foster care, parenting resources

Sovereign Mercy

Currently, we have the joy of raising two young children. We are so thankful to have this opportunity to provide them with a safe, loving home.

The #1 question that I am asked about foster care is “How long will yall have the children?” This is a valid question since foster care is “temporary” parenting. The answer to this question is “we don’t know for sure.” This is a vague answer; I want to bring more clarity to why there is so much unknown.

We would love to adopt. It is not the ultimate goal of foster care, but our hearts are completely open to adoption should the Lord allow it. However, before we would be asked to adopt these children there are many requirements that must be met. Firstly, after the children are removed from the home, the courts decide if the biological parent(s) will receive a reunification plan. This is a 6-month minimum plan where the parent(s) must complete training, home studies, drug-test, etc. If a non-reunification plan is assigned, both the biological father and mother must sign over their rights (unless the courts determine that the parents rights are immediately “terminated” by law due to dangerous circumstances.) Secondly, blood-relatives receive top priority. Yes, even above the rights of the current foster parents. The family is allowed to list relatives and these references must be given the option of caring for the children. Finally, if all parent rights have been terminated and no relatives have come forward to care for the children, we will possibly be given the opportunity to pursue adoption if the courts permit. The children are in our care until any or all of the steps have been met.

With all this being said, there is a lot of unknown attached to foster care. However, there is also SO MUCH JOY attached to foster care. The challenges of dealing with courts, families, and appointments are worth everything just to experience life (even if for a brief season) with these children. We love this season with our children. So much laughter fills our home.

In moments of anxiousness about the future, I dwell on the sovereign mercy of God. The Creator God of the universe knows EVERY detail of this situation. He even knows the exact number of hairs are on their little heads. He is aware of their plight. Every twist and turn of his or her story is under His control.

[Side story: We were “taking a short break” from foster care and felt a sudden, compelling prompting to volunteer our home again about a month earlier than we planned. Denying our desire for “comfort” and pursuing obedience to this calling, we called DEFACS to let them know we wanted to foster again. THAT DAY within hours we received a call about these two precious children. THANK YOU, GOD, for grace to be obedient!! We would have missed out on great joys that these children have brought into our lives.]

Not only is God in complete control, but also He is GOOD. His goodness is displayed in His mercy on our lives. Without Him, we have no hope. On days that feel out of our control (in reality, that’s every day!), I cling to the promise that “God loves these children more wisely than I could ever love these children.” How comforting!! As much love as I have for these children, I can rest in complete peace of the unknown because He loves these children infinitely more. The One who writes their stories loves them with a greater love than I could ever imagine. This is the sovereign mercy of Jesus Christ. He is both supremely sovereign and full of tenderhearted mercy. This is how we can walk this journey with joy. Jesus, only Jesus.

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foster care, orphancare, parenting resources

Small Victories

If I could describe this week in one word it would be: small victories. Okay, that’s actually two words. Thursday was officially one week since the day we took two little ones into our care. Because of confidentiality, I will call our kids K (3 year old girl) and B (11 month old boy). K and B were brought into our home by the DEFACS social worker. In the foster care process, most of the time you receive a call about a situation, agree or decline to care for the children, and the child(ren) are brought to your home that day. Yes, that day!! Two hours after we received the call to be exact. We were nervous, excited, and overwhelmed by the thought of entering parenthood. I will never forget the memory of throwing baby items into our buggy one hour prior to their arrival without any clue of how our world would be rocked.

Gabe is a natural dad (I can’t brag on this man enough!!)  B immediately reached for Gabe at our first meeting. K was much more hesitant, which is understandable considering she is older and more aware of what was happening. We listened to their story, showed them to “their” rooms, and played with the one toy we had managed to purchase at the store. K warmed up within about 30 minutes. The first night was one of exhaustion (for all of us). Actually, let me rephrase this; the first week was one of exhaustion. We kept asking each other, “Will we ever sleep again?” (Of course the answer is yes, but this was a serious question at the time.)

One night, I remember leaving K’s room as Gabe was leaving B’s room. Somehow, by God’s grace, we had managed to put them both to sleep at the same time. As we walked out into the hallway, we did a little victory dance. That is the moment the words “small victories” popped into my mind. “Can we do this?” “Will this ever be normal?” “Are we capable of being loving and equipped parents to these sweet little strangers?” Honestly, there were moments I would have answered no. Now, I can confidently answer yes; but, I realize we will not become equipped and acquainted all in one night. It will not even seem manageable and normal to us within one week. It will be a process of becoming a family. It will be one small victory after another.

As I write this blog a week later, I can tell you that by God’s grace and the unbelievable blessings of our family and friends, we are in a much better condition than the “shock” we experienced the first couple of days. So, today we celebrate! We celebrate the opportunity we have been given to minister to these sweet children and their family. We also celebrate the Gospel and how darkness will be restored to light. We choose to celebrate the moments of pain, exhaustion, and insecurity, because we know that as we lay those moments of weakness before the Lord, He will be faithful. He will be our strength. He will be our wisdom. As we take one step of obedience at a time, He provides the grace we need for that moment alone. We continue step after step. Then one day, we look back at the road we have traveled and see the journey was one of pain and beauty. Through the moments of weakness, we are molded and shaped into the image of His perfect Son, Jesus. The fight is hard, but as we endure, small victories become our song of celebration.


Here are a few of the small victories we are celebrating today. (Please mentally picture Gabe and I doing the most silly, awkward celebration dance. It will make for a better read!)

-I was called Effie, Jessie, Chelsea, and Calvin; now, I am referred to as “Mrs. Callie.”

–The 11:00p.m. bedtime has now become 8:30p.m.

— K went from sleeping with all the lights on to now using only a night-light.

— B has shown much more personality and vocalizations.

— We went from a 45 minute “getting dressed” frenzy down to 20 minutes (still a frenzy).

— K and B are developing a taste for fruits and veggies.

— I can now change a diaper in 2 minutes instead of 8 minutes.

— K went from pull-ups to potty training.

— K and B enjoy daycare/nursery with minimal tears.

— Our house is now baby proofed with plenty of toys.

–Tantrums have decreased drastically as laughs have filled our home.

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foster care, orphancare, parenting resources

Frequently Asked Questions

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!

How’s parenthood?

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.

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