Well as we wait with anticipation on the arrival of our new little bean, I wanted to share with you all what led us to this point and how we got here.
Hubbs and I have 2 beautiful, amazing daughters. I am so blessed, and privileged to have been able to carry these girls in my womb. 40 weeks and 8 days each. I always wanted a big family. After my first, I still had the same dream. After my second, hubby and I felt like 3 might be enough. I knew for sure I wasn’t done. The time came around where hubby and I started to talk about adding that third. Or more, I started asking him if he was ready yet, I’ve always been a little baby crazy, and the mere sight of a newborn makes my heart and my ovaries swell with love. Then the words, “I think we should adopt our next baby”. My heart skipped a bit. You see adoption has always been something I wanted to do, something hubby has said he has always wanted to do, but I don’t think I ever really thought about it, truly being a reality. I knew it was in our future, but I thought it would be once our biological children have grown, we would move to a third world country and work in an orphanage, or adopt internationally later in life. Not now, not when our girls are so young, not when my reproductive organs still function.
I think the desire to adopt started early on. My childhood home growing up, was situated right beside a foster home. One of my very best friends I would play with all the time was a foster kid. At the time I was too young to understand what that really meant, but I knew he had dark skin, unlike his parents and he didn’t call them mom and dad. I always thought it was kind of cool that she just took him, and took care of him and a bunch of other kids that seemed to come and go. The next experience I had was when I was 18. I was in Nicaragua on a missions trip for the first time. I remember seeing all the poor children running around, and the babies playing in the dirt. I knew then that I wanted to bring them all home, and raise them with all the north american luxuries I was given as a child. My next thought about it happened when someone very close to me was struggling with an infertility battle that lasted for years. Her and her husband were talking about adoption, and in fact were starting to pursue it, and then they found out they were expecting their miracle baby. I remember thinking, if I were in that situation I wouldn’t worry about the fertility stuff, the money, the stress, I would just adopt. There were so many kids in this world that need loving parents. Now that may be very naive of me to say, especially with not facing the aching feeling of not being able to bear children. I do understand that is one of the worst heart aches in this world. I get that even more now that I do have my girls. They complete me in a way I cannot explain, but I distinctly remember thinking, well if its not in the cards for us, there are lots of children to adopt, so many that need loving families. Well fast forward to today. Today when it is becoming a reality. OK I will slow down, its not like we have a new baby sleeping in our house yet, but the process has started, that one day in the near future, that will be our reality.
The reality began on March 6 when I made the call to our local children’s aid society. After researching our options I knew this was the route we wanted and needed to go. There are 3 options when adopting.
- Private, domestic adoption
- Internation Adoption
- Adoption through foster care
International adoption is still something I would love, but the reality of the costs and time and travel when we already have 2 little ones, was just not in the cards. Domestic adoption also has a lot of costs associated and there are many families waiting for babies. That is what led us to looking into adoption through children’s aid. These were kids that really needed a loving family. Kids that needed to be removed from their families, because the parents were not able to parent for a variety of reasons; mental health, addictions, abuse, neglect, incarceration. Kids in our own backyard. More research led to the idea of foster care first. After meeting with our recruitment worker, she only solidified that decision. Due to the fact that we already have 2 little ones, and their ages, we would basically just sit on an adoption list…for a long time. Not helping, not serving the kids, not growing our family though adoption. If we are to do foster care, we will support reunification. I admit I thought this would be hard at first. but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was God’s call for our lives. To help children has always been the main goal, growing or family secondary to that. With foster care we can help kids even for a small period of time, a small period of time when they need it the most. We also will have the opportunity to help parents. Help them do more for their children. Help them to see the love of Christ. In the sad event a reunification cannot happen with birth parents or relatives, we as their foster parents could be next on the list to legally adopt. The baby, or child/children would have already attached, and since we want to adopt as well, it could be us who would get that honour. We felt this route was the best option for our family.
So here we are, expecting a call any day (more details on that to come) God’s timing is always perfect. We will be fostering and on our way to adoption before we know it. It’s all in God’s plan. The first step of following the call is just what He wanted. For the first time in my life, I actually feel like I am being truly purposeful for our God. He calls us to take care of the orphans. He plants this seed in our hearts. All we have to do is follow.
I get asked a lot of questions about the process, and the kids in care, and the birth families. I will never share too much for a few reasons; it’s the child’s life not ours, therefore it is his or her story to share, when he or she is old enough and ready to do so. Confidentiality and safety reasons is another reason, and lastly people can be nosy and cruel when they have no idea what they are truly talking about. I have to protect these kids that will be coming into our home therefore it is none of your business if their “mother didn’t want them” or if they are a “druggie baby” so please don’t ask! Other questions/comments I get asked a lot are;
“What about when you get attached and they have to leave isn’t it going to be hard? or “I could never do that, I would get too attached”
Darn right it is going to be hard, but don’t you think it’s going to be harder on these innocent children to have to be put into this circumstance in the first place? These kids didn’t ask to be neglected, abused, or mistreated. They want love, they need love and we have love to give. It is as simple as that. Are our hearts going to get broken in the process? Yes most likely but it will be worth it. I used to say the same thing that I couldn’t get attached and then let them go, but I have now realized that is exactly what these kids need. Healthy attachments, even if they don’t get to to be a part of our family forever, they will be our son or our daughter while the system allows. It sets them up for a different path in life when they start with healthy attachments. Did you know that in many orphanages, it is silent… babies and young children do not cry because their cries have gone unanswered, so they learn to stop crying because no one helps them when they do. They will lay in their cribs silent and still and are in a state of depression? You have to teach these children that it is ok to cry, and that it is normal. A negative attachment, or no attachment has such detrimental effects for the rest of their lives. So the answer is yes, its going to be really hard, but not as hard as what they have gone through, and what they will go through if there aren’t people in the world willing to foster and help them.
Of course I had and still have many concerns, but I know that all these concerns will be overshadowed with joy and rewards when we see a child flourish in our home, we will love them as our own and work hard at being the best parents we can.
Some of my concerns are:
We will only get cases that never become our forever family.
The anger I will feel about learning about neglect and abuse situations of the child/children in my care yet still showing God’s love to these birth parents and trying to help them for the better.
The safety of my bio children, and how I will deal with them getting attached then having to let go.
My husband and I’s relationship. Foster care is tough. We have already experienced a couple hard situations.
All we can do is pray about these concerns. God is so good, He will bless us with the right child for our family. We may have a lot of waiting and we will experience feelings we have never felt before but we know this is the right thing for our family. For every concern I see a positive as well.
I want to get into a blog series of “How to become a foster parent” in the future but it is a lot of research, so you will have to wait on that for a while because I want to be able to help others, not just parents in Ontario. However for those of you who are in my area, here is a timeline of our journey so far!
March 6 2015 – Initial call to the agency in our area (Most agencies require you live in the same municipality, where you will be a foster parent)
Mid May – Recruitment worker came out to our house for the first interview, she gave us all the STACKS of paperwork, and left us with some training dates, as well as took a short tour of our home.
We spent all summer working on our paperwork. and getting prepared. We filled out questionnaires, references, physicals, drivers abstracts, police checks, fire safety plan, checklists for home, updated shots and documentation for our animals, we purchased more child safety equipment, fire extinguishers, checked our alarms, got a locked medicine box, put up high shelves for all chemicals, ordered a crib and toddler bed, got the room all painted and organized. I researched like crazy, I think I have read every blog on foster care/adoption and watched every video pertaining to foster/adopt on youtube. We got as prepared as we could, while we waited for our PRIDE training to start in the fall.
October 7th – First class of our PRIDE training. We attended a 3 hour class once a week for nine weeks as well as we had 2 additional 3 hour classes on adoption specific info as well. We learned a ton in these classes and like I said earlier I will get into that in another post! However if you are interested in knowing more, shoot me an email and we can chat!
Our last class fell the first week of December, and during this process we also started our homestudy. A homestudy is more interviews with the recruitment worker, as well as a home safety inspection.
December 21st 2015 – We were officially licensed, we signed all the paperwork and gotten a call for a 2 month old baby girl the same day. She ended up going to a family member of birth mom, so she never came home to us but we pray for her and hope she is doing well.
Waiting Waiting Waiting
Jan 18th – We got a call for a brand new baby girl, I got to visit her in the hospital and hold her, but the next day she ended up going to another foster home ,where the foster parents had her adopted siblings. All in all best outcome for her but it was still hard for us. I fell in love with that little girl right away and pictured her in our family. I still think about her all the time.
Waiting, waiting waiting….
February 19th 2016 – We got a call for a baby who isn’t born yet. All we know is her birth mom is VERY pregnant and due soon! So thats where we are at now, waiting for this baby to be born to bring him or her home! It’s a pretty crazy feeling, knowing I could get a call any minute now with the news our baby has been born! Things could also change, as things tend to do in foster care but we are hoping this time is our time, our chance to be parents once again.