1. What led you to begin the adoption/foster care process?
Investing in youth and students is something that Logan and I have been passionate about throughout the course of our marriage and when we were single. I grew up in New England and Logan was raised in Ohio. We met in Springfield, MO in 2006 and since that time, the Lord has allowed us to join Him in some amazing adventures. One of which is our journey in foster care and adoption... something neither of us ever considered when we were growing up. Neither of us had any experience with foster care but God started to open our eyes to it in 2013. Little did we know, He had been preparing our steps long before.
While working and serving at our church in San Diego, we helped to lead a missions trip to Tijuana and that was when the Lord really started to press on Logan's heart. He saw a grandmother raising her 8 grandchildren and the questions started to surface. What happens if grandma is not around? Who else do these kids have? Meanwhile, around the same time, we happened to meet another couple who was fostering through an FFA agency in San Diego and we were intrigued.
We started to pursue some different avenues and finally landed on Angels Foster Family Network. Their ultimate goal is to provide stable, loving homes to foster children ages 0-5 in San Diego. It's also important to note that we had chosen to pursue foster care - where the main goal is reunification with the birth family. Oftentimes, people can misinterpret the purpose but ultimately, the purpose of foster care is to provide a temporary home (temporary can mean a week, a few months, or even years) for these kiddos while their parents or guardians complete case plans in order to reunify.
Logan and I came from incredibly different backgrounds, but we both have had strong influences step in at crucial points in our lives to continue to reflect Christ's love and sovereignty. We wanted to do the same for these children.
2. What is the greatest blessing from your experience?
There are so many blessings! I think I can sum it up to two themes... I'll try. First, we have seen God show Himself so clearly throughout the past few years. We have witnessed His character - His INTENTIONALITY, His SPECIFICITY, His SOVEREIGNTY, His GRACE, His TIMELINESS (note: not mine! :), His PEACE that literally goes beyond my understanding. To know Him in this way has been the greatest blessing. Secondly, He has built our family and given us children through foster care and adoption. During our journey, it was confirmed that we would not be able to have biological children of our own and even still, God had a greater plan. The absolute miracles that we witnessed in our children's adoptions are unbelievable and I'd love to share more at another time.
If you’re considering foster care or adoption to meet your own needs, you are going to be sorely disappointed and extremely challenged.
3. What are some of the challenging aspects?
ALL OF IT. I could leave it at that, but essentially every part is hard. In essence, if you're considering foster care or adoption to meet your own needs, you are going to be sorely disappointed and extremely challenged. Nothing about this is about you. You are going to pour into these children night and day, and then you are going to give them back to their families despite what you think or believe is best which is ultimately a test of your faith in God's sovereignty.
Your faith will be challenged, your character, your marriage - everything! But you will taste and see that the Lord is good.
4. How can the church support you?
Oh man, the church is so amazing! We have had numerous people step in at just the right moment, bringing a dinner, dropping off clothes, praying for us... I think just asking the question, "How can we support you guys?" is a great way to open the door.
One thing that I would caution against is to ask questions about the kids' scenarios like, "Where is his/her mom?" and "Are you going to adoption him/her?" There are many things that as foster parents we are not at liberty to share, nor do we want to comprise our kids trust and stories.
Probably the best way that we have been supported is through faithful prayer. There were some seasons that I literally did not think I could make it through mentally, and the prayers of the saints carried me.
5. What advice would you give others, who are interested in pursuing adoption or foster care?
As mentioned earlier, I think the best advice that I can give you is to walk into this journey with your eyes wide open to what the Lord is doing and is calling you towards. Keep your eyes on Him, and not what you think you want or what you think is best. He is the ultimate story teller and despite what you know or see, He is sovereign. Ask Him to open the doors and just show you the very next step that you need to take. If you go into this with your goal being to know Him more, than you cannot lose!