What’s their story?
Unfortunately, we are not allowed to say what happened in their past that resulted in them being brought into our care. We can tell you that whenever a child is brought into the foster care system their situation has become a very tough and unhealthy circumstance. Their background information is confidential, as well as, their names and faces on media outlets. If you take a picture with any of our children or know their names, we ask that you please do not post it to social media. This is ultimately for their safety.
Are you adopting?
The answer to this question is unknown. Every placement is different. Depending on the court’s order, in some circumstances the birth parent(s) are allowed visitation rights. These rights are set by the judge (1x a week, phone call, mail, or no rights). If a situation arises when the birth parents rights are “terminated” the child(ren) will be up for adoption. The court system will do everything possible to keep the children with their birth parents or family members. Birth parents are required to complete certain “steps” (classes, screenings, etc.) to be able to receive custody again. We are truly content with whatever the Lord has planned. We know adoption is something we want to pursue, but right now we feel that we have been called to “stand in the gap” through the temporariness of foster care.
Are you going to be brokenhearted if/when they leave?
It will be bittersweet I’m sure. The love that we have for these children is a sacrificial love that is only found in Jesus. I will be honest, the first couple of days were tough because we were all strangers. The more we get acquainted with each other the more our love grows. We are constantly reminded that our role is most likely a temporary one; there is still a part of our hearts that we are guarding. What has surprised me the most about the reality of parting with the children one day is that the temporariness actually fuels me. It is not very different than caring for a biological child. Life is short and its timeframe is unknown for all of us. The “temporary mindset” helps me stay focused and intentional with pouring my love into their lives. Every day could be our last. With this mindset, when times are super challenging, I cling to the reality that this is only a season. In this season, I want to invest everything I have. Ultimately, the pain that we may endure from parting with the children in the future will not be comparable to the pain of their current situation: being torn from everything they love – everything they are accustomed to and being left alone to fend for themselves. When I start to worry about my future pain, I think of their current pain and the healing that Jesus can bring to the children through my willingness to suffer in the future.
Was foster care Plan-B?
We want to make it clear that we have chosen foster care because we felt called by the Lord to pursue it. This was not a secondary option to pregnancy. We believed that whatever the Lord wanted to take place (pregnancy, adoption, foster care) would be in His perfect timing. I feel as though foster care can sometimes have a negative connotation in today’s culture. It is not everyone’s calling, but for those who God is preparing for foster care or adoption, please know that it is truly a beautiful portrait of God’s love for His children. We want to encourage families of all colors, sizes, and backgrounds to display the Gospel own your unique way!
SACRIFICAL. Wow, I have a new appreciation for my mom and dad! Most of you know the feeling of pain-staking love… death to self. I thought marriage was sanctifying, but parenthood reveals my selfishness in a whole new light. The biggest shock of the first couple of days as new parents (of two children!!) was the exhaustion. At the end of the day, as I laid in bed I thought, “I am just too tired to think about myself right now.” It was a tough start! However, I already see the endless joys that result from loving your children sacrificially even if they do not understand it now.
How can we help?
We are overwhelmed with gratitude by all of the love, encouragement, and support that we have received over the past few days. I don’t know how we could have made it without everyone surrounding us. We understand that while everyone is not called foster children in their home, as believers, we are all called to orphancare. Your participation in this journey, whether through a hug, a meal, or a bag of clothes/toys, has been an answer to this calling. We are so thankful for friends and family who care about the broken families in this world and fight with us to restore hope.
One of the biggest ways that you can minister to families of adoptive/foster parents is through encouraging messages of understanding concerning the difficulty of this adjustment. Also, the meal train has been a huge blessing, as we have been very focused on getting adjusted to a totally new nightly routine and learning how to expand our meal plans. Gift cards are a great way to provide a variety of resources for foster families. Offering to become a “certified” babysitter is a helpful ministry to the foster parents. All couples love a date night every now and then! Showers are fun to host for adoptive/foster mothers! However, if the placement has already been made, the children can sometimes be overwhelmed and even scared of people constantly entering the house (never knowing if he/she will be taken away again). One of my sweet friends offered to throw me a “mail-in” shower. This was such a thoughtful and wonderful idea! Since this has been such a busy time for everyone, we have been receiving shower gifts in the mail. I could not have asked for a more warm welcome into parenthood than we have received by our family, friends, and neighbors!! Our lives have been deeply impacted by your generosity.