Monday, October 19, 2015

"Because there are kids who need homes. Tonight. In our city."

I wanted to write and update everyone on our latest adoption changes!  We have been officially waiting with our domestic adoption agency for almost a year.  In that year we have had two exciting calls telling us that we were picked by a birth mother.  But so were 2-3 more couples.  We all met with the birth mom, she asked us questions, we asked her questions and we went home and waited to hear if we were matched.  Both times we got the disappointing call that the birth mom did not choose us.  It's a very emotional rollercoaster but our perspective in all of this is that adoption is not about us.  It's about what is best for the child.  So as much as we want to add to our family and wanted those babies, we were happy that these birth mom's were brave enough to choose life for them and the best family that they thought for their unborn babies, even if that family wasn't ours.

But through this whole past year, foster care has been brought to our attention more and more.  I've met tons of families who are foster parents, read so many blog posts about families who have fostered/adopted and their experiences, done tons of research and through it all, God hasn't left me alone about it.  

So we have decided to change directions with our adoption.  We are going to do foster to adopt.  We have started the 9 days (12 classes, 36 hours) of classes and training.  We have completed the first class and we will get the 8 that are left, done in the next 3 weeks.  We also have to have another home study done (our current one doesn't transfer even though it hasn't expired yet) and will hopefully be licensed soon!  

We are very, VERY excited about this change and can't wait to start.

On our mark.....get set.....GO!

But wait Marie, I have so many questions!

Ask away!  Feel free to ask me in person or just keep reading because I've answered some FAQ's down below.....because I'm a mind reader ;) and I know what most of you might be thinking since I had some of these same questions.

Why in the world would you do foster care?

We, as Christians, are told to "look after orphans and widows in their distress" James 1:27.  That looks different for every family.  Some sponsor orphans, some adopt, some financially support those adopting, some do foster care and still some support foster families.
For our family that looked like adopting an orphan.  To give a child a home who needs it.  To help a hurting child.  We initially pursued international adoption but the doors were closed with every country we looked at.  Either we were too young, already had too many children, or because of Tyler's job, we couldn't travel to certain countries.  So then foster care came to mind briefly but I was scared.  We had had a bad experience with not being able to adopt Baby J almost 4 years ago and I made up excuses about why we couldn't do foster care.  So we decided on Domestic Infant adoption.  And as I wrote up above, we've gotten really good at being "rejected." Haha.  We got "rejected" again and again and to us it started to feel like God was closing this door.  We began praying about if we were supposed to change directions and do foster care.  And once we started praying about it, God just kept opening door after door.  I would randomly talk to a friend who was also considering foster care, or stumble upon a blog on foster care, or hear an interview on the radio with social workers in our own COUNTY.  And with the more I talked to people and the more I read the less scary it seemed and the more doable it became.  And the more excited about it I became.

While I was reading all those blog posts I came across one that really stuck with me.  We were passionate about domestic adoption because it was a way to give pregnant women another option instead of abortion.  And it absolutely is but there are also lots of women who chose life for their babies and decide to try and parent that child.  And sometimes that decision doesn't turn out the way she had hoped and her precious babies need to spend some time in a safe foster home while she tries to get her life back to how she had planned.  This particular statement stuck with me, "BE THE SAFETY NET these kids need when their mother's decision to choose life doesn't go the way she hoped it would.  We can't just ring our hands about how our society is going to hell in a handbasket based on the latest revelation from Planned Parenthood.  People, GO GET THE HANDBASKET, THERE'S A CHILD IN IT."  -A Musing Maralee   And the need for foster parents has become greater.  In the past 5 years the number of kids in foster care, in our county alone, has more than doubled.

Are you going to be able to handle it?  Getting emotionally attached and then have to give the child back to their birth parents?

That's a very valid question because yes it will be hard to get attached to a sweet child and then have to let them go back to their parents or relatives.  I know people will tell me that they could never do it because they would get too attached, but that's the point.  These kiddos need someone to attach to them.  In order for them to learn to attach to someone, they have to learn what healthy attachment is.  The reality is, the hard life that these children have had so far is much worse than any grief I will have to work through when they leave.  So I'm not afraid to grieve.  I'm afraid of what would happen to these children if no one took the risk to love them.  So we are willing to take that risk.  :)

But the system is so broken, there's no way I could deal with it.

Yes sometimes the system seems so broken and these kids are held hostage by it moving slowly.  We can use that as an excuse to not get involved or we can be a safe place these kids call home while they wait.

What about your boys? Won't they be exposed to these "damaged kids?"

Our boys are our top priority.  We have talked to them about Foster care and how it looks different then what a domestic adoption was going to be like.  And they are excited too.  As long as it's in the best interest of our boys, we will continue with foster care.  And for our family we have decided that we won't break the birth order.  So we will accept children younger than Dietrich.  I know that breaking the birth order works for some families but we have decided to not do it.

Why are children placed in foster care?

Children who are placed in foster care have either been abused or neglected in some way and foster care is a safe place for them to stay until their parents can make changes and get their life back on track.  If that doesn't happen then other options are explored.

How long will the foster child be in your home?  At what point are you able to adopt them?

I'm still learning it all but a general answer is that for 6 months, the child's case worker is working with mom or dad to get them back on the right track and at 6 months there is a meeting to decide whether or not they will still keep working on reunification with parents or if they are now going to be looking for permanency (meaning adoption)  And I think at that point even if permanency is the route they will be taking, it can take quite a few more months before adoption can be possible.  I think the average time it takes is 12-15 months.

Foster care is a switch in how we view adoption.  We've changed how we think about it.  Because right now as we become foster parents, our goal is to give a loving and safe home to a child for as long as they need it.  Whether that is a couple months or for forever.  We are willing :)

And one last quote to leave you with that hit me hard, "It's scary, right?  Scary to think about letting a child into your life that might leave you, or getting involved with some shady biological families, or letting "the state" into your home.  There are lots of reasons to be intimidated about foster care, but just one BIG reason to do it.

Because there are kids who need homes.  Tonight.  In your city."
-A Musing Maralee.

Here are some great blog posts to read:


  1. I left a comment, but now I can't tell if it went through. Basically I said that I am very excited to see what God has in store for you guys!! I'm convinced that He closes certain doors and leads us to others until we are at the door of the child he has specifically chosen before the beginning of time to be in your family!!
    Blessings to you and your sweet family!
    Lesli Cryer

  2. Foster to adopt is amazing....we have 3 great children and have had many others in our home for a while. ..we just sent one home last week....heartbreaking but we know we placed a great seed in that baby and she will do great:) I wish you the best in your journey! A Blevins