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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

{2 things} that led to now


{The 1st thing that happened}
Circa 2004
Before Tess.
Before Jude.
Before these last 25lbs adhered themselves to my bum.
When Boo was a baby just learning to toddle around.

A very good friend of mine had a friend who had a friend who had a sister (you get the idea) who needed a home for a child.  The child had been through a lot, certainly more than any child or even any adult should be subjected to.  There was no extended family available for this child either.  So this child needed a home, temporarily... maybe.  A foster home.  A home for 2 weeks or 2 months or 2 years or forever.

I met the child through happenstance and heard the story.  I had always wanted many many children, Papa and I talked, and we offered our home to this child...  for 2 weeks or 2 months or 2 years or forever... how ever long this child needed a home we offered ours.

We talked with the child's family and were comfortable proceeding.  Then we contacted the child's CPS caseworker.   We had no experience with CPS or the foster care system.  What we encountered was less than friendly or helpful or even nice.  The roadblocks placed before us were insurmountable.  And we had to walk away.  This child was put into the vast foster care system, and I never learned what happened to her.

We purposefully decided that was not a system that we wanted to be involved in.  But this experience did open our hearts to providing homes to the hundreds of thousands of children who needed one.
Papa and I talked about it.
We prayed.
And ultimately we embarked upon the path of international adoption.
Eventually, Tess & Jude came home to us.

{The 2nd thing that happened}
One of Papa's closest friends, used to be involved in foster care.  It was a few years ago that this amazing family open their home to children whose parents could not provide a safe home for them, for as long or as little time as needed, accepting their special needs, and never knowing when they would leave.  As God would have it, 2 children were placed in their care.  I'm sure they don't know this, but I prayed for them during this time, and for the children that were in their care.  Prayed that they would be able to anticipate and meet the needs of these children, and that ultimately these little ones would find their forever families... wherever that would be.  As it turned out, both children ultimately left this wonderful family.  And again I prayed for their strength and courage and that God would provide more foster families like this.
Afterwards, this family felt a need to take a break from fostering.  I can only imagine how their hearts ached.

Papa found out recently that after a couple year hiatus, this family is again preparing to be foster parents and see where God takes them.  Knowing full well, that the path of a foster parent can be simultaneously so rewarding and painful, Papa suggested we reconsider our previous decision years before and follow in their footsteps.  Become foster parents.

Hu?

Is this the same guy who agreed we should put the brakes on our China adoption?

Yes, but as he said, the licensing process is free, and you never know where God is going to take you.
We just might want to be prepared.

I couldn't argue with that.

{Now}
So, yes, we are currently knee deep in doing all we need to do to become licensed foster care parents.  More paperwork, more hoops, more home inspections, more classes, more homework, more applications, more fingerprinting, more doctor visits, and more interviews.  I mean we've really been fingerprinted so many times in the last 3 years!  At least 9 times that I can think of off the top of my head.  I have found the process of becoming a foster parent,  so unlike the process of adoption.  It's just a very different mind set.  Maybe I'll delve into the similarities and differences later.

And honestly we're not really sure when or if we will ever take a placement of a child.  That's something we'll have to decide as this summer approaches.  Part of the process of becoming a licensed foster care provider, is to fully explore all the possibilities and really only making a decision after you've gathered all the tools necessary to make the decision.
I really like that part.

How 'bout you?  Have you ever considered becoming a foster parent?

11 comments:

  1. Wow, Nancy! God is good at surprises, huh? :o)

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  2. OH ! Tell me more. Yes, I have considered it, but I just don't know enough about the process or anything really about it.

    I am very excited to follow along with you and see where this goes. The reality is that there are so many children that need loving homes and being open to helping hurting children in ANY way is just beautiful and honoring to God.

    Kathy

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  3. OH ! Tell me more. Yes, I have considered it, but I just don't know enough about the process or anything really about it.

    I am very excited to follow along with you and see where this goes. The reality is that there are so many children that need loving homes and being open to helping hurting children in ANY way is just beautiful and honoring to God.

    Kathy

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  4. this is huge! and amazing! i can't wait to see where this journey takes you. i love the image of your home full of love and open arms.

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  5. yup yup yup. we've kinda decided some of those special kiddos have gone through so much we want whoever comes here to be the focus.

    not all foster kids have experience violence or abuse, but a lot have (hence the need to be removed from their families), so we decided we want them to be the youngest.

    when our kids are a little bit older, we are definitely open to it.

    i look forward to the challenge very much.

    i think of it, in the words of a friend who has been a foster parent, as being a soft landing place for children who need a place to land.

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  6. I agree with the former post - I would try to make sure that the children you foster are younger than Tess and Jude. Our social worker told us to not go that route (foster adopt, not just fostering) so as not to jeopardize the safety of Emma as so many children have been abused that are in the foster care system (not bad kids, just troubled) - and a lot of times the system does not even know the half of what these kids have experienced. We did look into foster adopt before Emma and decided against it and thought of it again, but as I said, our social worker advised against it. My heart breaks for these children who need homes, but we just cannot do it - because of Emma and our ages. But God bless you! It is a wonderful thing you want to do.

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  7. Yes, yes, YES! Our next direction as well :) Can't wait to hear more. Love you, my friend.

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  8. Yes, we have considered it and I pray that the Lord will direct us in that way soon. I think it is awesome that your family is fostering--what a visible way to love like Jesus. I am looking forward to seeing what God has for you in the near future.

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  9. It takes Extreme faith to love a child unconditionally and care for them, that may then move on. I am so proud of you. I brought fostering up years ago, but My sweet knows my heart, and for the same reason I can't ever work in Ped's is the same reason I can't foster, I want to keep them all and save them all and take them home forever with me. I will keep praying that God will provide your hearts with the tools needed for the plans he brings your way. "For I know the plans I have for you". He is forever faithful!

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  10. I have a friend who bounced around foster homes. He never really had one that he liked very much. I was talking to him about this post and told him about y'all and how much i love your family. He said you guys are exactly what he wished he had. It takes a special family to do what you want to do. Good luck, and on behalf of my friend, thank you.

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  11. ORB- I am humbled. AND I really really needed to hear that today.
    Thank you,
    crazy me

    ReplyDelete

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