Why We Chose Foster Care

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Hello all!  It has been so long since my last post.  Lately, it has been on my heart to write more here and share our journey into the next phase of our life.  For those of you that don't follow me on Instagram, we have big news to share.  We have been in the process to become foster parents and hope to be finished and certified by the end of September.  We officially began the process in April and it has been long and at times, tedious.  We have had to constantly remind ourselves that in the end it will be worth it!



As I have shared previously in this space, our struggle with infertility has followed us for five years.  In the ups and the downs of that journey, foster care was not something that was on our minds.  We had discussed it at times but always settled on the idea that we could never do that.  We told ourselves we weren't strong enough to deal with the emotional pain of raising a child with trauma, dealing with court dates and visits and ultimately, having to give a child back that we would become attached to.  It was just too messy.

After going through fertility testing we ultimately decided against IVF and then later, private adoption.  It was after all of this that we tabled the idea of having children.  The process to reach that decision was exhausting.  That was all we thought about; all we talked about - it was emotionally and mentally draining.  We spent almost a year living our life with the intention of not having children spare a miracle in the womb.  It wasn't until Christmas this past year that the idea of parenting once again became a discussion in our home.  Something, despite our best efforts, was missing.

Shane played drums at the Christmas Eve service at my brother and sister-in-law's church.  One of their church's platforms is foster care.  I vividly remember walking up and down a hall in the building that was covered in photos and statistics all depicting the broken realities of the foster care system.  I felt a tug on my heart in the middle of the hallway that night but the decision from years ago prevailed.  I could never do that.

I don't necessarily like the phrase "It was a God thing".  It feels so simplistic in describing the supernatural divine that is always working behind the scenes.  But, despite my best efforts at putting into words what happened between Christmas and February, I can only manage to say that very thing.  At some point in the new year our hearts shifted.  I guess you could say that in our world the stars finally aligned.  It was Valentine's Day, 2018 that we decided we were in fact going to be parents and we would pursue this dream through foster care.  And just like that, it didn't matter anymore what we had planned, all of the things that didn't pan out, the questions that went unanswered.. an overwhelming peace invaded a decision that had for years induced such fear. 

Ah, today there is still so much to say and so many emotions that I cannot put into words.  This experience.  This process.  The support from family and friends.  The showers of love and gifts and prayers.

The promises that Jesus has continued to keep to us.

There have been uncomfortable reminders when we have been caught up in what we wanted out of this, that we are again not in control.  This is not about us but about Him.  However, alongside those moments of doubt have been clear signs of confirmation in our choice.  Allowing Jesus to take us and stretch us to a point beyond what we realized we could take.  Ultimately, to break us and put us back together again so that we can be the people these children, who have yet to enter our home, need us to be.

I know not everyone will resonate with our story.  Making decisions that alter your life are deeply personal and the journey getting there is vastly different among individuals.  What I can share for us is that our walk through infertility into this new space has been, and continues to be, a profoundly spiritual experience.  Infertility was, if nothing else, a catalyst for His plan.  We want to be parents.  We have accepted after all these years that it isn't going to happen the way we thought it would but our faith prevails. 

The Lord will go before us.  He always keeps his promises.

What we said we could never do we are now walking straight into with our eyes wide open; and our hearts are on the line.  I have spent hours designing and creating a nursery for a child I do not know.  Shane spent three (frustrating) nights putting together a crib only to look at me when he finished it with wonder as to when it will be filled.  We have stretched our age range and are now working to create another child's room so that we can be open to taking sibling groups.  There is so much uncertainty but our hearts are expectant and we are in awe of where we are now.

All of the things we said we could never do.

I leave you with this: we chose foster care for a number of reasons, but at a certain point we could no longer deny the reality that is this -

There are thousands of children walking daily through situations we cannot imagine.  There are children being separated from their siblings, children sleeping in hotels with case workers because there are not enough families to care for them, children living in group homes and children moving from house to house just wanting stability.

Our world is broken.

Children, the innocent bystanders, are being forced to do all of the things we once said we could never do.  They are made uncomfortable when they are taken from their parents and placed in someone's home they do not know.  They are forced to work through the emotional trauma of that disruption in their life and often are too young to understand what that even means, only that they desperately miss their family.  They go to visits and see their parents but then have to leave them again each time.  They get attached to their caretakers and foster siblings.  They have their hearts broken too.  Their lives are messy and scary by no fault of their own.  They are children doing who without choice are doing all of the things we said we could never do.


2 comments

  1. Beautifully written, Laura. While I do not know you and Shane well, I am so proud of you guys. There are far too many children at the mercy of the judicial system placing a target on their backs before they've even had a chance to see what they could and should become.

    If you don't mind me asking, what ultimately made you decide against IFV? I look forward to hopefully having play dates with you guys in the fall :)

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  2. As a foster mom from the netherlands i am so happy to read this...and God will be with you...bless you and the future kids.....

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