I will never forget the day we signed our adoption agreement. Sifting through the medical records the social worker handed me, I found a document with tiny feet imprinted in ink. My heart skipped a beat and tears welled in my eyes. What was already true in our hearts was finally becoming a reality. After over one year in our home, our foster daughter was going to be ours forever through adoption.
The process was long, involving countless visits with social workers, appointments, and court hearings, not to mention all the paperwork, training, and the home study simply to become licensed. However, our adoption journey started way before then. As a child, I remember the day I learned about orphans from a missionary visiting my school. I immediately went home and told my mom that we needed to adopt one of those children who needed a family ASAP.
Though my passionate plea didn’t result in our family adopting me a sibling, the desire never left my heart. As I grew up, what began simply as a desire to help became intertwined with my Christian faith. The idea of making someone who was once “other” become “one of us” is a beautiful picture of what God did for me.
My husband knew before marrying me that adoption would be in our future, but what neither of us knew was the route we would take to get there. We wanted to have biological children first but then struggled with infertility for two years. And we felt the loss of not knowing if we would ever be able to have biological children.
Even though adoption was always part of our plan, the idea of not to being able to have our own “flesh and blood” hurt more than we expected. Now it looked like adoption might be our only option. Time to re-think the plan.
We had always wanted to adopt internationally, however, we began to hear more and more about foster care. So we looked at the need in our own backyard. Foster children have been removed from their parents typically because of abuse or neglect, so they need a home…a temporary family. Even though that last part wasn’t as appealing, this had never been about us, it was about the children. Maybe this was the right path after all.
So we went to an interest meeting to learn more about becoming foster parents. There we learned that adoption through foster care was possible, especially when you were already fostering the child who becomes eligible for adoption, though that is rare. We knew this was the route for us and whatever happened, we would have an open mind and open hands.
So in August of 2013, convinced at that point that having biological children was unlikely, we began the process to become foster parents. That same week, we found out we were pregnant.
Funny how that happens, huh? But we had confidence in our new plan and…
2 months later we completed foster care training.
7 months later I gave birth to our baby boy.
12 months later we completed our home study.
2 weeks later we got the call that a newborn baby needed a foster home.
12 hours later we welcomed that beautiful baby girl into our home.
723 days later (5 days before her second birthday) she became a permanent member of our family.
While this is not the typical path of a foster child, nothing about our story has been typical so far. Now we have two children, 13 months apart and chances are, our family isn’t finished growing. But no matter how future children enter our family, we certainly won’t be attempting to script it anymore. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you’ve ever wondered about foster care or adoption, just step forward and see what happens. Go to an interest meeting, talk to other families that have done it, ask your questions and take a leap of faith. You have nothing to lose and those children have everything to gain.