Some of you may have already seen Jake's instagram pic or my facebook post, about our family pursuing foster care. We have had many people ask us a lot of the same questions. I thought maybe it was time to do a short blog post about how God led us to this point & answer some of those questions.
Let's back up a few years to fall of 2007...Jake & I were dating & talking about the future. We both said that YES we were wanting to have children & YES we were open to adoption. We also both said that we would love a bi-racial family. Fast forward a few years and two kids, Lily & Ella. Then last summer Jake & I started to talk about adding to our family whether biologically, with foster care or through adoption. We do have immediate family (Jake's sister, Jess, who married my cousin, Luke) that have done foster care in MN. Jess & Luke definitely played a huge part in opening our eyes to foster care - the value of it & the huge ministry it can be. In fact, in June they finalized the adoption of 4 boys that they had fostered for over 2 years. So exciting!
After discussing adding to our family, we decided to PRAY about it until I completed the marathon in January. After the marathon, we decided to pursue foster care. We started doing some more research and we contacted DSS about the process of being licensed. We didn't really know about BEAR Foundation or UCP-Easter Seals that also does foster care in our area. We filled out our initial paperwork with DSS in early February. The MAPP licensing class is only offered 4 times a year. We could not attend the April class due to Jake coaching golf, so we took the 30 hour MAPP class in July. We knew, just a few classes in, that we definitely wanted to do this. God has clearly led our family to do this & He just kept affirming this decision through messages we heard and personal Bible study over the past 6 months. In our Sunday School class this summer we did the video series For The Life Of The World. I sat in one class and cried the entire video. It was on hospitality and showing Christ's love in a tangible way. How awesome and humbling that God cares so much for us that he leads & directs us and allows us to be used by Him.
We will be licensed for 2 children. Our license will be for 0-18 year olds, but we are considering children younger than Ella (unless it is a sibling set). In North Carolina, there can only be 5 children total in a foster home. This includes biological, so we potentially only have 3 spots available. We are definitely open to adoption, but we are also willing to be a revolving door for foster to reunification cases. God knows our hearts & our desire and we are trusting Him with each placement He gives us. We are so excited to teach our girls through this process. We know there will be good days & hard days. We know there will be difficult transitions and potential heartbreak. We are trusting our sovereign God in all these things & would appreciate your prayers with us as we begin this journey.
We mailed off all of our paperwork (piles of it, plus a home study, plus a fire inspection, plus fingerprints, plus doctor's physicals for all four of us, etc....) the first week of September. We have been told it can take 6-8-12 weeks to hear back. We are praying that we will be approved & licensed by the end of October. We have also been told that with DSS they may call you to congratulate you on being licensed & let you know about a placement opportunity on the same phone call. We are trying to get things in order now in case a placement happens that quickly for us. We already sold both our vehicles, pooled the money and purchased 2 new vehicles (one being a minivan, VW Routan) all in 2 weeks - praise God! My last day of work is Wednesday, October 1. I am so thankful that God is allowing me to be home full time now. I have always had work that allowed me to be home with our girls or have the girls with me, but I am so thankful that now all my time and attention can be focused on our girls & our home.
This blog is an awesome resource for foster parents & for those who want to help foster families. Here are a few of my favorite posts:
Foster Care is an incredible way to show & preach the gospel.
I also love this blog post about (Re)Humanizing Foster Care.
The churches role - Ten ways to Serve a Foster Family
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