It’s been a while. A while since I have written specifically about our fostering journey. And I am still hesitant to do so for many reasons. The biggest though- there is a very fine line between sharing to educate, inspire, & spread faith in our God, and oversharing too much of a story that is not ours to tell. Therefore, this post may be a bit vague, but I will do my best!
With each of our 4 placements over the past 17 months there have been different versions of HARD. But sooooo much GOOD… the crazy amazing stuff that makes me want to do this until I no longer physically can.
Looking back, I am just in AWE of God.
With our first placement in September of 2018, He eased us into fostering. We only had her 5 short weeks and she was the easiest and happiest 8 month old around. We learned what it was like to add a child to our family with a couple hours notice and our (bio) kids learned how to love someone they just met like a sibling. Our time with her was truly a gift & each time I walk past pictures of her around the house, I thank God for her time in our lives. The final hours with her, however, introduced us to the hardest part of fostering- saying goodbye ( Our First Foster Care Goodbye.) We were told we would have her through the holidays, several months longer, and then one Monday morning she was gone. We got a phone call that kin could take her and they were at our doorstep less than an hour later. I cried for about a week straight.
This was Heart-break HARD.
Then, a week later, we got a call for a 2 day old baby girl ready to be discharged from the hospital. We learned she had a 16 month old brother in a different home (who did not accept newborns) and as a family we decided to accept placement of both. We had 2 weeks with just newborn baby girl, settling in as a family of 5 again, before brother joined us full time and rounded us out at 6. These 8 months were the most challenging physically and emotionally of my life, but also some of the memories I look back on MOST fondly (Fostering: From Four to Six. )
This was I-Don’t-Have-Enough-Hands HARD. And So-Many-Doctors-And-Therapy-Appointments-We-Have-No-Other-Life HARD.
Then, a family friend took adoptive placement of this sibling pair after their 8 months with us and we put our home on hold ( 8 Months To Forever.) I needed a breather before I could pour out of myself again. My dad had passed during that placement as well and I needed time to grieve that loss as well as the loss of baby girl and brother whom I loved like my own. We took a couple trips and rounded out our time “off” visiting family in Kansas.
Upon our return from Kansas, my heart was eager to re-open. I again could not stop thinking about fostering (that’s God, I have realized, nudging me). So we emailed the social worker and were put back on the list. About a week later, we got the call for our current placement- after another call a couple days prior had fallen through ( We Are A Family of 5 AGAIN!.) I am still in awe of this as well because what if that first call did not fall though, or what if we did not put our name back on the list soon after our return?! We would not have this amazing baby girl who is now wrapped around each of our combined 40 fingers!! We are so in love with her.
This is I-Can’t-Imagine-Life-Without-You HARD.
Today, was her 6 month checkup. She has gone from a 4 lb 5 oz fragile preemie to a 13lb 12oz cheeks for days, roly poly, beauty. She is constantly smiling and truly a light to anyone lucky enough to be around her! Her giggle is the BEST SOUND I have ever heard. Our 3 and 5 year old skipped pre-school today to take her to the Doctor & were so proud to help her through her shots. They ask me daily if we get to keep her & are pretty much obsessed with her! We have been very honest with them through all of this the past 17 months… they know she has a different last name and that God has chosen us as her family for now, and that we have to trust Him with her forever. This case has been hard in that there is not much communication or interaction so it is easy to forget she is not actually “ours”. But the reality of choosing to foster a child is just that… you love them with all you’ve got regardless of tomorrow. Because that is what these kids deserve- selfless, all-consuming, reckless LOVE.
We have Court this month and I would love for prayers- prayers for God’s will to be done and for the judges to rule in favor of what is BEST for her forever. Thy will be done, God. And thank you, God, for ALL the GOOD!
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** Also, if you have ever considered fostering & have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via the comments or “Contact Me”. I’m happy to share what I have learned from the process and from others walking this journey far longer than us. There will never be the “perfect time”… ❤️