let me explain.
We have always known we wanted to expand our family and felt in our hearts that this would not be through our own blood. In our minds, we always thought this was the straight route of adoption. A couple years ago we met adoption counselors to gain insight on the process and get all the nuts and bolts details. Our hearts were ready, but we felt unsure of taking the plunge--particularly financially--adoption comes at a huge cost--one of which can be straining for many families. So a few more months pass and we seek out another adoption agency--one that I have had a couple of friends go through. We sat through their information class---lots of hard and fast facts---no fluff. I felt like hearing it like that made me feel more prepared. So, soon after that, we filled out the initial consultation paperwork to apply for domestic adoption. I had the $65 fee check ready to go in the mail. It's still a little fuzzy to me about how it all changed, but a big change happened before it actually made it into the mail.
I had always stubbornly and very firmly been against foster care--all for selfish reasons. 'What if I can't handle it?' 'What if they aren't nice to our kids?' 'What if we get attached and then they get taken away again?' 'What if I don't feel a bond with them?'. I say selfish, but I do believe these are all very natural and human reactions to such a circumstance as well. Anyways, these thoughts were very much barriers to me considering foster care--but Curtis, being more open minded to it, asked me to consider. Then, I would say, within a two week period of praying, reading blogs, watching documentaries of lives changed through foster care and just truly thinking about it, my heart completely softened for this opportunity and I felt like I had to consider it. Still a bit nervous we talked about it and decide to attend some informational meetings with the county. I still remember literally trembling at lunch afterwards in an Arby's talking about the details and being flooded with terror and excitement simultaneously. Are we really doing this?
We decided that this is where God had placed us. This is what felt right. Somehow He made the most seemingly unnatural circumstance seem like it was a fit for us. So we allowed God to prepare our hearts to love on another that is not our own through foster care with the intent to adopt. We started that process to become licensed in the fall of 2016 and in March we got our license. We've gone through pages of pages of paper work and hours and hours of training to get to this point.
This point is a weird point. It's a point of celebration in knowing we are able and willing legally and emotionally to care for a child that is not our own. Yet, it is also a point of waiting. And not being entirely sure what to wait for. We don't know gender, age, behavior, history, trauma, and we have no idea when. None. At all. For me, a planner, this is completely unnatural for me and is not following the construct of my wirings to plan and nest and ready everything for a little visitor. Yet, We are amazingly at peace and feel so free in knowing that God has taken care of it all and we just need to keep our hearts ready for this experience.
- We have been licensed foster care parents now since March and our license is good for 12 months. After 12 months we need to attend 12 hours of training to renew.
- We have applied for the foster to adopt program, in which our caseworkers are knowing that our end hope is to adopt (though the county and state focuses on reunification with the birth family). They are looking for cases in which the child has already had parental rights terminated or is likely going to soon.
- We are licensed to care for 0-3 year olds. We are willing to take 2 children if the older sibling is younger than Greyleigh.
- We are completely open to gender, race, birth trauma, etc.
- We could technically get a call any minute now and may only have a few hours to get ready. We can decline any opportunity we don't see fit.
- We will get paid a sum each month to pay for clothing, food, necessities, but this is not nor has it ever been a priority to us. Our goal in the end, should it be right, is adoption.
The kids are very excited and ask just about daily when the new baby will be here. It's a bit hard for them to understand, which I can empathize with as I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it. The thought of tonight being us, just as we are, a family of four, and then with one phone call that could all change---it's so crazy.
I surely still have thoughts and fears, but I feel like our purpose now is to provide a loving home to a child that otherwise is not coming from one---whether for a short or long time---my goal is to make sure that child---or those children----know what love is. In the end we may end up giving a child a forever/more stable home, or we may just spend months or years loving on little babes and ministering to their families before they are reunified--I have no idea at this point, and right now, that's ok.
Feel free to follow along as I will post updates here occasionally and talk more about the process. Also, feel free to send any prayers our way---we could use 'em as we are in this waiting limbo excitedly and fearfully awaiting the journey ahead!
Our little room that waits: :)
Our little room that waits: :)