Throughout November, we will have a series of guest bloggers contributing to "Every Child" in honor of National Adoption Month. Today's blog was written by Steph Patten, an adoptive mother and foster parent.
The day had finally arrived.
After months of praying, talking with caseworkers, filling out paperwork, taking training classes, getting physicals and driving records, filling out more paperwork, locking up all medications, and then waiting for our foster care license . . . the day was finally here. On February 6, 2007, we said, “Yes.” And it was on that day that life as we knew it would beautifully and radically change forever.
Our little family of four was going to grow by two more—a 2½-year-old boy and his 8½-month-old sister who had been removed from their home and placed in foster care were coming to live with us.
Even with all the preparation and training, we still had no clue what we were getting into. The training classes were helpful but we soon learned that foster parenting is more than rules, laws, and agency protocols. Foster parenting is a matter of the heart.
We had to find the balance of loving and caring for these children from our hearts, yet knowing in the backs of our minds that there was the possibility they would be reunited with their biological parent(s). Whenever a court hearing came up, which was every three months, we were filled with anxiety. And in our hearts we wondered, “Who has the best interest of the child in mind?” “Is it the court?” “The attorney?” “Who?”
And there were times it felt like we were glorified babysitters or personal escorts, running them to visitations, doctor appointments, WIC appointments, and school. The only difference is that these children stayed in our home 24/7, minus visitation times with biological parents.
There were also tear-filled conversations between us that went something like this, “I’m done. I want to take them back. Please, can I take them back?!?” and the other spouse responding in a loving, supportive way, “No, you may not take them back. They need us and we need them. Let me pray for you.”
With all that being said, we didn’t enter into foster care because of the money or the status or the fame . . . there is none. And that’s okay. We took the journey because we felt the Holy Spirit “nudge” us to open our hearts and home to children who needed one. And we obeyed the nudge.
Our journey hasn’t been perfect. We’ve messed up too many times to count. But the One who hasn’t messed up and has been perfect is the One who called us and has led us on this journey . . . and that is Jesus. He has been faithful in providing wisdom, love, support, encouragement, finances, and so much more.
We’re just a couple of sinners who are grateful for the love of Jesus, and in our brokenness we want Him to be glorified in and through us, in whatever way He sees fit.
That’s why we said “yes.”