Sunday, September 22, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Even If For Only A Moment

This business of loving and raising a child as your own, while constantly reminding yourself that they in fact are NOT you own.....well it's tricky.

When I got the call that we would be getting a sweet baby girl, one of the questions I asked was "Are there any relative caregivers in play?" We had learned through our training, that the state's ultimate goal is to place a child with a relative, as it is considered the "least restrictive enviroment." The case worker told me that there was a non-relative caregiver that had been named, but the chances of them passing screening looked slim.

As the weeks went on, the chances increased. Fingerprints were taken, a home study was done, and yesterday, it was approved by the final supervisor.

Sweet baby girl will be leaving next week.

So many worries have popped into my head, will this person take care of baby girl the way I have, will they rock her to sleep like my precious Nanny has, will they take her to church like we have, will they properly mix her formula, will they to tummy time, and SO much more.

While I DO NOT agree with the circumstances in which she will be leaving (and I have told anyone who will listen), I am holding tight to the promise that God is bigger than this. He saved that baby girl and not only allowed her to live, but to thrive! He has plans for her, and they don't end with her leaving our care.

However, all of this worry, anger at the circumstances, and fear of the unknown, has left me wondering if I am strong enough for this whole fostering thing. Loving on kids? I've got that down! Letting them go, especially when you know that you won't see them or hear about their well being again? Not so much.

I wholeheartedly believe that we are doing what God called us to do. He never promised it would be easy. In fact, He told us it would be hard, but would be well worth it.

I was reminded in my quiet time this morning that "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it." -John 1:5

We have an opportunity to shine the light of Jesus into these sweet babies. My hope is that, even when it gets dark for them, that light will still shine.

I will still mourn the loss of sweet baby girl. But I love knowing that Jesus isn't done with her. Or me. There are still more kiddos who will need love, and our hearts are waiting. We will love them and shine that light, if only for a moment.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

While We're Waiting...

So much has happened in our little family's life since December. Our anniversary, birthdays, family vacations, and more! We have been very busy!

Perhaps the biggest news is that we are now licensed foster parents. In fact, as I type this, our first placement is in her way to our house.

So far, our foster parent journey has consisted of a whole lot of waiting. Waiting for orientation, waiting for classes to start, waiting on the home inspection, waiting on our home study to be completed, waiting on our license, waiting for our first placement call, and now, waiting on our first placement.

While we are waiting I thought I would share why we decided to go down this path.

I (Ashley) have known that fostering would be a part of my life ever since I first saw Heath. From that day, I knew that my life would not be complete until I opened my heart and my home to a child that needs love, even of it is temporary.
Before Matt and I started dating, I told him that he had to be okay with fostering. He would always say "Sure, we will foster, one day..." Our plan was to have our own children, and then when they are grown, foster.
Last fall, Matt and I tried, unsuccessfully, to add to our family. I became frustrated and began to wonder what God had planned for our family. I wanted my children to be close in age. Why wasn't it happening for us?
Several months ago, we attended a presentation from the 111 Project. I have heard God's whispers before, but never have I heard Him speak so loudly and so clearly as I did that night. Suddenly it all made sense. We weren't supposed to follow "our timeline." God had a much bigger and better one!
I obviously wasn't the only one who felt God's presence that night. When the presentation was over, Matt looked at me and said "Let's do this. Let's do this now."
We signed up to get more information, went to orientation, and started classes within a month of attending the 111 Project.

The process of becoming a foster parent is not easy. The amount of paperwork is overwhelming. We were blessed enough to have the BEST licensing counselor, ever. She seriously made the process much less daunting. We loved her.

Our choice to foster has been met with mixed opinions. Most of our family and friends are super supportive. Some are apprehensive. One commenter said that they couldn't understand how we could take away from Rylan's childhood.
That comment came at a time where we, ourselves, had begun to question if we could even do this. Could we take on another child? Could we handle this? That little comment solidified our resolve. We could do this, not by ourselves, but because Christ commanded us to! He calls us to care for the orphaned, and He won't leave us. We want Rylan to grow up in a home where fostering is normal. Where is it what you do. In fact, I pray that he and his future wife follow the call to foster too.

We are so excited to love on the little ones that come to our home. We aren't done growing our own family, but we will keep our doors and hearts open while we're waiting.