Gary and I always knew we wanted to adopt. We got married and started our “5-year-plan.” He was going to graduate business school, I was going to get through law school, and then we would have a couple years to enjoy just being married before having bio babes around year 5. Then after we were done having bio kids we would adopt. Boom. Solid plan right there.
But that plan, as plans often do, changed. Our eyes were opened to the immediate need for foster parents, and we realized we had no reason to wait to foster kids. We had space available and love to give and all of our excuses to wait fell flat. So, we went ahead and completed the steps to get licensed to be foster parents. We were officially licensed in April 2015 and opened our home in May 2015, just a few days after our 5-year anniversary.
Our first placement came just a day after we opened our home. When CPS placed Lexi they all but told us that this would be her last stop, that we would be adopting her at the end of this case. But long story short, that didn’t happen. Not only did it not happen, but the end of our story with that little girl was the hardest and most heartbreaking thing we have ever experienced. Loving her turned out to be the greatest sacrifice of our lives.
Over the past year, we’ve welcomed seven kids into our hearts and homes. Three of those kids have moved on from here, four are still here with us for now. Our second placement was 3-month-old twin boys who had come from a group foster home. Just days after Lexi left we got our third placement, a 3-year-old boy who had been bounced around a lot and needed a place that wouldn’t turn him away no matter what. Our fourth placement was a sibling set of three kids who were living in a shelter. All of these placements have one common thread: they reinforced what we’ve always known to be true – that these kids are always worth the heartbreak.
Foster care is teaching us the hard stuff about loving the Lord first and foremost and chasing after Him and the things He has called us to. We are learning what it really means to entrust everything we have to Him, including our kids, even though none of them are technically “ours.” Through losing Lexi, we learned that even if a child we love more than life leaves our home, if our ultimate goal is to make the Gospel known, then we have much to celebrate. And if that is always our ultimate goal, we will have zero regrets. I, for one, have none. We want to put our time, talent, and treasure into making the Gospel known by taking in orphans. So we’ve carried on despite our heartbreak, hoping that the Lord uses even the broken pieces of our lives to make Himself known.
If you’re interested in foster care, check out my foster care FAQ post. If you’re interested in helping support foster families, check out my post that lists 11 ways to support foster families. If you have questions about foster care, or if you’re a current foster parent that just needs to talk to someone whose been there, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!