Monday, October 18, 2010

Fostering & Other Fun Thoughts

Hubby and I both managed to wake up early this morning and we were able to enjoy the luxury of sitting in bed together each doing our morning prayers in peace and quiet. Bliss!

I'm attempting to pack up summer clothes, pack things that are taking up much needed room in our apartment and prepare for visiting our house in Tennessee for the weekend. Unforeseen circumstances are making packing impossible right now, so I decided to take advantage of this time to enjoy a steamy mug of coconut tea that Paul and I brought home from our last trip to the BAHAMAS and a coconut crunch donut. Have I ever mentioned that I'm obsessed with coconut??? I know it won't be long until its so cold here that I will be longing to be back on a white sandy beach, but for now I'm enjoying the fall weather and enjoying the memories of a warm, wonderful time spent with my dear husband.

This picture was on our Christmas card last year. We drove all over the island on our moped to find that banner!

Anyway, I thought I'd share a little bit about how Lil' Man came into our life. Since before Paul and I were married we had discussed adoption. After we lost our first baby and then struggled for the next two years with fertility issues, we realized that adoption might be our only option to start a family of our own.

We honestly hadn't thought a lot about foster care. We knew that we wanted a permanent family and we knew other families who had become foster parents in hopes of adoption only to have the children placed back in the home after they had been told that it would be almost impossible for the child to go back to their birth family. It was emotionally difficult to give back a child whom they had hoped would be part of their family forever. They were able to see the blessings and graces that came from their time with the child[ren], but it is still difficult.

We also knew a family who has blessed many children's lives by taking them into their home in a strictly temporary situation. But, Paul and I realized, that at least for now, that wasn't what God was calling us to do.

Paul and I knew that we couldn't start a family while we were still trucking, so our first step was for Paul to quit trucking. We hoped that not being on the road would be less stressful on our bodies and maybe God would allow us to get pregnant. Our new job situation was wonderful, but our salary would only be a quarter of what we were making before, so we knew that we wouldn't be able to meet the "USCIS Income Requirements" for the type of adoptions that we were looking into.

We had several people call us at different times to tell us that there had been a baby saved from abortion and the mother was now looking to choose a couple to adopt her baby. Both times this happened we prayed and discerned that those children were not "our" children. It was kind of strange since we were almost desperately wanting to adopt, but in those moments we just knew that God had a different plan for us.

We knew that in God's time he would provide the finances and would lead us to the child he was calling us to help. Our only real concern was that we knew we wanted a large family and we knew that most children in foster care and in orphanages have been sexually abused. We were concerned about the physical and emotional damage that had been done. Many children who have had such experiences abuse other children, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. Very young children who have been abused act out things with themselves and with other children with out even realizing what they are doing. Trying to protect and keep all of the children safe and healthy can be very difficult despite even the best efforts of a parent.

There were just so many things to take in to consideration. Put we knew that God had put a desire on our heart so strongly that He had a reason and He would share it with us when we were ready. We just had to be open.

I can't go into a lot of specifics about our situation, but the basics story is that a week after Paul gave his two week notice we got a call that a mutual aquaintence was being deployed for an extended period of time and need a place for Lil' Man to stay during that time. There was no social work involved, etc. (there were some legal papers to be signed and taken care of, but it was very different than a "typical" foster care situation". It was God just saying, "The timing is right, if you are open to My Will you can recieve an incredible blessing that will change your life!"

Unlike previous calls we had recieve, Paul and I both knew that if it worked out it was totally God's Will and we were completely ready for this to happen. We found out a few days later that it probably wasn't going to happen and, though disappointed, took it in stride and knew God had a plan- looking at so many negative pregnancy test will helps you cope with those moments!!!

A few weeks later, on our wedding anniversary, Paul and I were out at lunch with friends when a recieved a call from a familiar number. I stepped outside to take the call in private and was told that Lil' Man would be coming to live with us for at least 6 months, if we were still open.

I walked back in, sat down at the table and began to cry when I told my husband that we were getting a baby! My heart was pounding so hard and it was honestly one of the most incredible feelings. We knew that it was only a temporary situation, but for as long as it lasted we would be able to love a child and bring him closer to God. It was the greatest wedding anniversary gift ever!

A week later we were able to meet our Lil' Man at a park and it was love at first sight. Days later he came home with us and our life has never been so blessed, so joyful, so crazy and so messy!!!! It's perfect.

About 1 month and 1 week after Lil' Man came into our home, God gave us our second miracle baby! Every night Lil' Man prays for "his new baby!" and asks to see him or her (while trying to pull up my shirt enough to look in my belly button!

Only God knows what is in store for this crazy little family of ours, but for now we are enjoying every second we have together. Please pray for us and for God's Will to be done in all of our lives.

Also, my apologies to those who are interested in how an "actual" foster care process takes places. I must say that I am grateful that I don't know, but I do wish I were able to answer your questions. If God is putting that desire on your heart, He will also put the resources in your hands. I am praying for everyone who is going through the process fostering and/or learning about it. It can be a blessing to both children and families.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

Somehow I missed this post! I'm glad I decided to scroll down today :) Thanks for answering my questions (aren't I a pest?!?) about foster care. Even though you didn't do it the normal way, it was nice to read about the same concerns and feelings involved. Lil Man is a lucky guy!

On another note...I couldn't drink water either for the first few months of each pregnancy. My midwife would be so upset with me because I wasn't drinking any. I LOVED all citrus juices though, and the babies turned out pretty good, so hang in there!

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