This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Chatter Magazine (a publication of Irving Bible Church).
Tapestry, the adoption and foster care ministry at IBC, had been serving families for almost two years when we first encountered them. It was the fall of 2006 and my husband, Scott, and I had just started considering this thing called “adoption.” At first, we were just trying to figure out if adoption was for our family, and it was then that we attended – Adoption Myths and Realities – where we met Amy and Michael Monroe (Tapestry founders) along with other families. We ultimately decided to pursue an international adoption from Vietnam, which began a 21-month journey of faith and doubt.
When we started the adoption process, we had no expectations about the role Tapestry would play. But as we began to navigate the world of adoption and the mounds of paperwork, it became clear that we would need Tapestry for more than just information. We began attending a Waiting Families Group, large group educational events, and the first Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference in October 2007. At each group or event we learned about things such as adoption-friendly language, lifebooks, and other aspects of the adoption journey we had never considered. And along the way, we became part of a community.
Community (That Continues)
Scott and I were a young couple just following God’s prompting, eager to soak up any and all information, but we were not prepared for the stress, the lack of control we would feel, and the testing of our faith. We needed families who had been in these same situations to hold our hands and believe with us.
When our dream of a baby from Vietnam came crashing down with the announcement that we were number four on the waiting list and the agency only had three children to match before adoptions from Vietnam closed indefinitely, Tapestry was there. As we navigated what the loss of our dream meant and where we should go next, Tapestry was there. When a week before adoptions from Vietnam officially closed and God miraculously matched us to a two-month old baby girl in Vietnam (with completed paperwork in less than a week), Tapestry was there to rejoice with us. Three months later, when we were only given three days notice to pack for a trip half way around the world to meet our daughter, someone from Tapestry came to my house and helped me make sense of my empty suitcase. And when we brought our daughter home on Christmas Day 2008, Tapestry was there in the airport eager to meet our little girl and celebrate with us. At each twist and turn Tapestry was there when we needed community and support, and they are still there for us as we navigate life with our now four-year-old daughter.
Support (Now and Later)
Most adoptive parents assume that the hard part will be overcoming the mountain of paperwork and navigating the unforeseeable turn of events in the waiting process, but they soon realize that the challenge begins once their child has come home. Adopted and foster children often have needs that require parents to change what they do as a family and how they parent. Tapestry has helped us through these challenges as well, both big and small. In turn, we have wanted to give back and help families in ways we have been helped. We are excited to serve in a ministry that supports families like ours.
This October, Tapestry will host the sixth annual Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Conference on October 27th, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. This conference is great for families in all stages of the adoption or foster care process – those considering adoption or foster care, waiting families, foster parents, and those who have already adopted. Many adopted persons as well as adoption professionals regularly attend the conference as well.
But Tapestry is much more than an annual conference. Tapestry is a ministry committed to meeting the real needs of adoptive and foster families, being in community with them, and supporting them through the highs and lows of the journey. Wherever the adoption or foster care journey leads, Tapestry will be there.