He did it again. The Lord allowed us to be a part of a clearly orchestrated divine appointment. (Click here to read about the first crazy meeting the Lord set up!) And boy did I need it. The last five months (can you believe it’s been that long!) have been very, very difficult. My emotions have ranged from excitement to despair to anger to frustration to deep depression. I have questioned over and over if we made a wrong decision with becoming foster parents. I rack my brain trying to think about if this was something that I had pursued, because I wanted it…that maybe I had misread all the seemingly clear and loud confirmations from the Holy Spirit. I have begged the Lord for some sort of sign that we are in fact obeying what He had called us to in January. I had pleaded for hope, even a tiny shred, as I did not feel I could go on much longer. Well, He gave me a lot more than a shred this morning.
During our foster son’s visitation, we decided to go to breakfast. I could see Evie smiling at a couple sitting next to us. I looked over and recognized them. I thought they looked like someone we had met while volunteering at Southbrook, a church we attended about 5 years ago. Turns out, it WAS them. I’ll condense the conversation.
Me-We’re having breakfast, while our foster son is at visitation. Them-We’re foster parents, too! Do you happen to know…? She’s our neighbor and friend. Me-Yes!! She’s the case aide that monitors his visits. Them-Do you still go to Southbrook? Me-No, we attend Apex now. Them-I know it’s a big church, but do you happen to know…? I work with her. Me-Yes! They’re our House Church leaders!
*Our case aide is also a gift from Jesus. She’s a Christian and has been the person with whom we’ve had the most contact.
*Our HC leader had actually talked to me about this family several times and their experience with fostering!! She never told me their name, so I didn’t make any connection until this evening.
The whole “random” meeting blew me away. We had planned on going to another restaurant and decided to eat at this place, at the last minute. I’m so very grateful that He, despite the fact that I did not deserve it at all, confirmed that we are where we should be. Thank you, Jesus!!
Now for an update of the past two months…the last time I posted was in the midst of the worst of the worst. I had just read a blog post written by an adoptive mom that gave the time frame of 3-4 months as the “starting to get better” stage. She was right! Things did start to improve soon after my last post. Our foster son is now bonded to both Grant and myself. He’s sleeping and eating wonderfully. He’s saying words and signing a ton, right along with Evie! He is a different child.
Grant and I were invited to a meeting for him next month and will be given an opportunity to share. We’ve compiled some information, detailing his behavior when he was first placed compared to now. WHAT A DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE. I guess I try to not think about what it was like in the beginning.
So, you would think I’d be jumping for joy right now, since he’s doing awesome and life should be easier, right? Well, I’m certainly thankful that he’s settled in to our family. However, this will make it a hell of a lot harder when the day comes for him to reunify with his birthmom. While that has always been the goal, it is now infinitely more difficult to imagine him leaving our family. Initially, we were told that he would probably be with us for a year. We have found out that he could be reunified much sooner than that.
I seriously do not understand how to do this foster parent thing well. We have felt very isolated during this process, as we don’t know well any current foster parents. What I needed the past five months is for another foster mom to tell me that what I’m feeling is normal, that I’m not crazy. My friend Kate, a former foster parent and mother of 7, said it well. If the church was doing its job of caring for the orphans, there would be tons of support. I would never feel isolated, trying to figure out if I was slowly going insane. I could call 5 families for encouragement. But, the church is not stepping up. I’ve posted this stat before, and it’s staggering. According to this website, in 2011, there were 2,789 kids waiting to be adopted in the state of Ohio. Guess how many churches there are in Ohio? 14,657.
You can probably think of 10 good reasons why you shouldn’t foster or adopt. I get it. I had my list, too. Obviously, it’s not easy, either. It sucks for a lot of the time. BUT…don’t you want to be a part of the church body rallying together to eliminate this ridiculous idea of kids WAITING FOR A HOME? Shouldn’t we be WAITING TO ADOPT KIDS?!?
I’ll end with this really cool translation of a verse I’m sure you’ve heard. By the way, we just upped our foster/adopt license to 3 kids. We’re waiting for our next placement. Would you join us?
Psalm 68:5-6a NLT Father to the fatherless, defender of the widows-this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families…