Fostering Friday

Fostering Fridays are all about my journey as a foster mom, how I feel about it, the highs and lows, and how it affects my family. And of course, hoping to increase awareness and prayer for this challenging and very rewarding ministry.

So I read over my last few Fostering Friday posts to get an idea of where I left off nine months ago and it has me weeping. All those emotions came rushing back so real. And yet, there is such a peace because I know how the story ends. It's a good ending, one I never get tired of telling. 

That morning of committee I was nervous. The stakes were very high.  There was a major fact about the three couples chosen that I had to keep quiet here on the blog. Back in August of 2011 a sweet gal at our church approached me and said how much she and her husband had enjoyed watching our little guy in the nursery at church, how her husband really bonded with him, and what a sweetie he was. I agreed on all fronts. He is loveable and he showers everyone with his delightfulness. Then suddenly I remembered hearing that this couple had been trying to have a child and that hadn't been working out so well. I looked into her face and saw an anxiousness there. She next asked me if they could possibly try to adopt our little man. I was shocked, rocked to my core, because I had never even considered that someone so close to me could possibly be called to adopt. At that time it sounded like our little guy was going to go up for adoption very soon so I told her they could try but that the chances were very slim for them to be certified in time. I walked away from that conversation a little sad because I thought how completely wonderful that would be, but how totally unlikely it would be for a million details to come together for that to happen.

I didn't know this couple well at all but what I did know I liked. So I began to pray for God's plan in this situation and if they were to be the ones to adopt, that God would mightily move and make it happen. I talked with a few DHS workers who are friends and they all told me that same thing. "Don't get your hopes up. " It is so unlikely that they will be certified in a timely fashion and then the average couple waits 3 years to be selected for a committee consideration. Some even longer. Especially for a perfectly normal, adorable and very young child, the list would be a mile long of people wanting this child. I heard they started the process of certification and prayed that God would act on their behalf. 

Things kept changing with our little ones plan. It took awhile for him to actually be legally free and that delayed the process. Then there was a relative threatening to take the case to court and push the whole thing out 6 to 9 months so they could be considered for adoption. This was a highly anxious time when almost daily I was getting unsettling and different news concerning the future of this precious baby. All the while I was hearing updates about this couple plugging along in the process, hoping to at least get a chance to put their name in the pot.

The timing was a miracle. The baby went officially up for adoption months later than we had originally hoped giving the couple from church just enough time to be certified. He was up for about 2 weeks and on the 3rd day he was open for adoption their home study was quietly submitted and in the case file officially! We talked briefly at church and I cried privately later at the miracle of God working that out. It was torture knowing they had gotten this far and the odds were still stacked against them. The fact is when you have a connection to a foster family it is much more difficult to adopt their foster child. DHS is so careful not to show favoritism to those with connections.  Almost to a fault where they exclude you if you have any connection, just to stay far away form those accusations. I quietly prayed and prayed about the whole thing and waited for our case worker to call me with the names of the three couples. 

I got the call and I held my breath as she read me the names of the three families. The couple from church didn't make the cut. I was crushed. In my heart I just KNEW that they would at least be in the final three. But out of 210 families who applied, they were not selected. We had been keeping our distance form each other at church but when they found out they weren't chosen she surprised me at my house with a coffee and a cupcake. I knew she was in a lot of pain but here she was concerned for me and my grief, knowing how badly I wanted this baby to go to a Godly home and to stay near us. We hugged, I sobbed, she held the little guy for a minute and left. My heart was just breaking in two. I tried to let it go, I was trusting God still had a plan. I heard from the families and I liked them a lot. Their stories were sweet and filled with longing and 2 were christian homes only about 2 hours away. The third family were not believers and lived about 4 hours away and although they seemed nice I really hoped he's stay closer. I started to pray for these families and let go of my hopes for the ones not chosen. 

One week later while I was at Bible Study crying about the situation to my ladies in my group and asking them to pray, I got a phone call from the case worker. She had pulled one couple out of the running for whatever reason and selected a new couple. You already know what I'm going to say, it was them!!!!!! The dear gal called me and we both were screaming and I couldn't stop jumping up and down!! God knew all along they would go to committee and now it was really happening. I was extremely hopeful that our little boy would get to go to this family.  They live 2 minutes away from us, attend the same church and I knew the desire of their hearts was to have a child. We got to have one meeting with them to ask questions about the baby and it was so amazing for me to tell them all about him and answer their questions. I left that meeting so impressed by our interaction. Every question was about how to support the needs of the child. What scares him? How does he feel comforted? What are his normal foods? Tell us about his routine. On and on, thorough and tender they asked, all the while both sides of the table hoping and praying this would end with our baby in their arms.

After that meeting we went radio silent. No communication between us so that we stayed above board and didn't muddy that waters with complicating things by beginning a relationship prematurely. I have never prayed so hard in my life! I was up a night praying, as I cared for him daily I prayed. Our family prayed together, our friends and family prayed. Somehow I just knew that they would be chosen. But what if they weren't? The doubts kept coming and I was back and forth exhausting myself waiting for the day of committee. So that's where I left you before. For the sake of privacy I was not free to post the final outcome because of the bio families and tricky things with a state adoption. So I have been waiting for his adoption to be finalized with his new family to share with you here. 

The morning of committee I calmed myself with scripture, took his baby book and marched into that room and advocated for this precious baby. Then I had to leave. I was only in there 20 minutes! I, who was the expert on this child only got 20minutes to share who he is and what his needs are and what I thought his future home should look like. Then this room full of people decided his future. the case worker said she'd call me by five o'clock with the decision. I had a strange calm that day.  I was very prayerful but just waiting to see who God would choose to raise our little sweetie. I was pulling into our driveway after picking up my kids from school when my cell rang. It was only three o'clock. It was THE call. The case worker said it was an immediate and unanimous decision. The family I had prayed for had been selected. I dropped the phone. I scrambled to pick it up an tearily thanked her. I told my kids and we all had a crying dance party right there! I couldn't contact the couple because they were waiting to be called until the husband was home from work. I was dying to tell the world what God had done!!!! She called me later that night and we rejoiced. It was settled. He had a forever family, and  they were right up the street. We will get to see him, babysit, watch him in pee wee choir at church, see him grow up and be a part of it. How utterly amazing. We serve a great and Mighty God who is worthy of our praise. He can do anything!

To be continued.....

A new beginning

So here's fair warning.... I'm ending the nine months of silence here on the blog. After everything went down with our sweet foster boy last March I just didn't have the inspiration to write anymore. I just really wanted to finish the story but I felt we were in a waiting period. I wasn't heartbroken at all, quite the opposite. But I guess I felt somehow that I couldn't write here about anything until I could finish that journey. It's silly really. And certainly not the only reason I haven't been writing either. I have been busy, but what's new there, right? I think it was more I didn't feel right about blogging about other things when there was this weighty thing unfinished. Whatever, I know I'm weird and that makes no sense, but bottom line, I'm back. Tomorrow is Friday and that means a Fostering Friday post is coming your way. Part one of the miraculous ending to a fantastic journey God took us on.

Snowy days

Okay, this is definitely post worthy. The amount of snow we have on March 22nd is astounding!!!

 I heard on the news that it hasn't snowed this late in March in Salem since 1951!!!  My Dad was Ethan's age in 1951! 

 In Portland they have NEVER recorded measurable snow in March! 

 Crazy, crazy spring weather!!! I just want my kids to remember this heavy 6 inch covering of snow they got to play in their first day of Spring break in 2012!

I am not a fan of being out in the snow at all!!! I hate to be cold and if you add wet to that I'm usually not a happy camper. My kids have inherited a bit of the same feelings and need a nudge to go outside and play. Russ encouraged them to get ready and go sled down our hill and they had a blast! I went out in the snow for a second to shoot a few videos. Enjoy!