“‘Babe, are you sure we’re ‘called’ to do this? We’re by no means equipped to care for someone else’s child. We don’t even have kids of our own.’ These were all questions my husband and I talked through for a whole year before taking the leap into foster care.
Bryce and I met in the fall of 2015, fell in love, and got married by June of 2018. We had always known we wanted to become parents, and we even wanted to adopt later down the line, but way later down the line. Our plan was to be married for a few years, have our own kids, and once they were older, we would look into adoption. But isn’t there some saying? ‘Make a plan and watch God laugh!’ That He did!
People always ask, ‘Did you talk about foster care before it became a thing for you?’ I guess the answer is yes. We had one conversation about it, and it ended in a quick, ‘HA, no! We could never foster, that’ll be way too hard!’ That was it, a very quick no from both of us. We had our plan and we were totally good with it, until one September night in 2019. We had recently purchased our first home. We got ready for bed and fell asleep like we always did, except as I fell asleep, I had a dream like no other. Now I get what you might be thinking… oh gosh, another one of those dream stories—but hear me out!
I drifted off into this very lifelike dream. I still remember it clear as day. It was the early hours of the morning. I was in our new kitchen, cleaning up breakfast and packing school lunch, when a young boy strolled down the hallway looking for Bryce to help him get ready for the day. As they tied their shoes and tucked in their shirts, they talked of the excitement for later that day and promised to battle in a basketball competition to finally see who had a better free throw shot. The home was filled with laughter, joy, and fun. In the dream, I knew the child wasn’t biologically ours, and I loved it. It felt right. It felt like we were doing something bigger than ourselves.
I woke up in the middle of the night and was honestly upset at God. Why would He let me have this dream? Didn’t He know our hearts, our plan, and our desires? I instantly started arguing with Him. Dumb, I know! I was so confused and frustrated. Now I was envisioning a life totally different than what we had planned. I just had to bring all of that worry to Him as I lay there, wide-eyed and perplexed. Statements like, ‘God, I don’t want to get too attached,’ were followed with nothing but peace in His answer of, ‘Are my children not worthy of attachment and pure love?’ It’s something I can only describe as truly feeling of hearing from Him.
That following morning, I knew I couldn’t just let that dream pass me by. I had to tell Bryce what I experienced. I honestly don’t know what I was expecting in his response, but it wasn’t based on our last chat about foster care! I took a deep breath and spilled it like a can of beans, and I’m sure he thought I was insane. I followed the whole story with, ‘Soooo, what are your thoughts on us fostering?’ And like most reasonably sound husbands with wild, dream-driven wives, his job was to bring me back to reality. He responded with, ‘Are you okay? You know that’s not really a part of our game plan. In fact, that’s kinda crazy!’
I understood where he was coming from. This was totally out of the blue, and while we both work full time, Bryce was also completing his MBA. So, it honestly didn’t seem possible to add any more to our very full plates. But even with knowing all of this, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt by his response. My perspective on our life plan suddenly changed overnight, so of course, it’s going to take him a little bit to catch on, right? That little bit of time turned into a year, a whole year of us waiting, praying, and shedding some tears over this life-changing decision.
Naïve little me wanted him to just jump with joy and say yes right away. But this wasn’t the case, and I’m honestly glad he didn’t. Saying yes to foster care isn’t just something you jump into right away. As much as you want to say yes and get placed with a fresh little baby night one, it’s not the reality. Growth and stretching of yourselves need to take place before anyone signs up for this type of commitment, and boy, am I glad we took our time to pursue something quite like this.
When we finally decided to take the leap, we were filled with tons of paperwork, like piles and piles of paperwork. Background checks, multiple home studies and interviews, and weekly classes we had to attend, all socially-distanced I might add, because you know, COVID-19! All of this in order to obtain our license to foster. Not the quickest process, but so needed to be able to fully know and understand who would be caring for these bundles of joy to soon fill your home.
When we knew this was officially becoming our story, we decided to start telling people. One of the most common questions we get is, ‘How did everyone react when you told them?’ Thankfully, everyone was fully supportive. I think knowing we wanted to eventually adopt helped them understand this unconventional path—to choose to foster first and then go about having children of our own. Now, that doesn’t mean they didn’t have tons of questions, but we were filled with lots of love and support from all ends, which we are so thankful for.
This is one heck of a journey. To even get to this place mentally takes quite a bit, but it’s so worth it! I sit here, in our newly-decorated nursery, in awe of what’s to come. The constant battle of trying not to be too excited for a child to enter into our home, but anxiously awaiting a call. All while knowing the weight one call brings. Joy for us to fill this bed which has been empty since day one, but heartbreak for the child and their family as they walk through one of the hardest moments of their lives. In the waiting, we remain constantly in prayer over this coming transition. God is so good and faithful, and we know He has a plan for every single child and family who crosses our path.
So, if you’re wondering if foster care is for you, my number one advice is to pray about it and dig in! There are so many different ways to help, even if you can’t accept a child into your home. Reach out and learn the process and see how you can be used to impact your local community! Yes, it’ll be messy! Yes, it’ll be hard, but it’ll be so worth it!”
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