Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Our Journey to Foster

I’d like to say that we began fostering because we had a “calling for it”. Or maybe because we read the Bible daily and know what it says about fostering and adoption. In our daily prayer sessions God spoke directly to us and laid it on our hearts to foster.  I wish that we wanted to make a difference in a child’s life. However, in all humanness and honesty our sole reason for fostering was less altruistic and so much more selfish. We wanted another baby, desperately. I wanted another child like I wanted air. Every fiber of my being craved a sweet baby in my arms. I prayed for my body to be healed to be able to carry a child.  I longed for days where multiple children would run at our feet, would play (nicely, quietly and for hours with each other), and the sweet smell of baby and delicious sound of baby laughter would fill the air.

Throughout the process, I was convinced that God hated me. That I had done something very, very wrong and He had turned his back on me. The truth is that I did. I had told God, “No”. Just as Jonah had run from God’s request, so had I. For a majority of the time that we had tried for a baby I had been hearing a still small voice. I certainly heard it… I just doubted who it was.  Surely, God would not be speaking to me. After all, He had been silent for so long. He had taken my Josiah away. He hadn’t answered a single prayer I had prayed over the last few years. It also wasn’t what I had imagined it to be. It wasn’t Godly. There were no bushes burning in my front yard and I didn’t get a voicemail with caller ID that said “Incoming Call From God”. So, I just chalked it up to my imagination and my desperate wanting to hear from Him.

The voice certainly wasn’t prevailing, but it was clear. There were two requests, I get baptized and I go to this adoption/foster care meeting. I had said no to both. I grew up Catholic and had been baptized as a baby. I didn't feel the need to do it again. Each week that the pastor would call people to come forward, I would sit. My heart would urge me to go but my feet would not move. I would tell myself on Josiah’s due date, I’ll go forward. But Josiah’s due date came and I didn’t like the preacher that morning or his message so my feet didn’t go. Surely, if God himself was calling me to do something, I should have been moved to tears that day.

My husband had been strongly anti-foster care. We would never be able to give up a child or love someone else’s child the way that we love Drew knowing that we may have to return them. The love that is so all encompassing it hurts. And the cost of adoption was overwhelming. We didn’t have a large savings, we were already in debt and the thought of coming up with the $25,000 or more needed to adopt was laughable.

While God’s voice may not be loud, it certainly is persistent and patient. And each time I said no, each promised date that had passed, the voice waited and patiently urged again.

I finally said yes to the second request.  We joined our small group “Adoption/Foster Care Support” and attended our first session on October 2, 2013. That night, God used the people in that group to be his hands and voice and our hearts became open to foster care. I called the foster care agency that most of the group was connected with the next week and didn’t receive a call back. For three weeks I called almost daily and never heard back. I even met with another agency but didn’t feel comfortable with their process so I had continued to call Serenity. On October 27, 2014 I said yes to His first request. I was baptized at Vantage Point Church. That night, I googled foster care agencies and came across Koinonia Foster Family Agency. I completed the questionnaire.  They called the next day, happened to be literally across the street from our work and had an orientation that night. Brian and I attended and began the process with them. Typically the process takes 6 months to complete, but we were finished in 6 weeks. The whole time praying that we would hold a baby by Christmas.  Never before had the agency ever completed a certification in 6 weeks. Surely, God was there.

We held our foster baby, for the first time on December 20, 2013. Oh, but God had a much bigger plan for us that one more baby.


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