To my faithful blog friends, some of whom I know in real life and some of whom just peer into my life from a distance, I want to share some news with all of you. Trent and I have had God on speed dial over the past months and we have found ourselves in a position of fear and joy as we seek out His plan for the way we will begin to build our family.
I bet a lot of you out there have been thinking "Man, Trent and Anna have been married more than four years, have a house, cars, jobs...it's about time they had a baby." Anyone? Oh, maybe that was just me thinking that. Having a baby would be the logical next step in our life at this point. But the thing is, every time the inevitable baby conversation came up between us, we both ended up feeling pretty ambivalent about it. It's not the answer for us, at least not right now. God has had a different plan in store for our hopes of building a family. We have spent a lot of time over the past several months learning, discussing, praying and seeking.
We are going to become foster parents with the hope of eventually adopting.
We are excited, we are nervous, at times we are completely freaked out. We have thanked God for making this so clear to us as the path we should take and also asked Him if He is being f'real and is actually serious about this.
We know this is different. We know this is not the norm. We know y'all may have a whole lot of questions for us about this. Never fear, I've already got several foster and adoption related blog posts in my drafts line up. In the meantime, please just ask us. :-) We would be so happy to share our heart with you, fill you in and keep you updated. For now at least, I have thrown together a quick who, what, when, where, and why list so you can have a general idea of what we are headed towards.
~Trent: expectant foster daddy, hopeful forever daddy
~Anna: expectant foster mommy, hopeful forever mommy
~God...He's kind of calling the shots here
~The Bair Foundation, a Christian foster care agency that we have signed on with. They work directly with the Department Of Family Protective Services and Child Protective Services and will train us, support us, and place children with us.
~The children God brings into our home and into our life, whether it is for short amounts of time or the rest of our lives. "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight."
Foster care with the hope of adopting. Some folks want to be foster parents and have no intention or ability to adopt. Some just want to adopt and bring a child into their family permanently without the unknown of the child possibly being reunified with their biological parents. We are in the middle. I think we are technically called "foster to adopt" parents which means that we are going to sign up to be regular foster parents for the times when that is needed of us, but we have the hope and intention of adopting if that becomes a possibility with a child or children.
We have done our orientation and will chip away at our licensing paperwork and home study this Fall, do our in-person training classes in January, push pause for tax season even if we are licensed by then, and will be open for our first placement around next April. That's the timeline for now, but we have learned that nothing is guaranteed in any aspect of this process.
The state's goal is to keep children as close to their home as possible, so we will likely take care of children mostly from our own county at least, possibly surrounding counties. But the home base for our time with them will be just that: our home. They will be a part of our home no matter what they have been through or what they are headed towards or how long or short they are in our care.
Where to even begin... Because Trent and his sister are adopted so it is already a part of our family story. Because God has called me and Trent to this. Because this makes so much sense for us and is the answer to our kid question right now. Because God calls us as Christians to take care of orphans (James 1:27). Because our life isn't about us. Because we are blessed with a safe and happy home and there are kids out there who are not.
So friends, here we are, setting out on a new adventure, and boy is it ever a big one! We ask for your prayers as we navigate the process ahead of us in the coming months. We are learning, listening, praying, seeking, answering.
Here I am Lord
Is it I Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night
I will go Lord
Where you lead me
I will hold your people in my heart