Left to right: Tanndria (5), Doug (Dad), Fall (9), Isla (5), Laurellai (10), Chrissy (Mom) & Serenity (7)
Today we are proud to share the adoption story of the Rupp Family, as written by Christine Rupp.
In 2016 my husband and I made the commitment to grow our family through foster-care adoption. We hoped to add one little girl, between the ages of our two biological girls, who were three and eight at the time. Knowing little of the complex needs of children in the system, we hoped for a gentle transition to our larger family and therefore hoped to connect with a child who was legally freed and had no traumatic history.
With the MAPP training course under our belts, we set out on the journey to find our new child. We poured over the profiles of waiting children that stacked the binder at our local library. We scoured the MARE website for profile updates. When a potential match would emerge, we coached ourselves not to be too excited or too invested. The effort was always in vain. As soon as we read about a waiting child that we thought might be match for your family, we would inevitably start to compute how this child would fit into the dynamics of our life. What grade would she be in? Where would she sit at the dinner table? How would her relationship with our biological children unfold? Despite our efforts to keep our boundaries up, the endless questions would start to flow and before we knew it, we had mentally blended this unknown child into our lives and fallen in love with the new picture we’d created.
18 months later we had worked intensely on several potential matches. We would learn the history, meet the child, and fall in love with the new image of our family, but then something unforeseen would occur – the foster family unexpectedly decided to adopt the child, the child needed a surgery that significantly delayed her availability for placement, another family emerged that was a better fit. While the pain and disappointment grew with each loss, it also allowed us to feel just a little more open-minded about what kind of placement we could consider if we moved forward. Our third potential placement, a sibling group of three sisters, proved to be a very difficult loss and the heartbreak was too much. We believed it might be time to end our journey toward adoption.
Before finalizing our decision with our social work team, we received our first inquiry on our family. Networking social workers had heard that our family lost the placement of a sibling group and reached out to see whether we would consider a group of four girls. The children had a significant trauma history, the case had several legal complications and the girls had been separated in foster care. The inquiry was almost laughable in its deviation from our initial adoption goal. When we saw the photograph of the girls, however, we knew they were ours. Within a few months we were preparing to add four new little ladies to our lives.
In the year since their placement, much has happened. Our lives flew into utter chaos for many months, tears were shed on all ends, and concerns about whether we could pull this off abounded. In an unexpected shift, the youngest sister was placed back with her biological mother and new tears, fears and hurt swarmed. Ever so slowly though, the dust started to settle. The tears began to shift to more hugs and smiles, and deep connections continue to form.
It has been a wild and unpredictable ride. The outcome is one we never could have anticipated at the start of the process. As we anxiously await the approach of our formal adoption date, we can look back and truly know that every step of the journey was laying the foundation for the family we were always meant to be.