Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Our Foster Care Journey {Thus Far}

Awhile back I promised to share how this journey began.


While I sometimes feel a little anxious and overwhelmed at my job (running a household and parenting and homeschooling three children), over the years I've often felt that I have space for another.  I have room for one more child in our house- not physical room (although physical space has been made) but emotional room, love room.

If you've been here awhile you know I experience a sense that there is a fourth child somewhere who's under my charge...but we're done growing babies inside me.  This persistent feeling, lots of prayer, lots of thought, and lots of anxious and excited tears lead us to take foster care classes last fall.  The classes were eye-opening, as you can imagine, but instead of feeling overwhelmed, Jamey and I both felt more at peace with our steps forward.

The classes finished. We filled out all the paperwork.  The home study was completed and we were approved.  We bought and borrowed all the necessary baby items we would need.  The nursery was made ready- complete with diapers, formula, baby clothes and a mobile.  I sat in that nursery and prayed and cried for the baby that would be our first placement- heartbroken for him or her because of what they would go through in their home to be placed in ours.  I would cry {out of love} for this infant that we would have the privilege to nurture and care for. I prayed about the contact and possible relationship that could be formed with the parents as we worked with them toward reunification. And every time the phone rang we wondered, "Could this be about a baby?"

We have yet to have a placement...a year later.

We know God is at work.  We believe that wholeheartedly.  But I can't help but wonder from time to time if we read the signs wrong.  We had felt lead- nudged in this direction for years.  This was no impulsive decision on our part.  I admit, there are times in the midst of a crazy day when the kids aren't listening and my to-do list is a mile long that I wonder if I could handle another child (an infant, at that).  But as soon as that doubt surfaces, another stronger sense bubbles up that, yes, I could and would do it because God would and does give me strength every day to do what needs to be done.

The reason we haven't had a placement is in part because we're not open to adoption at this time.  The agency has actually apologized to us about this (which they didn't need to).  When a baby comes into care, the couples that are open to adopting a baby are considered first just in case that baby needs an adoptive family at some point.  This makes perfect sense- less transition for baby and a baby for a couple who can't have their own children or know they want to add another to their family permanently.  This is the way it should be and we harbor no ill feelings about the process or why it is the way it is.  Granted, we're still curious as to how and when God will use us, but we understand the lack of placement.

Since a placement seemed unlikely anytime soon, we decided to make ourselves available to another agency in town that works with families in need of help.  Over the past 6 months, we've had the privilege to watch and care for a little boy off and on when his mother needs child care/respite.  It's not what we envisioned when we first signed up for foster care classes but we trust that we were trained and prepared for a reason- for this little boy and for other future respite situations and maybe even foster care one day.  He is an absolute delight, by the way, and our whole family loves him.

Putting ourselves out there, saying that we're willing to give of ourselves in this way feels incredibly vulnerable.  I must admit, it's scary at times to think about.  There are days when my heart longs for a baby in need to love and care for.  It's easier to bear now because I feel we've been obedient to the call.  It's now up to God's perfect timing.  We've turned it over to Him.  In the midst of waiting, we are thankful that we have another week, month, or even year with our own little family.

We have room in our hearts and home.  Our prayer is that God will use us to show His supernatural love to children and their families so that He will be glorified.

Our journey is far from over.  We can't wait to see how God will use us next. Pin It


  1. How awesome, Jane! I have always had fostering in the back of my mind as something that maybe we will do someday. I love reading about your experiences so far!

  2. May I just Say, "You are Awesome!"

  3. Maybe you've already addressed this, but why are you not interested in adoption? I was just wondering.

    We adopted our first two through foster care and then had our own biological child. The children we were given could not have fit better in our family. There are many days--one is a special needs adoption-- that I wonder if we did the right thing, but my husband always reminds me that God us the kids He wanted us to have. I feel overwhelmed and inadequate and he reminds me that they need ME as their mother, not someone I deem more qualified. God gave them to US to parent and so we are the best parents for them. God hand-picked us for each other. Thanks for the thought-provoking topic today. I needed to be reminded of this, apparently, as I am struggling with the homeschooling side of my job today.☺

  4. Jane,

    How wonderful!!!! And God will Bless you with a child in time. Sending prayers up for you, God Bless.

  5. We had three biological children and then we felt the same way, that our home and hearts were capable of so much more. We became foster parents and eventually adopted six children from the foster care system. It makes me sad that they have not utilized a good home. It is easy to tell from your posts that you love your children dearly and would be a great placement for a child.

  6. Perhaps you addressed this at another time, but I'm wondering if opening your consideration to an older child would be an option? EVERYone wants babies, but older children are as much in need of Love as infants, sometimes even more so...

    1. Hi, PepperReed. Yes, we're aware that upping our age range would increase chances of placement but we've made a decision not to foster children older than our youngest. There are several reasons (including space) but the biggest is that as a social worker I've seen first hand what challenges older foster children can bring that directly impact biological children. As ours grow, hopefully our age range for placement will as well but for now, we need to keep it as is:-).

    2. For safety as well as letting bio children have his/her own space, making sure bio children are the oldest is the best way to go - good for you!

  7. That is so wonderful...can't wait to see where God leads...

  8. Such a lovely post my friend. And, yes...sometimes we don't know the big picture until it unfolds. I am sure you are being a great blessing to that little boy and his Mommy. May the Lord continue to use you in the ways He desires. :) Many Blessings to you! Camille

  9. How funny........reading your story reminds me in many ways of ours. We opened our hearts, made room in our home, took the classes and WAITED. We, too, decided not to take any older than our own children but didn't make many checks next to the million boxes provided - we would take one girl (we couldn't have a boy because of our room situation) of whatever came our way. For almost two years we waited :) Then God used the space we created in our lives, our hearts in a different way and led us into ministering to families. It's been quite a ride but I believe we have been obedient in the big things and that fostering provided space in ways that were needed in order for us to step into the ministry that we are in. Can't wait to see who He uses your family and the space you have created in obedience to HIm.

  10. Bringing a child no older than your youngest into your home shows such wise reasoning. Offering the safe haven of your wonderful home and your love to a foster child is such an unselfish, generous thing to do, but as you so well know, thinking of your own children does need to be a priority. I am in awe of your strength and love and faith.

  11. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing this - it's inspiring and also gives me a clearer picture of something I can pray for. . .


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