Friday, October 31, 2014

Moments Missed, Blessings Gained

As the holidays approach without our first placement, I am reminded of the moments I may miss out on in my child's life. Moments like first steps, first words, first christmas', first birthdays, and first days of school. It can be very easy to become saddened by the thought of possibly never seeing and participating in these important moments in my child(ren)'s life. Mothers may have picture albums, memories, and possibly even videos of these defining moments and I will only have a sense of wonder and possibly a story or two. Oh, how I wish I could have been there everyday.

Then I am reminded that God has chosen the perfect time to place my child(ren) in my life. No matter what stage in life my child(ren) will be in we will have memories. Missing out on those past moments only makes future moments more precious. I cannot wait until these moments begin. I may not be able to watch my child's first steps, but I may be able to help them learn to tie their shoes, cheer them on at their sports events, cry as they walk across the stage at graduation, and smile as they marry their soulmate. I also will be able to witness those moments that are unique to foster care adoption, such as their first night in our home, the first time they look at us as parents, and the day they take our last name as their own. Those are the moments I long for and as I think about them the sadness goes away and the thought of future blessings brings a smile to my face.

John 1:16
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.  

We appreciate your prayers.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

What It Means To Be Removed

Before Brenton and I submitted our paperwork for our foster care license, we had to attend two eight hour parenting classes. Before our first class started our instructor played a video called Removed. As I watched the video my heart ached as my desire to foster grew.

We go into this process knowing that the children that will be placed in our home are hurting and may not accept us right away. But there will be a day when the sun will rise again and their hearts will open. We long for that day. The day our future children will realize they are loved, needed, and wanted. For that day will be a glorious day. I imagine it will start with a smile, a laugh, or gaze of little eyes filled with hope. Please watch this video and allow your heart to be opened and your minds to understand our desire to foster. Get some tissues, you'll need them.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Answers to Questions We Are Often Asked As Prospective Foster Parents

1.) Are you still going to have your own kids?

The kids that are placed in our home will be OUR kids. In our hearts we feel there is no difference between adopted, fostered, or biological. At this point in our lives, we are taking one day at a time and we are focusing on the gifts God has for us through foster care adoption. We are not sure if we will ever have a biological child.

2.) Can you have kids?

We do not know. Fertility is not a factor in our decision to adopt. We are simply adopting, because we feel God has lead us to do so. For us it is not a second choice or plan B. Fostering is our plan A.

3.) Are you worried that they may have severe problems?

We know that through God all things are possible and He will give us the strength to overcome any obstacle we may face through this process. We entered the process knowing that there is a reason children are removed and those reasons ultimately will affect the children in some way. The children did not choose to enter into the lives they have been given. Circumstances that surround the child and the emotions that follow them in no way should lessen their right to be loved, wanted, or desired.

4.) What if they have to leave?

We know that there is a chance that the child(ren)'s stay may be temporary. We are going to take it one day at a time and treasure each day like it's our last. We feel that whether a child is with us 2 days or 2 years an impact can be made. If a child's situation changes and we have to let them go, our goal is that they go knowing they are loved by us as foster parents and God as their Abba father.

5.) What are you most afraid of?

For me (KellySue) it is the unknown, which is why we are taking this process one day at a time. We could drive ourselves crazy thinking about every detail and every possible outcome so we try our best to focus on the fact that God is in control. We fail at times and have rough days, but we are always reminded of God's plan for us.

6.) When are they coming?

If only we knew. All I can say for sure is in God's time.

7.) Are you able to choose the type of child that will be placed?

We did have the option to choose a certain type of child. Although the wait could be years if we became too specific. We have decided to be open minded to any child(ren). We work closely with our caseworker to determine if each placement referred to us is a good fit or not. We pray and seek God with each referral and allow Him to lead. We have, of course, asked important questions and for the opinion of our caseworker, but we have never said, "No" to any placement.

If you have any further questions, feel free to comment below and we will answer them for you. Please continue to pray for us as we wait for our first placement.

“I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”-Isaiah 48:17

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Friday, October 10, 2014

Anxiously Waiting

The ache in our hearts for a child(ren) continues to grow as we wait for our first placement. It has been over two weeks since a sibling group was referred to us. We first received a call in early September for a sibling group of three. With excitement we prepared their rooms, toured daycares, and thought about elementary school options. After we finished filling in as many details as we could we anxiously awaited their arrival as paperwork was being processed. Before our license went through these three darlings were placed in a home. We were relieved and crushed at the same time. Relieved that these beautiful children found a home and crushed that the home was not ours. There have been times that I have looked in their rooms with sadness in my heart as I remember the dreams I had for them as part of our family, but then I am reminded that God is in control and the children were placed where God meant them to be.

Two days after we received the email that the first sibling group was placed, we received an email about a sibling group of two. After reading their summaries and discussing our concerns with our case worker, we were told it was not a good fit. We did have an overwhelming sense of peace knowing that these children are being loved by an amazing family until they are placed in a more permanent home.

Over two weeks has gone by since we received that second email. In anticipation I leave my phone by my side awaiting the next call. God has been wonderful in allowing my husband or I to be at peace with this at all times. Last week I was very anxious and disappointed as the days went by with no contact at all. I could not understand why the need for foster parents is so high and yet we are waiting. After receiving some amazing reassurence from the Lord I am again at peace. My husband is now starting to grow more excited each day and is disappointed when I come home with the same lack of news. It has been amazing to be able to support each other during this process by constantly reminding each other that God is in control of this adoption and He has the perfect child in mind for us to be placed in His timing.

Please be in prayer for us as we anxiously wait the arrival of our first placement, but more importantly be in prayer for the child(ren) as they go through overwhelming obstacles in their lives and are removed from caregivers that they love with all their hearts despite any hurt the caregivers may have caused.

2 Thessalonians 3:5
"May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perserverence."

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Why We Chose Foster Care Adoption

Our hearts have ached for children and young adults for years. We have helped with the youth group at our local church for four years and have seen emotions range from joy to sadness. We have taken youth members hands and walked their paths with them, encouraging them and most importantly listening to them. We have prayed for them, laughed with them, and cried with them. The biggest thing we have learned through this journey is that children and young adults just need to be wanted, loved, and cherished.

Last March, I (KellySue) went on a missions trip to India. Our group spend a couple of days visiting two orphanages. The children's faces glowed with joy and love filled the room as they sang, danced, and played. I felt an overwhelming desire and call from God to adopt yet again.

A couple of months later I finished an internship in Chicago and went back home to my wonderful husband, Brenton. By the end of our first month we found adoption becoming part of our conversation. We spoke to both domestic adoption agencies and foster care agencies. After prayer and discussion, we decided to choose foster care. My husband said to me, "Parents are waiting for babies and children are waiting for parents." As I soaked in these words I knew he was right. My desire to raise a child from birth was a selfish desire. We were in this for the waiting children not to fulfill our own dream of the future, but God's plan for us. Please know that we do not think that families who have their own children or adopt infants are selfish. God's plan is different for each of us and we truly believe that his plan for us is foster care adoption. To go against His plan for us would be selfish. Please consult God and follow His plan in whatever way He leads you to start/raise your family.  

We chose foster care, because we want to show love to those who do not feel wanted, loved, or needed. We truly believe that each child is a child of God and should be cherished.

1 Thessalonians 2:8
So we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.

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