It’s been 5 1/2 months since we officially became parents. This journey has been both nothing and exactly what I expected all at the same time. In a matter of months we have doubled the size of our family, our home, and our love. We have spent countless hours praying, hoping, and wishing for these children’s lives to be cared for in the way God intended. We have contemplated not only our children’s permanency in our home but also our plan for permanently expanding our family. We have gone through some of the hardest and some of the most beautiful moments in this very short span of time. This journey has not been an easy one. We are no where near knowing our final destination, and we are constantly contemplating our next step in this twisting and winding road that the Lord so graciously put us on. But through it all, we know the Lord has a beautiful plan, and He knows the desires of our heart, the desire of so desperately wanting a child that shares our last name, one that can be raised in our home forever without the fear of them ever leaving. So this is where we stand, at this crossroad that leads to a blind path ahead, one where we are not guaranteed anything and have the possibility of losing everything.
There are so many different ways we could turn right now and none of them feel any more obvious than the other. After months of testing, poking, and prodding, our doctors told us our chances of conceiving on our own are just as good as the general population. We have no identifiable markers for why we have yet to conceive. We were told numerous times to “Just keep trying,” that “It will come when it’s suppose to,” and “There really isn’t any need for intervention,” unless we really feel it’s something we should do. These were hard things to hear. Of course we’re thankful nothing was found wrong with us, but at the same time it makes justifying the $3,000 expense of treatment a lot harder. So, as of now, we have decided against it. We realize by there not being any medical reason behind our failure to get pregnant than the Lord clearly called us to this life of fostering. He knew we wouldn’t have taken the plunge if we were able to get pregnant within a years time and He needed us to open our homes to those in need. Even knowing all those factors though it’s still a difficult call to make, but because the Lord is saying “not right now” we’re choosing to trust Him.
Of course I would love nothing more than to birth a child of my own, but it isn’t my heart’s deepest desire. Permanent children are what my heart so desperately longs for, whether they come from my DNA or not. So we’re considering the option of adoption from foster care, and let me tell you, this is the hardest decision we’ve made yet. I see the way I have fallen in love with a child that is not my own and I know I can love someone that is not biologically mine, but these children who are legally free are not typically babies and more often than not have experienced trauma I could never even remotely understand. We don’t know if our hearts are ready for that. We don’t know if we have the mental or emotional capacity to handle a child that has been through these horrible circumstances, children who need more than we may be able to provide. My heart absolutely breaks for these little souls. I want to love on them all, but do I really have it in me? Could we even give them what they need? Do we really have the strength as a family to do something this big? We have only been parents for less than half a year. Could we really do this and still come out on top? Oh how I wish I knew the answers to all of these questions.
Our desire to foster though is still strong. We want to continue to love on those that need a temporary family, and we would say “yes” to our two children a million times over, but the likelihood of them being adoptable is slim to none. We are so happy for them though. We know these two precious babies deserve to be with their families, whether it’s their mothers or their relatives. So that is why our hearts are so torn. Do we continue to foster and just wait for a child to come to us that doesn’t have a family? Do we continue to say yes in hopes that the Lord will allow our home to be someone’s forever home?
Before we became licensed as foster parents I read a lot of books about foster care and the system to prepare myself for what we were getting into. There was a quote in one of the books I read called, “Until the End of June”. It came from a man and his partner who had gone into fostering in order to adopt. They had a child they thought they were going to get to adopt but that child ended up going back home. The words he said about their journey never left me. He said “It sounds terrible, but if you lose that baby you could try again. It sounds terrible, but that sounds a lot like pregnancy. Or like love.” Each time we’ve realized one of our placements will not be adoptable, this is what my heart goes back to. We will just try again.
Even though we’ve only accepted two children I wonder how many times we will end up trying again before finding that soul that can be our forever child. Maybe that’s why we’ve considered the path of adopting a legally freed child, because we’ve tried for so long and have only been told no. Maybe we are just ready for a yes. I know how selfish so much of this must sound, just wanting a child to be ours. I know I am supposed to say my desires are for the benefit of the child only, but I’m flawed. We all are. If we weren’t there would be no need for foster and adoptive families.
I will admit I did not go into fostering for the sole reason to help children in need. Yes, that was a big reason, but not the whole purpose. We wanted a family. We wanted to have our house filled with little ones that we could love on, and foster care seemed like the quickest way possible to make that happen. Was it selfish on my part to pursue fostering because of that? Absolutely. Did I go into fostering for the wrong reasons? Probably. Has God completely torn down all those expectations I had and used me and His children to tell of His goodness and faithfulness? Absolutely.
That’s why this decision is so hard. The Lord clearly spoke to us 9 months ago when he told us fostering was the path we needed to take. Right now the Lord is quiet. Maybe He is speaking and my mind is so focused on other things I just can’t hear him. But I want to do what He wants us to do and not knowing what that is may just be the hardest thing yet.