Ryan and I are in the middle of classes to become certified and licensed foster parents. We feel our next child is going to come to our family through the miracle of adoption. After much prayer, thought, consideration, and advice from our parents and friends we decided to go the route of foster adopt in the United States. While there is great need all around the world for families to care for orphans, I feel in my heart that our next child is here in the States. We've decided the best fit for our family is to only bring children into our home who are younger than our youngest, 16 month old Violet. The greatest need for foster and adoption in the US right now is older children. However, there are infants who need families. It's not as common, but it happens. We are in no hurry to have a child in our home, so we are just getting everything ready, getting approved and checked out, and buying lockable cabinets and fire extinguishers. So when the time comes that there is an infant who needs a home, we are on the list.
We have decided to foster babies who are likely to be available for adoption. What that means is that we aren't waiting for an infant whose parents' parental rights have already been terminated, making the baby immediately available for adoption. We will foster them and see where their road leads. It may lead to reunification with their parents or another one of their family members may decide to adopt them. This is risky for our hearts and we know that. It's also a risk we are asking our girls to take and we know that as well. But we feel it's fair risk to ask of our girls. Love is always risky. Even if we get babies who don't stay with us forever, we know that the time we give to them is priceless. They won't remember us, but however much time we can give them in a home of peace and stability will affect their lives forever. We truly believe that.
I haven't blogged about this yet for a couple reasons. First, it's kind of like saying "Hey! Me and Ry are trying for a baby!" And, yeah, that's awkward and personal to tell the world. Secondly, it's a big step. I wanted to make sure we had really thought it through, talked with our parents and friends, and received advice from people in our life we love and trust. This is not something we have decided on a whim. And it's not something we would be able to do without our community of friends and family.
There is a chance that through the course of foster care classes we may decide to do things differently, maybe take a different path with adoption. I'll be glad to share the journey with you. Honestly, I hope that maybe it will inspire you to do something you've always dreamt of but it seemed too hard or risky or just didn't quite fit inside your white picket fence.
After discussion back and forth with my family about adoption, and the risks and myths, and the possible heartache of foster care, my dad said this to me:
"Do the hard thing, baby. You will never regret it in the long run."