Filling up the minivan...

First of all, no, I'm not pregnant. I just had to get that out of the way.

BUT...we are trying to fill our home up a bit more. Today we did the last walk-through and homestudy visit in the licensing process to become foster parents! Our fingers have been printed, our backgrounds checked and we have been official declared licensed to parent.

It will take day or so for the paperwork to go through their system and then we'll be open for placements. We're really excited to see how God uses us in the next few months/years.

We've always wanted to adopt and talked about it even before we were engaged so after my really rough pregnancy with Norah, it just seemed like that would be the natural plan for any additional kids. We looked at domestic, we looked at international and we thought we had an idea of where God was leading us but no decisions were really made and we weren't planning on beginning anything until Norah turned two anyway so we had time. The only thing I remember saying to a friend was that I really had no interest in the foster care system....why don't we Christians learn not to think things like that?! It wasn't very long later that God clearly called us to this path. And no, Norah is not two yet. Oh, the plans we make.

Feel free to ask any questions. We're new to this all so I don't know if I'll have the answers but we've been blessed to know a few families that are/have been foster families and their openness about the process was one of the ways God led us to this place and I've love for someone else to say that about our family down the road. It's quickly becoming a passion of mine and I love to talk about my passions, especially when it comes to processing emotions. And there are already so many emotions here. Because whatever excitement I feel is tempered by the idea that it comes from a place of hurt and loss too. Foster care is messy!

That said, I still can only tell our side of the story. So please don't get hurt if you ask a question and I flat out say "sorry, I can't talk about that." But at least until we get a placement, our story is the only story. And it's not very long! A few other questions you might have:

Why Foster?
Well, because this talks about our area. As does this article. It's bad. And as crazy as our life can get with the little people we have already, this is something we can do and I think we can do it pretty well. And I memorized James a few years ago so I can't even pretend that I'm not aware of James 1:27. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their afflication, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. Plus, I really love babies.  

Are you gonna adopt any? The goal of fostering is reunification so I'm going to be trying to love each child in our home with 100% of my heart while they are here, while also wanting them to return home. I don't say that lightly. This will not be easy but its what we are signing up for. That said, we do want to be available as a permanent loving home through adoption if reunification isn't deemed possible. This is often called foster to adopt but we've been asked not to use that term, so we won't be. And if adoption does become an option, we have no idea of when that might be. Maybe placement #1, maybe placement #10.

When will you get a placement? We don't know! We hope sometime in the summer months. We're anxious to start loving on some babies. But I'm trying to trust that God will put the children in our home that he wants there in his timing.

What ages/sexes/races/etc will you take? As far as age, we're asking to keep birth order so under Norah's age. We've heard the family dynamics of that are easier so we want our bio kids to keep their place in the line even if other members of our household change. In terms of other aspects, we're open to a lot so we'll just have to see what phone calls we get.

Will your posts be full of blurry faces now? Maybe? The law has recently changed so we don't necessarily have to blur out faces but we do need to make sure everyone's privacy is protected so I'm just not sure how that will play out. But if you see any unfamiliar faces pop up in family pictures of us at the zoo or hiking, please just make a good guess and don't ask who it is. Because I won't be able to answer. And if you are local and happen to meet me in the grocery store, I'll probably just introduce any newbie by their first name and leave it at that.

As you can tell, even my hypothetical questions don't have clear cut answers. But part of me thinks that's a good thing. If God had told me what I'll I'd be facing over the last 10 years (or frankly, even the last month!), I'd be terrified and think I couldn't do it. But I could and I did. We don't know what road God has before us. But we know He goes before us and will lead us where he wants us to be.

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