Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why foster?

We announced last week that we're officially in the process to adopt a child from the foster care system. I shared this photo on instagram yesterday:

After spending many weeks praying and gathering documents, Wesley and I went to the post office to mail our documents to our agency. We are beyond excited. 

We have received a lot of congratulations and prayers. We appreciate those. People have said some silly things... "You'll get pregnant now!" But no one has asked why we are adopting from the foster care system. No one has asked US, but I imagine some folks are wondering.

I've known that I'd adopt for as long as I've known about adoption. I've always been fascinated with adoption and it's been on my heart for decades. I didn't know if I'd ever be pregnant, but I knew that I would adopt. For many years I said that I didn't know how, but I knew that God would bring a baby to me. I made sure that Jarrod was on board with that before we even started seriously dating. Adoption is a huge deal to me. 

About this time last year, Jarrod and I decided we were going to take the year to research, pray, and plan how we would expand our family. We looked into agencies, locations, international and domestic. We spoken with agencies and requested information from dozens of them. It literally took us most of the year to process all of the information we gathered. 

In September, we attended an orientation at a local foster agency. We knew immediately that this was the avenue for us. We were looking for a ministry - a way to share God's love and grace with others. Inviting a child or children into our home to love them and their family sounded perfect for us. Being able to provide some stability for children in our community really appeals to us. We understand that Wesley isn't really our child, but lent to us by God to love and raise. We know that any other children that come into our home will also be God's. We know that losing a child back into the foster system will be heartbreaking. But we still feel like this is the way for us.

Adopting through the foster system is invasive. Until an adoption is final, people will be in and out of our home with the freedom to go through our things, ensure that our outlets are covered and our medicines are locked. We will have no privacy. We've always worked in the church - we've never had privacy. And honestly, we're pretty boring and don't have anything to hide. 

We really don't know what things are going to look like, but we trust that this is the right path for us. We don't know if we will foster several children before finding the one that was meant for us. We don't know if we'll adopt the first child placed in our home and that's the only kid we'll ever bring home. We don't know if we'll be perpetual foster parents. We're open to God's plan. 
On New Years Day I began to doubt whether or not this is what we needed to be doing. I didn't vocalize this to Jarrod, but my heart was down. I didn't think we were good parents, had a strong enough marriage, and just had general doubts about life. We took Wesley to the zoo that afternoon and it was PACKED. We happened to be walking through a door with a gorgeous little black baby girl and her white caregiver. I cooed at the baby and told Wesley to say hello. The woman told us her name and we continued to talk. The woman told us that she was being adopted at the end of the month. Jarrod and I beamed! She corrected us - not by her - she was her foster mama! Tears.in.my.eyes. This woman was in her 60s and had fostered 63 babies - mostly girls and mostly crack babies. We gushed that we had just started the process to adopt through the foster system and she said she'd pray for us. She was delightful and I'm confident that God put us in the exact same place at the exact same time to make sure I knew that this was God's plan. I do not believe this kind of reassurance happens every time I need it (most times it does not!) but I am so thankful that God used that time to touch my heart. 
I promise I'll write about other things soon. There are lots of other things happening in our world, this just happens to be the most exciting. Thanks for sharing in our joy.
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  1. Congratulations on making this journey. It might be full of ups and downs, sacrifices and disappointments, but God can use it in big ways to change lives! :)

    1. Thanks! I'm praying God will continue to use us, but know it will be a challenge!

  2. Thank you so much for this post, and CONGRATULATIONS! I am excited for you and your family! My husband and I are considering entering into preparation to be a foster family. There was a group of 5 siblings who needed a home, and I felt moved (I believe by the Holy Spirit) to send an email about them, because I could see very clearly what we'd have to do to have a home for all of them. While we probably won't get those children, because we don't have a home study ready to go, I have been talking with my husband about starting the process anyway, to see what God has in store for us. If we were willing to do it for those children, we should be willing to do it for other children, too. I know it's a tough road, but if God called you, just keep walking down it. He will bring you exactly where you need to be to welcome that precious child into your family.



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