We had our first real venture into foster care this weekend. We hosted three brothers, ages 9, 12 and 13, for respite care. Respite care is temporary or relief care for full time foster parents, sort of like sending your kids to grandma's house? Respite care is super fun, who wouldn't love being the equivalent to grandma's house. However, we aren't just respite care for these brothers. We have been asked to consider adopting them. Out of respect for all parties involved and foster care confidentiality policies that is all I can, or will, say about the boys on the Internet. (Additionally, if you see me anywhere in public with the boys or you are in our home do not mention the word adoption as it is not on their radar yet AT ALL.) I have been torn about how much to share about our journey on-line, I want to be honest and open yet I cannot share everything because of the nature of foster care. I also never want to over share about other people on-line. You can see my warts, but it is not my place to share Andy's or any potential children's. And, even with a belief that I should keep it real, some thoughts are best kept private.
So, with all of that in mind. Here is just a smidge of current journey to building a family.
this post. The prospect of parenting them has terrified me from the beginning. Andy and I have talked and prayed and I have shed many, many tears. When people ask how foster care is going and you tell them that you have been asked to adopt a 9, 12 and 13 year old, they look at you like you are crazy. You know what, I think it is crazy too, so I don't need the reminder! I have rehearsed all of the "ifs, ands, and buts" in my mind more than you can comprehend. Thoughts of these brothers consumes my mind day and night. Most of the time I am thinking of all of the chaos that this would mean to our lives. I have cried to Andy, "Why can't we just be normal? Why do we have to house a 20 year old and think about adopting three adolescents? Why can't we just be normal and have a baby or something!"
As Andy and I have discussed the possibility of parenting these boys a quote from Lysa TerKuerst has refused to leave my head. Lysa is the adoptive mom to two Liberian boys who came to her family at ages 13 and 14 -- crazy right? I have heard her talk about their family story and she says, "As Christians if we only do things that are secure and certain then how can we ever walk by faith and not by sight?" That is a profound thought to me as we face down our own crazy adoption situation. Today, I put on a Focus on the Family podcast while I was cleaning and guess what they were playing? Lysa telling the story that this very quote came from. Please go listen to her two part series about her life and the adoption of her boys. If the idea of listening to a Christian broadcast makes you bristle, will you listen to it anyway? I think her life story will move you regardless of your beliefs. Something she said early in her talk caught my heart today. She told her audience to, "Let God write your motherhood story." That is precisely what I needed today. Today I need to let go of the idea of being normal and embrace what God wants for our family. So, you can join me in praying we can discern what that is.