“You know I adopted from foster care…’ This was the beginning of a conversation that would change my entire life.
A client and I were chatting about our lives – marriage, kids, and everything in between. I told her adoption was placed on our hearts and in the future my husband and I considered adopting once we were financially ready. She then proceeded to tell me about the foster care system and being a foster-to-adopt-family. Once our conversation was finished, I immediately went in to my office and researched information while simultaneously calling my husband.
Over the phone I said, ‘Guess what? There is a foster care information session in a couple of weeks and we should go!’ We attended the meeting and filled out an application before we left. Leaving the meeting I looked at my husband and said ‘Well I guess we are doing this!’ Fast forward 3 months and we were licensed foster parents.
The very day we got the message that we were licensed, our caseworker sent a text message, ‘I am about to call you.’ My heart pounded. I looked at my husband and I said ‘I think we are about to get our first call about a potential placement.’ This call was for a toddler. We originally told our CPS worker that we preferred an infant from newborn to 1 year old. That age is what we prepared for by buying infant clothing, setting up a crib, bassinet, and the whole works. However, there was a toddler needing a place to go. We told her we would call her back soon after discussing it among ourselves. We prayed. Tears welled up in my eyes. I knew we had commitments to fulfill to my stepdaughter the next day (taking her to attend a Taylor Swift concert as a birthday gift) and my heart was breaking for this boy who was being removed from his home. Ultimately, I knew that getting him one evening and leaving him with a sitter in an unfamiliar home with unfamiliar people the next day was not in his best interest. My heart broke over and over after passing on the placement, but I knew it was not a good scenario for us to take him.
Five days later, I got a text to call my caseworker. I thought to myself ‘Is this for another potential placement?’ I called and we were asked if we were able to take in a newborn baby boy. My heart jumped. I barely heard or remembered any details that she gave because I immediately exclaimed, ‘Yes!’ While my heart aches for a mother to be losing her child temporarily I was so thankful for the opportunity to care for a child that needed a safe place to stay and be loved. I was at work when I got the news that we would be getting this baby boy later that afternoon and I was alone in my office. For whatever reason I was so completely overwhelmed by emotion…maybe because God answered my every prayer in that one phone call. I cried. It was happy tears. Nervous tears. My heart felt so full and I hadn’t even met him yet.
We picked up my stepdaughter from after school care and we tell her the big news – that we are becoming an official foster family! She smiled so big and as her dad was about to say something she says to us ‘I am going to try to remain calm.’ Her excitement was oozing out as she exclaimed, ‘The day is finally here!’ Yes the day we had all been thinking about, fantasizing about, and trying to plan for was finally here.
We received a knock on the door at 5:30 p.m. that evening. Chloe and I opened the door and there he was, all 5 pounds 7 ounces of him being swallowed in his infant car seat. I immediately reached for the car seat and brought him inside. Yes you could say it was love at first sight. He had a head full of dark hair, tiny feet, tiny hands, and big beautiful eyes. He was perfect in every way. Don’t get attached some say. I say I will love him as if he were my child for as long as I am his foster mom and probably even after. My heart will certainly shatter when or if he leaves our home but this baby boy will forever be etched in to our hearts. He made me a foster mom. He made us a foster family. No matter what other word comes before mom or dad – step, biological, adoptive, foster…there is not a greater feeling in the world.
We do not know just yet how this story will end and this is only the beginning of our journey. He could be reunified with parents or family or he could stay with us forever. In the meantime, we will watch him grow, love him, pray for him, make plenty of memories, and enjoy every second of being his foster family.”
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Read another beautiful story on fostering children here.