My wife and I met in college in 2000 and began dating in 2002. After two years of a long distance relationship, we married in October 2004. We had been unsuccessful in having natural children for several years, when in 2009, we recieved the call that our niece was placed in foster care.
While not “giving up” on having children, we recognized that our empty home was possibly for a reason in this season of our lives. Within days, we were in contact with our niece’s social worker and attended a court hearing the following week. We felt an immediate and strong leading of the Lord to attempt to gain custody of her.
After more than a year of attending planning meetings, court dates, visitations and being involved as much as possible, the Lord shut the door (perhaps it was never fully open). We lived on the other side of our state and visitation with the bio-parents was always an issue, one that could not be overcome for custody purposes in the eyes of the court.
But, through the process, we met and became friends with our neice’s foster parents. They were a wonderful, loving, professional, suburban couple that completely shattered any pre-concieved notions or images of a “foster family.” They had a warm and loving home and poured deeply and richly into our niece’s life during the time they had her. It planted a seed in our hearts.
Fast forward to the summer of 2011. During Vacation Bible School, our hearts again, separately, felt a tough pull of fostering. We were still unsuccessful in having a child naturally, but felt as if the Lord was speaking to us to use this season of life to be what the other foster family was to someone else’s children. For how long, we didn’t (and still don’t) know, but the Lord was saying, “Go.”
We obeyed and filled out the paperwork and recieved acceptance into the training program in September. In March 0f 2012, we recieved our official certification as county foster parents and waited patiently throughout the spring for “the call.”
At the beginning of the summer, we took a short break, asking our licensing worker to put us on hold so that my wife could have major weight-loss surgery. A few weeks afterwards, about the time of Vacation Bible School, we told the worker we were ready to move on. Then, not long afterwards, we recieved the call.
On July 24, we met Little Guy and Older One, two precious brothers who have been through more in their short time on earth than many adults could experience in a lifetime. We’re not sure how long their in our care, but while they’re here, they are our children.. in every sense of the word.
Where will this journey lead? It’s not ours to know. We’re sitting back, enjoying the ride, taking one day at a time and following the path that God has so lovingly placed in front of us. We’re grafting in a new family and it’s an experience we wouldn’t trade for anything!