 Courtney Vallejo. All Right Reserved.