Learning to Advent

I would love to start this entry with some profound reason as to why we have not given an update in regards to fostering. Instead, I will begin with a story. It will be a short story, fasten your belts.

I received an email that said, “WordPress has just charged you 97.00 for your website.” My immediate thought was, “Well, that sucks.” That’s the end of the story.

In that moment, I realized that with everything that has taken place in the last year, I literally forgot that we had this blog. I wish I could say that this is the only thing we have forgotten over the last year, sadly, we have become far more absent-minded than we care to admit. So, for those who have followed along via social media, physical contact, and through reaching out on multiple platforms, Thank you.

As we enter into a season commonly referred to as “Advent” I find it fitting that this season describes our last year. Advent, put simply, means to “wait”. While Advent refers to the church waiting on Jesus to return, the reality is that we are all in a season of Advent. Especially when it comes to fostering. We are at the mercy of so many people, timelines, guidelines, protocols, etc. that we are always adventing (if I may create a word) – longing, waiting, looking forward to… something, anything, so long as it gives us some sense of forward progress.

Fostering, for our family, has revealed that we advent a conclusion to a story, and simultaneously reveals that when one signs up to foster they sign up to be part of a story that never ends. I think this reality became clear to me the day we found ourselves putting an adoption date on the calendar. It is easy to think, “Well, if we adopt, then we will be done.” Again, reality check, the conclusion is not the final conclusion of the book, but merely a conclusion within a chapter that exist within a novel. So, good news, we have an adoption date! There is that. It is fun, and exciting. At the same time it is sad and not exactly what we signed up for.

The fostering classes all but pound into your head the word “reunification”. That is what you advent as a foster parent. Reunification is what you long for and crave to see. However, reunification is not always the way the story goes. For our family, adoption is the ending of this chapter and the beginning of a whole new chapter. The beginning of a whole new system of questions. What does this mean? How will we interact with bio family? Will we feel more connected? Will he finally feel like he is ours? All great questions, and all questions that reveal that we are still longing for a conclusion. We are in a season of Advent.

Finally, if this is true – that we are always longing for a conclusion – then we must find comfort in the discomfort. We must find excitement in knowing that we are not done, and that we have been called to walk this life out with a sweet boy who is in great need of consistency, love, and transparency. We have an incredible opportunity to submit ourselves over again and again to someone who will experience seasons of “Advent” in ways we will not ever understand. I can only imagine the questions he will have, the narratives he will dream up, the empty conclusions that will circle around in his mind, the overall longing for answers and closure. His experience of advent will be much different than ours. This too is telling.

This reality tells us that we need him just as badly as he needs us. This whole experience creates in us a bond for one another that we never want to conclude. This longing of both parties reveals that the feelings of advent are exactly where we want to be, as frustrating as they be be at times. I mean, in the end, why would we ever really want our experience to conclude?

We are excited to have you officially become a part of our family!
May we long together, buddy.

– Dad

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