Hello Family and Friends!
You are reading this because at some point, you have found out that we are becoming Foster Parents and you have inquired as to why, where we are at in the process and what it will all mean!
First, let me say Thank You to those of you have shared encouragement, prayer and interest thus far. We are actually over one year into our process and have had some interesting experiences, emotional situations, delays, frustration, excitement and joy.
This first post in our new blog will be to address the questions that you have asked and maybe even some questions that you are afraid to ask 🙂
Here we go!
Why Foster Care? … We have been blessed with amazing friends that have journeyed this road before us. Through that process, God began tugging at our hearts in this area. We talked about it, we prayed about it, agreed that we might just be crazy enough to do it and the rest is history!
Why not just have another baby of your own? … We are over the moon blessed with Emma, our one and only little piece of awesomeness. I mean, really… you can’t make that twice! Really, after the journey God has brought us down, we are confident that is not His desire for us… or it would be a reality!
Are you planning to adopt? … If that is where the road leads, we would LOVE to adopt in this process. We have learned that, at least here in Ohio, foster care agencies and the court systems focus a LOT on reunification. Chances are, we will experience this and have placements that will be reunified and not adopted.
Won’t it be heartbreaking to have to say goodbye to a child? … Yes. For sure. It will be heartbreaking, sad and we will probably cry. It’s ok, though… because that means someone came into our home that was well loved, cared for and then back in their own home, hopefully with a parent, or parents, that love them. That has to be a good thing. There has to be beauty in that. Chris & I are not unfamiliar with grief, loss, heartbreak and moving forward. God is faithful in joy, and faithful in pain. We may just need a lot of chocolate, strong coffee and prayer!
How can we help? … Pray for us. Like, sincerely. I mean it. No, really. Like this: “God, you know what these crazy people are about to go through, and we know what they are like… so, please be with them, be with Emma and be with whatever child you bring into their home. Seriously, God… they need your help. Amen.” Also, ask us any questions you have, express concerns in a loving manner and love us through the journey.
How can we NOT help? … Ask us really silly questions or tell us horror stories. For example… “why are you doing this? for the money?” That does not help (and the answer is no, there is not a financial windfall as foster parents). Another example… “we know someone related to someone that knew of somebody who had a foster child that hurt their dog, beat up another kid in the house and was a terror… ugh.. it was a nightmare!” That does not help. Especially if our daughter is within 5 feet of us…. maybe even 20 feet.. I swear she has supersonic hearing abilities.
Now the big question… “What about Emma? Are you worried about how this will affect her?” … Yes. Emma is our number one priority (After God and our marriage.. so I guess she is technically our third priority, for those of you who enjoy factual details). We would not put her in harms way on purpose and we have diligently done what we can to ensure that she will be safe, our family will remain intact and that she will not be forever scarred from this experience.
Having said that, there are some things that will affect all of us that will be HARD, but good lessons. Emma will see parts of this life that we, especially as Christians, try to shield her from. She will meet kids that have not even come close to experiencing the life that she has known and she is going to be forever changed, as we all will be. Emma will need your encouragement, your love, your guidance and wisdom as well. The great thing about Emma, is that she has never met a stranger and cannot fathom the idea that someone would not want to live with her… so… there’s that 🙂
Where are you at in the process?
So, we were licensed officially on January 10, 2017.
Wait, What?? You are licensed already?? Yes.
Wait.. but you don’t have a foster child!
Correct. You are correct. We have been licensed now for almost 8 months and have not had a placement.
But…. why? I thought the system was overwhelmed with kids?
It is. However… as a family, we have decided that Emma needs to remain the oldest child in our home. Also, we do not have our home set up for an infant and have decided at this stage in our life, to only accept placements for children aged 2-6. One child at a time. Only girls. So… this dramatically reduces our chances of placement because we have to be so specific.
No babies? But.. why? They are so cute!
Sleep. No.. I’m kidding… maybe.. just a little.
Babies are hard work. Chris and I both work full/part-time, we home-school Emma, Emma is a very active child, we are a very active family. We have two very large dogs that come with an unimaginable amount of hair and a whole lot of love to give an older child who could use their calm and comforting demeanor. We just do not feel led to take in newborn babies or infants at this time.
So… you are just waiting?
Yes! We have done respite, twice, for a young girl that we think was pretty awesome. I will tell you all more about her later. We have had calls for placement that just have not worked out for one reason or another (4 calls now). So, we wait for just the right child who needs just the right kind of home at just the right moment in her life.
Let the adventures begin!