Chris and I are stepping out on faith and have decided to become a foster family in hopes of fostering to adopt.
Let me begin with giving you a little back story. Once Chris and I got engaged, we would always talk about how many kids we wanted. Chris is an only child and didn’t grow up with siblings, so he knew he wanted his kids to have siblings to grow up with. Chris said he wanted us to try until we had a boy and I wanted three kids. We compromised and said Lord willing we would try to have a boy, but would stop having kids after four even if we didn’t have a boy.
Fast forward 2 years. We had Elizabeth Faith in December 2006 and were delighted. My sister and I were close in age [14 months] and I loved growing up with a best friend. We knew we wanted children close in age, but thought 2-3 years age difference was a perfect gap. Well, God had other plans and I found out I was pregnant again when Elizabeth was only 8 months old!!! I cried and cried because I was scared to tell Chris, but I was also so happy the Lord chose us to bring another baby into this world.
Emily was born in May 2008 and our world was turned upside down. I had an easy pregnancy and an easy delivery, but about 15 minutes after Emily was born she stopped breathing. She was immediately sent to Cape in an ambulance where we spent the next 3 weeks in the NICU fighting for her life. To save on time, I can’t go into all the details now, but the Lord brought her through so much and looking at her today you would never know she had anything wrong with her. Chris and I were so thankful things turned out good for us and know that many times it doesn’t end well when kids have persistent pulmonary hypertension like Emily had.
As much as we were thankful, we were also extremely cautious and scared of having more children. We were blessed with our two beautiful girls and decided we didn’t want to risk getting pregnant and possibly going through almost losing a child again. The time Emily spent in the NICU did a number on our nerves. So at the young age of 23 and only three months after having Emily, I made a forever decision to get my tubes tied so we couldn’t have any more kids. At the time we thought we were making the best decision for us.
Fast forward again 4 years when both girls were thriving and doing well. They were at such a fun age and brought so much joy into our lives. I started having my heart strings pulled about having another kid, but immediately dismissed the thoughts because I knew I wasn’t physically able to have anymore. I still found myself with the strongest desire to have another kid! I became very bitter at myself for making such a forever decision so quickly and for letting fear of the unknown get in our way to have more kids. I was mad for a long time and didn’t understand why God would’ve let us make such a rash decision because of fear.
My anger and bitterness was something I really had to pray about and just accept that we were blessed with our two girls and be thankful for them, even though I felt a strong void that something was missing.
A few years went by and it started really weighing on my heart that I wanted more kids. I constantly felt like I was missing out on loving more kids. It was in the summer of 2014 when I found a sermon online where the preacher preached about orphans and adopting. I don’t remember exactly everything that was said, but I bawled my eyes out and knew that this might be something the Lord was asking me to do.
I talked with Chris and we decided to look into it. We had some friends that adopted a son so we asked for their advice and learned a little bit about their process of adopting him. We called and talked with a few different adoption agencies but my heart just didn’t feel pulled to go in that direction. I began questioning if this was something we should even be doing.
At the same time, it seemed like all of my friends everywhere were having babies and every movie on TV I watched had something to do with adoption and I would just cry and cry and cry. I am a crier and when the Lord moves in my life, I try to be sensitive and know that if it’s something I am crying about, He is usually telling me to look into it.
It wasn’t until the end of 2015 when our dear neighbors became a foster family that I realized that this might be the route the Lord wanted us to take. With Chris and I both being teachers we knew the need for foster families and have had a lot of students go through foster care. Still, it wasn’t until we saw our neighbors get their first little kid that we knew this is something we could do.
Chris and I started to pray about it and knew that this was something we wanted to do with the hopes of fostering to adopt. As much as we were excited and knew this was our calling, the fear and doubt started creeping in. Chris’ big worry was how this was going to affect our own girls. We were quickly reminded through prayer and scripture that our kids are God’s kids anyways that He blessed us with and is trusting us to raise and love. I also can’t help but think that Elizabeth and Emily will learn something through this whole process as well and their hearts may grow with tons of love for a new sibling.
We kept putting it off and putting it off when we finally just took the leap of faith in October of this year and decided to take the 9 week foster classes so we have that process out of the way. We are officially done with our classes now and are waiting on our home study to be finalized next week so we can be licensed to become foster parents. We know there is a chance we could get hurt and it might get a little messy, but that’s life. One thing I learned through classes and this whole process so far is that our home is God’s home and I want to bring glory to Him through my house and children.
No matter what you think about kids placed in foster care, they are just normal, wonderful children that need someone to love them. Yes, they have some trauma or development delays so they are considered “special” needs, but for the most part they are just normal kids that have been dealt a rough hand.
Our goal is to foster to adopt, but we are just going to pray and take each circumstance as it comes in. If I can make a difference in one child’s life and show them the love that they need for just a short period of time, I will take it. We are hopeful that we find that one or possibly two kids out there that need a forever home that would fit into our family perfectly.
Chris and I are not special people for doing this, we are just willing. Maybe all along God wanted us to make that decision early on to not have any more biological children so down the road we could help bring a child in that needed someone to call mommy and daddy and have a forever family with.
We are excited about what the future holds. We have talked a lot to Elizabeth and Emily and they understand the process as well and are willing to love and accept a new child into our home.
We appreciate any prayers along the way. We know it will be a long and probably bumpy road, but so worth it in the end. I’m leaving you with The Starfish Story we read in one of our foster classes that spoke volumes to my heart.