Good morning everyone!
I have decided to just write for a while about what is on my heart today, perhaps because I think my writer’s block is coming from having such a scheduled set topic for each day and with the winter-that-never-ends (we are now supposed to get snow again on Saturday), my inspiration has kind of fizzled and laid low for a while.
One of the things that is so incredibly important to me is the issue of adoption. If you are new to reading the blog, then you have no idea where I am coming from with that,
and I would like to share that with you.
You see, I grew up in a home that, from a very young age on, my parents did Foster care.
I have two beautiful and amazing adopted sisters that both came from the foster care system.
I have one lovely and amazing sister who stayed with us for a long time, and while she was not adopted, still is a huge part of our family and we look at her no differently than the other siblings.
I also have one brother who is biological, and who I adore.
He has done a good job putting up with all us girls for all these years, and we love him.
I also, when I grew up and married, always wanted to adopt no matter how many children the Lord blessed us with. When we were very first married, the Handy Hubby and I immediately applied to adopt the infant girl that my mom was fostering at that time, and who we had been around from birth, only to find out that we were newly pregnant and the state would not consider us with the pregnancy.
We lost that child, our son Issac, at birth only a few short months later, and it broke our hearts.
18 months after that we delivered our daughter,Â 3 months early, and walked through some incredibly trying and fragile times with her for 3 years.
Fast forward ten years and 12 miscarriages later.
As we were 90% of the way through the process of getting licensed for adopting through foster care we were approached by someone to adopt her twin girls that she was carrying. I don’t think shock would quite cover what we felt, but we plunged into it and have never looked back.
Â All the stress, pain, hurt, anger, frustration, and overwhelming love that you experience walking through an adoption was very difficult for us, but holding those babies in our arms makes us quickly forget all of those things. We tried to embrace the birth mom, tried to tell her how much we loved her, and were incredibly thankful for the amazing gift she had blessed us with, but quickly she moved, and kept moving, and we lost track of her.
My heart has always regretted that.
I have always wanted to have a home where people know that they are welcome. Where our home can be their home, especially if they are alone with no-one to call a family. It has been our heart and our passion to be that kind of a place, for children to adults…and not being able to accomplish that with our own birth mom has been difficult for me.
This morning, when I read this article, my heart broke.Â
You see, I know all the statistics.
I have not lived them personally, but lived them through my family.
People I love and think the world of ARE those statistics.
For example, if a child ages out of the foster care system, did you know they have an 80% chance of being homeless, pregnant or in jail within 18 months? Many children who are in the foster care system have parents who were in the foster care system. And without those ties to keep you away from those things, it is easy to fall right into them. Many former foster care kids just want to belong to someone or something, no matter the cost to them personally.
Imagine not having someone to tell you that you are always, unconditionally loved beyond a shadow of a doubt. Imagine not having a mom to tell you how to take care of yourself, to hug you when you are hurt, or broken-hearted…..to take pictures at your prom and cheer at your graduation.
Imagine being without a dad who holds your hand, prays over you every night, or teaches you how to fish.
Imagine always feeling like you are on the outside looking in…..and yet never able to cross that line and actually BE a part of a family.
Really, I don’t know about you,Â
but it breaks my heart.
And there are many many people living that very life today, right now,
Â probably not too far from you.
May is National Foster Care Month, and I ask you, would you be willing to embrace someone who is an adult that needs a family to be there for them? Someone who is a “legal orphan” with no one to be with on holidays, no one to throw a baby shower for them when they have their first child, someone who just needs a mom or a dad they can have a cup of coffee with once a week and who will pray for them? What about being willing to pray for a social worker who works with those children who are removed from the home and has to make incredibly difficult decisions on the fly that can change the life of many people? Or the children who are 13 and older sitting in foster care wondering if they will ever have a forever family, and eventually hardening themselves so that they can not be hurt by anyone else ever again?
As many of you know, we are finishing up our home so that we can have our first walk-through in preperation for being approved for foster to adopt in our state. Against everyone’s opinion we have decided to look for, and hopefully welcome, a small sibling set into our home between the ages of 3 and 10. Perhaps you are unware of this, but for many kids, the age of 7 is a jumping off age. Many of the people who step forward to adopt from foster care only want small children or infants, and there are many children slightly older that are completely overlooked or ignored. Unfortunately, in many cases and many states, the older children are separated from their younger siblings to make it more likely someone in the set will be adopted.
One of my sisters went through that,Â
and it scarred all of them to this day.
We don’t want to see that.
We want to make it possible for a family to stay together,Â
and grow up together.
So, I also ask you to pray for us too. Adopting children who are older comes with its own set of struggles and pain. Adopting more than one child at once comes with its own challenges. Add in that we are conservative Christians, who live on a smaller income, and who homeschool, and you add another challenge into the whole mix.
But we know this is what we are supposed to do, and so we are stepping forward into the calling the Lord has laid out for us. If it is even only one child that we can help avoid being a “legal orphan” for the rest of their life, then it is worth the cost.
I hope you too, can find it in your heart to embrace someone who needs an anchor to hold on to. It doesn’t take much, just being willing to step out and make a difference in the life of someone else we may not know very well. But the ripples that it will make in the life of that person will last for generations.
Blessings to you and yours,
linked up at : Motherhood With a Purpose
I wish we had the finances to adopt. I would have several more children than the biological children we have. It’s unfortunate that money can prevent a family that would love to have more kids, can’t. I loved your post. God bless you!
Lori, if God lays it on your heart to adopt, then He will simply make a way. It happened with us the first time, and it is happening again the second time around. You have a whole houseful of lovely young men, and that is a wonderful blessing. I just want to encourage you, if the Lord has laid it on your heart and the heart of your husband, then all He is asking is for you to trust Him and step out in faith. 🙂 If you dont feel that you are supposed to bring more children into your home through adoption, then pray for them, or reach out to someone around you that deals with the FC system or adoption. 🙂
Hugs to you and good to read your comment!
Your post has brought tears to my heart this morning. I admire your ability to open your heart and home to those who need it. You are your family are true American HEROES! I am too old now to adopt or offer foster care but I have a strong relationship thru Big Brother Big Sisters that means the world to me. There are so many older children and teens that need that adult support and this program offers that chance to many.
I will add you and your family to my prayer list and bless you!
I have a niece who takes in foster children. She is in the process of adopting a baby that she has had since he was a newborn. She says that all of the children that she has sheltered have come from mothers with drug addictions. She told me that drug addiction seems to be a problem in the different generations of those families. She once took in a set of twins and their older brother because she couldn’t stand to see them separated. Thankfully, they ended up being adopted by a nice family. She will bring her foster kids to family gatherings and we include them just like they have always been a part of our family. If it’s Christmas they get presents too, even if it’s the first time we have ever met them. I always say a prayer for these innocent little ones. I wish that it were easier to remove children from people who have no business having them.
God bless you for what you are doing. I have heard both good and bad stories about adopting. I pray that the Lord will equip you for the path that you are embarking on. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Briana from Texas