“I think it’s time to start moving on something adoption or orphan care related.”
Adoption had been on our radar for a while. We knew there was a huge need, and we felt we’d been equipped to do something toward meeting that need. But as we prayed about it and explored options, it was never right. The time wasn’t right; our space wasn’t right; the venue wasn’t right. The directive seemed to just be “wait.”
But one October night as we were getting ready for bed, Jon said “I think it’s time. I think God is telling me it’s time to move on this.” “Ok, so now what?” “I don’t know. That’s not clear to me.” So we agreed to pray about it before we went to sleep. We woke up the next morning to an email in both our inboxes from our church advertising an adoption and foster care informational conference coming up that November. That seemed like a pretty clear direction. So we signed up.
At the conference, we talked to everyone: every agency, every ministry, every organization. We asked questions about the ins-and-outs of different options, and about where the greatest needs were. We attended breakout sessions on “Adoption 101” and “Foster Care 101” and just took in as much information as we could. At the end of the day, we got back in the car together, looked at each other, and asked “Well, what are you thinking?”
“You know,” I told Jon, “I’ve always been focused on adoption – adoption for the sake of adoption – adoption as the end goal. But after hearing everything today, I feel like we could foster. We could just foster for the sake of fostering and helping out whole families, without necessarily adopting.” “That’s exactly what I was thinking, actually,” Jon answered. It was decided. We started our training classes the first week of January, doing our home study concurrently. We finished classes the first of March, and finished our end of the home study about a week later.
Then we waited. We waited while the final home study was written and submitted, then while our family caseworker input all the information into the state’s system. There were about three weeks when we heard nothing. Finally, I got an email from our case worker saying “everything’s been input, so I’m sending your file off to Nashville for final approval. I usually hear back on these in about a week or so, sometimes a little longer.” I called Jon to let him know.
Less than an hour later – I think it was 57 minutes – I got another email from our case worker. “Well, you guys must have some serious power behind you, because your approval just came back already. I’ve never seen this happen before!” Serious power, indeed. “So, just be aware that I’m sending your information over to placement and you might start getting calls soon.”
My phone rang ten minutes later.
There was a little girl, about one-and-a-half, that needed a pre-adoptive placement. Oh, and there would be a newborn baby sister coming in a couple months, too. Would we be willing to take both of them, potentially forever? We had overnight to decide, before a meeting at the DCS office to discuss moving homes for this little girl. As we talked about it that night, we just couldn’t deny God’s very obvious hand in all the timing. We said yes. The toddler moved in three days later; the baby came home less than two months afterward.
That was nearly two years ago. Today, those little girls are three-and-a-half and one-and-a-half and they are forever ours – adopted after over a year in our family. We’ve had other foster placements in the meantime – some long, some short, one more forever. Foster care is not an easy road to walk. But all along the way, God has been faithful to show us when and how to walk it – one step at a time.