Monday, Monday

So, I was thinking today I would take us back to the beginning of our foster care and adoption journey.  This is an email I wrote to my family and friends back in April of 2009 –

On Monday morning Jeff and I will be heading to Johns Hopkins Hospital for my hysterectomy.  My mom will be there also to make sure that I have the absolute best care and no questions or concerns go unanswered.  I am so thankful to have such a wonderful advocate on my side…and she’s my mom! 
  
I understand that this is a major surgery and that it is one of great magnitude given that Jeff and I will not be able to conceive children.  Despite all of that, both Jeff and I are counting down the days with great anticipation of the relief and renewal that will come. Relief from many years of constant pain and discomfort, from the agony of failed treatment approach after failed treatment approach, and renewal to be able to truly live life together.  We are completely confident in Dr. Sewell and her team and feel very fortunate to be under the care of Hopkins.
 
We have already begun the grieving process and I am sure that we will continue to work through it well after the surgery.  This is completely normal and it does not mean that this surgery is any less of the right thing for us.  Individually and as a couple we are 100 percent certain that this is the right thing and we feel blessed to have found Dr. Sewell.  A lot of people have been worried about us and have expressed great sorrow that we will not be able to “have” children.  The reality is that we WILL be able to have children…I just won’t be able to be pregnant.  We are really looking forward to fostering/adopting and starting our family – we know that this is the way it is meant to be and that we will be blessed with a precious child when our time has come.
 
Thank you all for your love, support, energy, and prayers. Keep the energy and prayers coming for a successful surgery on Monday 🙂  With love, Kristin & Jeff 

That surgery went really well and we were able to make it to St. Lucia for our wedding, as planned, just weeks later in June.

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Then, one morning in September of 2009, I literally sat up in bed and told Jeff I thought it was time to quit my job.  We knew we were going to do public foster care, couldn’t do it as long as I was in the job position I held, had a huge house with rooms awaiting, and we had no answer to “why not now”.  He was completely on board, and by November 2009 our home was fully licensed.  In December, Yanina and her son Josue moved in, officially making us foster parents and foster grandparents in one fell swoop : -)

As it has turned out, the hysterectomy wasn’t the only surgery I needed.  I’ve had several surgeries since then.  Relief has not come easily; I am actually writing this post from a hospital bed in the emergency room.  And, that “precious child” we were looking forward to…turned out to be CHILDREN.  This is how faith works, though.

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Faith makes things POSSIBLE, not easy.  Our journey serves as a continuous reminder of this truth.  No doubt, my faith is what has and continues to get me through.  It’s not a passive faith.  It’s the kind of faith that leads me to break my mind, heart, body, spirit, and soul wide open…on a daily basis.  Even when every one and every thing is telling me that my hopes and dreams aren’t possible and not worth the chances.

Certainly not easy by any stretch.  But, always possible!!!

About Kristin Phoenix

daughter turned teacher turned social worker turned wife turned foster parent turned mom When people who don’t know our family story find out that we fostered and adopted the girls, we generally get one of two reactions…”I would have never known. They look just like you!” or “Oh, how beautiful.” Both of these things are 100% true – on the surface. The picture perfect, shiny, pretty surface. But, just below the surface is a whole lot of mess and brokenness. Our girls endured things that I never even read about in my textbooks. Our family endured things that go completely against the 3 philosophies of safety, permanency, and well-being that the child welfare system is in place to protect. When we have the chance to share a little bit more, the response always goes something like “but…how?!…and why?!” I believe in dreaming big. Part of my dream is a child welfare and healthcare system that would have prevented unnecessary trauma for my girls, my family, and our community. The other part is one of redemption and recovery for everyone involved in our story – which is everyone. I now believe part of why our family endured what we did is so that people would hear our story and ask the hard questions of how and why. With sexual abuse, trauma, foster care, and adoption, we never truly know until we find ourselves in a position of not knowing. Because of the nature of our case, I often found myself in a position of not being able to really answer the hows and whys. I reached a point where staying silent was the only option. Now that our adoptions are finalized, it is time for me to break the silence. This blog is me daring to run after my dreams – even when I find myself out of breath (which is mostly every. single. day.) It is stories of how the collective we have lived up to the Phoenix name and are rising from the ashes to burn bright! I also currently write and edit for Social Justice Solutions
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4 Responses to Monday, Monday

  1. Greg Williams says:

    Faith is a powerful gift of the Spirit and you are using it well. Keep on keeping on. Uncle Greg

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    • Yes, it truly is a gift! I am fortunate to have the advantage of learning what it’s all about from family and friends who have traveled and paved a path before me. Thank you for the kind words, Uncle Greg.

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  2. Yanina says:

    First and foremost, your blog is amazing and so are you! When I was reading your blog I was in tears and brought so many memories to me. I had tears of joy and sadness, just because I’m happy God gave you guys the opportunity to adopt three little girls. Sad that I wasn’t able to be in your home more then just a few months! But God what’s best for us. You truly amazing & of course Jeff because you guys took me including my son when no one else would. You guys gave us love and care, and that’s what I really needed. That family that would be able to love me and my son and also care for us means the world to me. I know God will continue to bless you guys! Love you both!

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  3. Pingback: Call to Action | FitTriangleMom

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