A year ago, my husband and I had the talk.
The talk about our family, our future and our plans. We had decided we wanted to expand our family, and we began to allow God to determine the outcome.
Sometimes, they way we think our future should unfold, is not how God unfolds it.
A few months after our “talk”, our family was devastated at the illness and eventual death of my father. My mother’s cancer had escalated and life became a series of unfortunate events. Definitely not what our earlier autumn conversation had planned.
A part of me died inside and I gave up hope, as the shimmery light in the future plans we had made began to fade away.
For nine years I had desired more children, not an hour went by where I didn’t long for another. Daily, my heart broke when I heard of drug addicted mothers that were blessed with a fruitful womb. A bitter seed began to fester, and there were many days it took everything I could to snub out the brokenness I felt. There were days I was broken.
I had always known about the neglected kids in our community. Somehow, any news story or article that surfaced regarding that topic- would ignite a radar in my head, and I would absorb every detail. This, of course- would sometimes fuel my bitter seed. I would be so angry that “these people” were blessed with children, and I was not. But: I remembered….
There was a time we were a family of four.
Twice, to be exact.
Once ended in miscarriage.
The other, ended in my stepdaughter going to live with her biological mother, who once was one of “those people”. And: healing happens, recovery happens. It’s not always a sad ending. For nine years, I raised another woman’s child as my own, and- although it was heartbreaking to no longer be her “main mama”. I knew that it was time for her mama to be her mama.
I realized that was part of God’s plan.
He didn’t design me to be a mama of one, he designed me to be a mother of many.
Six months ago, my husband and I walked into a room to see how we can help fill a need in our community. To become foster parents: to open our home and family to children while their parents worked out situations in their lives. (Sound familiar?)
Most people say they could never do what we are about to do. They say, “I could never give the kid back.” “I would get too attached”
And, they are totally right- to a point. But: there are times when you love someone so much, that you can let them go: because you know they belong where they are going. The best thing, is a kid to be with there (safe) biological family- weather it’s a parent or grandparent… nothing compares with knowing you are where you belong. Yes, your heart will break, you will sob and you will have an emptiness… but: you will have loved, and given what the biological family couldn’t during that time.
Would you rather safe yourself from heartache or save a kid from a shelter?
My husband and I are familiar with the heartache.
We had our test drive.
And, after a long six months of classes, paperwork, and getting our home inspected, we became licensed.
We had our pastor pray over us. He told us he felt our family had a more permanent situation ahead…. (whhhhhaaaaaat?!)
After we became licensed, we went into a waiting phase. I nested. I cleaned every nook and cranny… I inventoried crib sheets and baby clothes… bought diapers and bottles… and waited.
There are things foster parents can choose:
We originally went in thinking 4-6 years old. We didn’t want to do diapers again… but God made the call on our hearts and one night, while we were driving home from one of our classes, we decided newborns. My daughter was even more thrilled, as she’s been enamored with babies and diapers since she was 3. So the decision for age became ages 0-4.
The gender option we gave to God, and prepared ourselves with both boy and girl clothes… scooping up outfits at thrift stores at the bargain price of 3 for $1.00.
The question of how many… we live in a tiny house. Not tiny house like on HGTV but, a smaller, older 1950’s home. So.. that was an issue… hubby and I said just one, then:
God laughed at our plan… so it’s two.
Sometimes, my daughter and I drive around and look at big houses and play a game called “how many kids?” Basically we guess how many kids we would foster if we lived in a bigger house….
Earlier this week, “the call” came. Actually, it was a text/email.Then, I made “the call” to my hubby. A baby girl, four days old. Without hesitation, he said yes.
Next came the phone calls, the placement coordinator, and the licensing specialist and DCF… hours felt like eons. We were supposed to get her from the hospital…. final step was coordinating times. Then, a set back.
Baby needed to stay a little longer in the hospital.
We tried to go see her, but systems were not updated, so we were denied visitation.
Our hearts are aching in the waiting…..
God has called us, and now we wait.
For the call.