1. What led you to begin the adoption/foster care process?
The big answer - The Lord. The practical answer - Infertility. We knew we wanted more children, and we weren't getting pregnant again, so we decided to proceed down the adoption route. We had friends who were foster parents and encouraged us to choose that route. I was scared to death when we started, but now I am so thankful that the Lord brought us down this road.
2. What is the greatest blessing from your experience?
Too many to list! Probably the biggest is getting to love on these precious children, and learning that my life is not about me. The most unexpected is how our journey impacts others. We have had many opportunities to share Christ with people simply because of the platform of foster care and adoption. Also, I have had the privilege of seeing the Lord work in my life and my family's life because of this journey.
3. What are some of the challenging aspects?
Also too many to list! My schedule is not my own. The department of human services tells me all the many (many!!) appointments/visits/meetings I need to fit into my schedule, and I am often not given much choice in the matter.
It's super inconvenient, and everything is across town from my house, so LOTS of driving. Also, saying goodbye is just as hard as I had feared it would be, but I've also been able to experience firsthand the Lord's healing because of my heartbreak.
My kids have behaviors and challenges that other children don't, and it often makes me feel like a bad mom because of it. I don't think others usually are judging me, but it's hard anyway. We are extremely limited on discipline techniques, which can be super frustrating.
4. How can the church support you?
*Respite nights with free childcare, meals when I get a new placement (just like when someone has a new biological baby, we should get a meal train too!),
*Trauma informed Sunday school workers/babysitters,
*People to offer to help with transportation and babysitting during the first month of a placement (many many many appointments in the first month),
*Trusted friends who are safe to cry to!
5. What advice would you give others, who are interested in pursuing adoption or foster care?
Everything you are afraid of happening is real and probably will happen, but it's worth it anyway. The Lord is bigger than your fears, He will sustain when you have nothing left to give, and He will heal when you are broken.