Something else was becoming obvious to us as my wife was chasing our toddlers and young children around our house. We had outgrown our piece of paradise. When we purchased our home it had two bedrooms. Our addition added one more large master bedroom but the rest of the dimensions remained the same. Now with our children getting older it was no longer the accessories that babies and toddlers have that were taking up the space but it was them. And us. We were beginning to trip over each other and an attempt for any of us to have some corner where we could retreat to – even for a few moments was getting less and less plausible.
So we made the decision to sell.
A bright, sunshine-filled, landscaped yard, filled with roses and tulips and spring flowers. We loved everything about that place and saying goodbye wasn’t easy. We sold and for an interim solution we rented a home on the opposite side of the valley city, until we figured out what we wanted to do in terms of home ownership. At first it was comedic as we unpacked our belongings into this new home. It was a two-story, large 5-bedroom home with a full basement, large living room, dining room, and kitchen. Once unpacked, the house still seemed empty and deserted. However, it didn’t take long for our children to unfold and begin to fill in order to expand into their new space and for the first time we all had a corner to retreat to for some alone time.
In the middle of this life transition we had already begun the process of adoption. The paperwork, the registration, the home study, the references, the fees, the portfolio, the pictures of our home, the courses, the reading, the research, the phone calls, and ultimately the heartbreak. Ideally, we were looking to adopt children that fit into the natural birth order of our family. That meant we were looking to adopt children that were younger than our youngest. Not entirely impossible but difficult. Then there were the adoption rules of Canada, and in particular within the province we were living in. Minority population groups were given preference to be adopted by similar races and cultures in an effort to preserve the adoptee’s heritage. Given Canada’s history as a nation in such matters it made sense but it complicated our own adoption efforts.
This meant that we would need to pursue an international adoption and entering into that foray meant an extensive study of diplomatic relationships as country by country adoption rules differed dramatically from each other and sometimes changed within their own country over the course of months. As we were walking this journey out, contacting various adoption agencies and working extensively with our own adoption agency, located down at the coast we also opted to provide some fostering. This lead us to providing both some respite and emergency foster care for a young girl, whom we grew quite fond of.
Emotionally we were on a roller-coaster ride that would win awards.
We purchased a newer vehicle that conjured up the disdain of our cult leader and as I was already struggling to comply to his ever-increasing behavioral expectation he was relentless with his pursuit and concerted effort to ‘fix’ me. We were walking out the growing struggles with my work place environment, first as the General Manager and then as the restaurant owner, becoming more and more aware of the under-girding antics of the new General Manager to push me out. Mixed into that was coming to a place where we needed to sell our home and now where not only were we pursuing adoption, which was getting to be much more difficult then I had imagined, but we were also foster parents, caught up in the emotional journey of that experience as well.
At one point we were working with an agency in the United States and had come very close to having an adoption go through but at the eleventh hour circumstances arose that stopped the entire process, leaving us dangling there, emotions spilled out on the floor. Constant phone calls, keeping a cell phone on us at all times, in expectation that we would receive the call and need to board a plane immediately, it all was becoming too much. We needed to figure out another strategy.
But in the midst of this part of the journey there would be no time for that. For, the home we were renting was sold, much to our surprise as the owners had committed to us that they were not selling the home, so we had two months in which to find another place to move into. We did, and interestingly enough it was just down a few blocks from our cult leader’s home. But this – even larger home – was shared with a downstairs tenant, who rented out the two-bedroom enclosed suite. At first this was a young mother but shortly after we had settled into the home she moved out and our cult leader’s wife’s twin brother – my old assistant from the truck-stop – moved in.
More frustrating, perhaps, then the whirlwind of circumstances that seemed to be tossing us around, was that the cult leader now knew of our adoption plans and his ruling on the matter was that we were now actively sinning against God. He had concluded that our very painful journey of losing our son a few years earlier was God’s way of letting us know that we were not to have any more children. It was decided and we needed to accept that and our not accepting that fact, only meant that we were sinning, broken, rebellious, and in need for much healing. The purchase of the van only added to that fact.
He had made his stand and decree against me and our family.
Now it was time to leave.