‘Strong people do foster care. Bible thumpers do foster care. Not us. People like us do not do foster care.’

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“We almost quit. I put my foot down and I was done. I thought we endured enough pain. I thought this was all too much. I thought it was not in God’s plan for us to parent.

We tried for five long years to have children of our own. Five years is sixty months. That’s six hundred ovulation tests and one hundred and twenty pregnancy tests. Always negative. Always a disappointment but remaining positive. We tried the medication route. Nothing happened. So, we started prepping for our next step, which would be a fertility clinic. They tested me and for the first time my husband had a test done for him. Three days later, in black and white, right in front of our faces, there it was. I can’t explain to you the gut-wrenching feeling of someone telling you you’ll never have biological kids. How as a little girl you plan and hope to be a mama and in one moment that came crashing down. I can’t explain to you the look on my husband’s face with tears in his eyes as he told me he was so sorry, as if he was broken. That day we found out it was not possible. We wouldn’t continue with fertility treatments.

I didn’t marry my husband to create children with him. I married my husband to have a forever; through the tough things in life. ‘It’s okay. There are other options. This isn’t the end.’ I said that to him. And I meant it.

What about adoption? Yes. Adoption it was. This is what was meant to be. We couldn’t afford an adoption through an agency, so we decided to use our Facebook for help. We made a post, and had our friends and family share it. My friend’s mom was an attorney and she was helping us with this process for an extremely low price, it was running perfectly. We had multiple people reach out to us. And then we found her. We found a momma who needed help. We found a momma who knew she needed to give her child a better life. We had our hearts set on this baby boy. We loved him so much from the moment we knew he’d be ours.

Two days before he was to come home with us her mind had changed. And we respected that. After all, he is hers. And chosen adoption is the hardest thing I think a mother could do. Weighing out options and putting trust into people you barely know to raise your child. Your baby. The person you grew. And who were we to be angry with her? We supported the decision of her placing him with the father. He needed to know his family, and to be with his family more then he would ever need to be with us.

Now when I tell you we supported her and the father, I mean it. The community as a whole came together for this child. They knew we prayed and longed for him, and they showed their kindness by an outpouring of items to have when this child came to be with us. A whole room filled with things. Cribs, clothing, diapers, toys. EVERYTHING. The day we were supposed to bring him home with us was actually the day we met his father. We talked to him and praised him, we told him we’d be there for support. We also gave him everything that was given to us for his child. We helped move this mountain of supplies into his home. We shook hands and hugged. We got into our car. We cried. I said no more.

The next day we received a message from the baby boy’s father that he had been taken into foster care.

I remember telling my husband I couldn’t do this anymore. I wasn’t going to do it anymore. I was completely content with never having children. I would love the little people in our lives and give them my all. But I was not attempting to start a family again. I was mentally, physically, emotionally and financially DONE. Over it. It had been almost six years now. How can you endure so much pain and heartache and just continue for nothing?

I spent the early part of my twenties angry at God. Not understanding what his will was supposed to be. I thought I was doing his will, you see. I thought the motions we took with our infertility was God’s will. That talking about it and becoming a voice for so many who were in the closet with their infertility, was his plan and will for me. WRONG.

I thought with our adoption I was, again, following God’s will. Living my purpose. Filling up what God sought after me. What he wanted from the both of us. WRONG.

April came. My nephew was born. We went up to visit him when he was two days old at the hospital. I saw the look in my husband’s eyes holding our nephew, and I knew he was not done. He was not ready to settle on it just being us forever. We left shortly after and then we had the car ride. I refer to it as ‘the car ride’ because when we were in the elevator coming down, I knew he’d bring it up again. He wanted a family. My husband never said, ‘I want a baby.’ He’s always said, ‘I want a family.’ Not even a minute into this ride he turned the music down and looked at me and said the four words, ‘I want a family.’ Here we go again.

I told him to give it a few months. Maybe even a couple years. Let’s just ride it out and see what happens. My heart wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready for the let downs. Wasn’t ready for the vicious cycles of medication and testing and dieting to prepare my body for an IUI or IVF with a donor. I wasn’t ready to find another birth momma. I wasn’t ready.

A few days later he said ‘Why not foster care? We finish what we started and see where it takes us.’ (He said finish what we started because we decided to have a consultation and first meeting with a foster agency in November the previous year, but we both decided against it.)

Negative. Not happening. ‘The kids go home, I can’t do that.’ I couldn’t love kids temporarily and have that come in and out of my life and be a part of something like that. It’s just not something I felt like we could do. We love with our full hearts. Strong people do foster care. Bible thumpers do foster care. Not us. People like us do not do foster care.

But still, I did what he wanted. I compromised, and I took classes. Classes were over, and we filled out the biggest stack of paper work I’ve ever seen. Had a home study. Got approved. Here we went on this new adventure.

We got a placement with two brothers. The few months they were with us we grew attached. We loved them, wanted more for them, we worked harder for them. We cried with them, we anxiously waited for court decisions with them.

I remember the night before they left us. I laid in bed with the youngest and rubbed his hair, he was having a hard time sleeping that night, like he knew something big was happening, he asked me that night if he couldn’t go home. If he could stay here. I told him yes. ‘I will be your forever until forever happens.’

The next day, they went home.

‘This is foster care, this is how this works. We love them and care for them temporarily and they go home.’ I kept saying that for a week after they left.  I was a ball of emotions. We wouldn’t do this again. We couldn’t do this again. I was done. This was it. How could we continue to invest time into children who go home? My heart literally felt like it was ripped out of my chest. My husband, a giant teddy bear, cried for 2 days. He couldn’t believe what had happened. How fast and out of nowhere a decision like this could be made and blindside all of us involved. This is not what God intended. Why are we forcing this? I was again, done. Shattered. And mad with God.

God works in mysterious ways though. Have you ever heard the song ‘Tell your heart to beat again’  by Danny Gokey? It played the night I was ‘done again.’

‘Let every heartbreak and every scar be a picture that reminds you who has carried you this far. Because love sees farther than you ever could. In this moment heaven’s working everything for your good. Tell your heart to beat again. Close your eyes and breathe it in. Let the shadows fall away. Step into the light of grace. Yesterday’s a closing door. You don’t live there anymore. Say goodbye to where you’ve been and tell your heart to beat again.’

I wasn’t done. I couldn’t be done. This was the purpose. This was the will. This was the way. We opened our home and hearts again less than two weeks later.

Today, I am at my wits end with two toddlers. I am so tired of hearing ‘shark do-do’ and ‘mama.’ As I listened to two toddlers scream and whine because it was nap time and we had a therapy appointment that had to push back our naps. As I am cleaning up the spilt milk and cereal, and smeared ketchup, I remember I am fulfilling my purpose. I may never know the love of my own child. But I know the love of a child. I have a family, maybe that’s temporary, but when the time comes and we depart again for what we know is normal, I will tell my heart to beat again.”

I owe the world to my husband who pushed this. Who made me do it scared. He is a gift from God that keeps on giving.

This is foster care. Our purpose.”

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