Until about 5 or 6 months ago I never even considered foster parenting. Then God convicted me that he would lead my husband in how and when we would grow our family. Those that know me know that it was quite a challenge for this girl. I like plans and I like control. I think, though, part of me wasn't that scared. I mean, I'd pretty much considered and was open to every option for adding to our family. I've always known I wanted to be a mom - to many - and I thought we would have biological kiddos as well as adopt both domestically and internationally. We both also have had the desire to adopt older kids that don't have as much opportunity to be adopted. So...ok, God. You lead my husband and he will lead me. Sure, no (little) problem.
Then one day, pretty casually (as he so often drops huge bombs on me), Tyler said, 'I really think we need to foster.' You could have knocked me over with a feather. I'm reasonably confident that I just stared at him blankly for some time before being able to formulate thought and therefore words. Um...running my mouth is not usually a challenge.
I just never considered it. Not once. In all the years and all the times that I thought about the many ways we would grow our family...I never even gave it one thought. And isn't that so like God. It is in my life, anyway. I think I've got it all figured out and he just comes right out of left field with the surprise and challenge of my life. I love that about Him. Mostly I love that I just don't have any doubt that it's Him. Being a frequent control freak, I sometimes wonder if I'm living out my plans or His. Not this time. Nope. Cause this was not on my calendar.
It took me about 2 weeks. That's how it usually works. Once I'm presented with a new idea or a change from my love I try to sign on right away and then allow myself to evaluate - knowing that once I do I'll probably see how right he is. And it took about 2 weeks until I was fully onboard. Let's sign the papers, I'm so excited I can hardly stand it onboard. Tyler was a little slower, though. Oh, how I thank God for my husband.
We prayed, we talked, we researched for the better part of 3 months. It was a smidge bit agonizing for me cause, like I said, I was onboard...what the heck were we waiting for???
Well, at the beginning of October we began taking the classes. They say it's about a 4-6 month process. Yeah. Apparently they don't know how my God works. And apparently, I don't know how my God works quite as well as I sometimes think I do. Because right now, as I type, two sweet kiddos are asleep in the bedrooms across the hall. Did I mention that we started this process at the beginning of October? And just in case you weren't sure, we are just now hitting the beginning of December. That's right, folks. It's been 2 months. Count 'em, 2. Talk about your whirlwind.
I'll try to talk more later about the last 2 months, but for now...well, for now I'm focused on the bedrooms across the hall. Those two sweet kiddos (ages 8 and 2) are transitioning into our home from another foster home that they've been in for the last year. They don't yet know that's the plan and it's not for us to tell them. It's going to be a pretty quick transition. We'll have them for the next couple weekends and then we're expected to finalize the transition a week before Christmas. Can you imagine? They're 8 and 2. Can you imagine? I can't.
Last night as I lay in the bed next to the crib of the 2 year old (after he begged me not to leave the room), I wanted to bawl. Everything I know about parenting? Out the window. Any other day of the week I would have said, 'let him cry.' But he's 2. And he's without his mommy. And he's without the only mama that he's known for the last year. And he's in a strange new place. And he just met me 2 hours prior. And he's scared. So I lay in that bed for an hour and wanted to just cry and cry. Instead, I prayed and prayed but the only thing I prayed was, 'Oh God, oh God...' What else can I say? I have no idea what to say, what to do.
Here's what I do know, though. This is what God has called us to and this He will walk us through. So we will be available to Him knowing that step by step He will show us the way. And for that and so much more I praise Him.