We're going to be foster parents!
In about 6 months from now (unless something crazy happens) we'll be licensed to foster parent up to 2 kids from the ages 0-5! Foster parenting is our main focus but we'll also be licensed to adopt if the option comes up.
This has been a something we've been thinking and praying about for over 3 years. We actually applied for the process 3 years ago but were told by a lady after the first interview that we didn't make enough money. I thought for sure that they must not like us for other reasons and that they were only using the money thing as an excuse...
Shortly after we applied, I met a neighbor who not only was a foster parent for years, but she and her husband adopted 6 kids out of the foster care system. Hearing her stories and falling in love with her kids only encouraged us that foster parenting was something we really wanted to do.
So we kept praying, and researching, and waiting for a time when we were in a better place financially. So yesterday - after a 2 hour home visit - we were told by the same lady that she thinks our family would be a great fit! She actually remembered us and our kids from the first interview and seemed genuinely excited that we decided to try again :)
After we had Houston, we were pretty certain that we were done having children of our own but we still didn't feel like our family was quite finished. I started doing research on adoption and came across some blogs and websites on foster parenting. The tugging on my heart started right away. And as soon as I brought it up to Jonathan he was right on board with it!
We feel like God has blessed us with an amazing family. We get along as a couple and our kids are well behaved, loving children...for the most part ;) We want to open up our home to children in our community that are in need of a home (even though it's just for a short time) where they can feel safe and loved. We want to be there to help these kids heal and recover from situations that no person, especially not a child, should ever have to go through.
What Our Kids Think About Foster Care
The kids are excited about the idea although I don't think they understand everything completely. Shoot! We still don't understand it all completely! But when the lady asked them about it at our home visit they all told her they are happy about it. Evelyn told her repeatedly how she wants a little girl! Even if that meant she'd have to share her toys :)
Obviously, our kids are our #1 priority. So if we start this and see that it's not working out with our kids then we would stop and maybe look back into it in a few years.
One of the main reasons why we're only taking kids who are younger than our own is to make sure that our kids are the influencers, the influenced!
Our Next Step
The next MAPP classes (10 weeks of mandatory training) are full but we couldn't go to those anyway because they're on our church night. So we'll be going to the class that starts in August. In the mean time, we already have a bunch of paperwork to fill out. Including an autobiography...
Foster children often come to homes with only the clothes on their backs. No car seats. No cribs. No diapers. Nothing. So we need to stock up on things in different sizes and other things like toothbrushes and bottles.
We know it's going to be hard. I'm sure it's going to be harder then we can even imagine! But we both feel like being foster parents is a sort of a ministry or sacrifice that we feel lead to at least try.
Who knows...maybe it won't work out. Maybe we'll get half way through our classes or get that first child and decide that it's not right for our family after all. But at this time we feel like it's the right choice and we're just taking one prayerful step at a time.
Please keep us in your prayers :)