Foster to Adopt…..
These are all decisions that we have come across in our journey. We have had so many people ask us…
“Why don’t you just foster” ….
“You can foster to adopt and its free!”
“You should really think about fostering, you will get paid!”
“There are so many kids overseas that need homes, you should do that?”
There is not an easy answer to any of those questions and I will start by saying… we didn’t come to our decision lightly. We prayed, researched, met with people, and did some more praying and research before really feeling God call us away from foster care and into private adoption.
When first exploring the prospect of adoption of any kind, we first started by thinking we would foster to adopt, and we hadn’t really thought twice about it. We felt this was probably the best option for us, and the money aspect was what was really leading the way.
Honestly, we were very under educated and thought we could just… sign up, take the classes, get placed with an infant… and BAM that was it! However we quickly realized that that was not the case…..
We spoke with people from DSS, and they explained to us that the primary goal for foster care is… re-unification. Their primary goal is placing that child back with their family. That is an amazing opportunity for both the baby and their family, but I just wasn’t sure that my heart could handle that.
We did research and spoke with real foster parents who had had children in their custody for months… some of them years… and then they were placed back with their birth family. They spoke about how difficult that was for them, and how heartbroken they were. How they still longed for that child and wondered about them constantly.
We also spoke with some people who went the foster-adopt route. They spoke about how up until the day of their finalized adoption, they were terrified of having their child or children taken away from them. While, their situation worked out in their favor… they knew several others who hadn’t.
We talked to people who were placed with an infant at birth, and did indeed end up adopting that baby. Not only did they end up adopting it, but the birth mom became pregnant again a couple of years later and they were given the option to adopt that sibling as well….
So you see, we really got to see things from all sides of the spectrum…
After 4 miscarriages…. I just didn’t think my heart could handle it. After going through 7 years of infertility, and not knowing what to expect from one minute to the next… I wasn’t sure I could handle bringing a baby into our home, falling in love with it…. And then it being taken away. Not only did I not think my heart could handle it… but I didn’t think my mental health could handle it either. I am the kind of person, who loves and loves hard. I get attached and stay attached. God gave me a heart of love, and I give it whole heartedly. So- just the thought of potentially being placed with a baby, who would have a strong possibility of going back to their birth mom- to this day…. Puts a knot in my stomach.
Out of all the research, telephone calls, interview, and prayers… we really felt God changing our heart and leading us away from this foster to adopt plan that we thought we had in place. I will say… we didn’t come to our decision lightly and we fought with God daily before finally giving in and following his will for us. Once we decided to stop listening to the world, and what everyone else was telling us, and started listening to what God wanted for us… we really started to see God work in this process. He opened both of our hearts to so many different aspects of adoption, and it became a passion for both Cody and I. What had previously been a hesitation, instead became a constant. What we had previously been weary about, we now felt an overwhelming peace.
We know that private adoption, will come with its own worries and trials… and we have already felt some of those, but the peace that God has given us in following this specific path… has shown us that we are following His plan for us, and when we continue to do that…. he will ALWAYS protect and keep us safe.
The first thing that I want anyone reading this to know… is that whether it’s to foster or to adopt, neither of those options are wrong. God places circumstances and people in our lives for a reason, and we whole heartedly believe that he has done that for us! While we were called to private domestic adoption- there are SO SO many people in this world who have been called to foster or foster to adopt… and I am so grateful for those people!
So, while foster care and foster to adopt were not what the plan God had laid out for us…. I cannot commend those of you who are foster parents or have been foster parents enough! YOU are the rock stars here! YOU are the ones putting your heart on the line. You are amazing… THANK YOU…so much for what you have done and continue to do!
18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.