These were not the same tears that I know so well of heartache and grief, these were new tears. Tears of hope and future. Tears of thankfulness that God has continued to restore me with His grace and hope and joy for the past 3 and 1/2 years (42 months; 1277 days or so… but who is counting, right?!) while I have suffered miscarriages and too many negative pregnancy tests to count.
You see, I know I need a crib in my home now. A place for a baby to sleep.
But not just a baby. In fact, maybe not even a baby.
Andy and I have started the process of becoming foster parents. And let me tell you, we are over the moon excited about it.
Let me start from the beginning.
Andy and I both wanted so badly to have more children. Even after everything we went through with Ryder and all the sleepless nights with Rory, we still wanted more.
I firmly believe that God gives you the desire to have more or not. I have friends who have one child and are 100% satisfied with one and I think that is wonderful. I know even more who have two and are DONE with zero desire for more- I have spent many many many MANY days wishing that were the case for me.
God clearly gave me the desire for more children- if he didn’t there is no way I would have stuck it out after all the heartache of the past almost four years. After all this time we finally had more invasive tests done and it was confirmed that IVF seemed to be our only option to have another child. I just went home and prayed about it but knew as soon as “IVF” came into play that it wasn’t for us. (Now, disclaimer: I am NOT against IVF at all. I have two beautiful nieces from IVF and plenty of friends have gone through it. However, I have two biological kids already and the cost of IVF is astronomical so God gave me zero peace to even think about that as an option for us.)
In my most desperate state of heartache of the loss that comes with miscarriages and infertility, I got on my face and begged God to take away every ounce of my desire for more kids. I literally shook my hands and said, “Please, Lord, take this from me.” As I was pleading to God to take this desire out of my heart, a thought came to me. My prayers turned from an anger to a desperation in another way. “God, if you won’t take this desire from me and I can’t physically have another child from my body… please, Lord, show me another way. Show me exactly what I should do. Make it so clear that I cannot deny it or run from it. Show me, Lord, what you want me to do next.”
Y’all. I am not even kidding when I tell you that I drove home the next day and someone had put LITERAL signs up all over the place next to our neighborhood that said, “Become a foster parent today!” and “Want to be a foster parent?” or “Interested in fostering-to-adopt?”……
Is that not the craziest thing you’ve ever heard?! I asked for God to make it clear, I didn’t think He’d literally give me SIGNS… like actual signs.
When I saw them I gasped. I put my hand over my mouth and sobbed all the way home. I knew God was showing me want to do- He was planting a seed.
At the time though, I just didn’t have peace about the timing of talking to Andy about it. I wasn’t sure how he felt about fostering and I knew we both would love to adopt but just couldn’t swing the cost right now. So over the next little while I sat on the fostering idea and just prayed and waited. I knew it wasn’t time to bring it up yet- I just didn’t have a peace about it.
In the meantime, Ryder comes home and tells Andy and I about a little girl in her class. I’ll tell you the story like Ryder told me:
“MOM! A girl in my class has been living with parents that aren’t hers! They have been taking care of her while her parents got better! And now she gets to go home to her mom and dad for the first time!!!!!!! Oh, mom! She is so excited!!!! Isn’t that amazing?! We should be those people who take kids in to help out their moms and dads.” (Insert a crazy amount of tears from yours truly)
Rory heard the whole thing and got so excited too. They both continued to talk about this and ask questions and pester me to sign up to take kids in.
One night Andy and I were in the car and I said, “Andy, I think we should be foster parents.” He looked at me and said he had been thinking the same thing. I, again, burst into tears. (Are we surprised here? no.)
God had been preparing each one of our hearts for our future as a foster family. How incredible is that?!
We kept trying to find a class to join but with his work and getting babysitters for the kids we just couldn’t seem to get it together. Finally I checked again on a whim one day in my desperation to make this work and noticed they added another class- on Saturdays! So we could both go and it wouldn’t be as hard to find a babysitter for the girls.
And now we are half way done with our classes and are busy getting our home ready for the home study and for the kids. It is such a fun time in our house. We are so excited about all the kids we will get to meet and enjoy, even if for just 72 hours. We are so full of hope. Hope that comes from knowing we are following God’s calling for our family. And man- this house is so full of peace. There is something so incredibly peaceful about following through with God’s plan and letting Hope rise and rule our lives. How can we say “no” at this point when I begged God to take the desire away and he absolutely didn’t? He just gave us a new plan.
Another thing about this that makes me so dang excited is that I have always been so passionately pro-life. But often I felt like such a hypocrite because I wasn’t DOING anything pro-life it seemed. I don’t think there is much more “pro-life” than fostering and adopting.
I know some of you have a lot of questions. So, I’m going to try and answer the three questions/statements I’ve gotten the most and if I don’t answer your question feel free to ask. I may not have the answer but thats ok!
- What is our age range for the children? We are choosing, for now, to keep our birth order as far as Rory being the oldest. However, we are open and so very willing to take sibling groups. Our home allows for us to take in up to four more children. So if they call with a sibling group that desperately needs a home we might broaden that age frame a smidge. But I’m not afraid to say no if they call and ask for something way out of our criteria. We are also open to having pregnant teens or teenage mothers and their babies in our home.
- Are you wanting to adopt any of the kids? We are completely open to anything God is calling us to do. Obviously we would absolutely love to adopt a child out of the foster care system. However, I have zero expectations. God may just want us to have a revolving door of kids that get to go home or to other family members! The ultimate goal with each foster placement is for them to go back to their family. We are here to support that and to support their families any way we can.
- What if you get too attached? I would be so heartbroken, I could never do it! Listen. Tiffany is not delusional. I am, without any doubt in my mind, going to be 100% attached to each child. I am such a lover. Find me the dirtiest kid at the girls’ school and I am over there kissing their face and weeping all the way home over their situations at home. So, yes. I will get “too attached”. Each time they go home, even if it is a good situation, I will be so extremely sad. But, y’all, if I’m not getting attached to these kids then I am doing this all wrong. I plan to love these children so hard and with 100% of me. I will care for them like they are my own and I will cry big crocodile tears when they leave. God has given me the blessing of this calling. I’m going to love HIS children. Every stinkin’ one of them. It is going to be desperately hard. I’m not dumb about that at all. But, oh y’all, it will be so worth it.
I’m not sure exactly how to end this besides just saying, “thank you”. Thank you to everyone who has walked this infertility and loss journey with me and with our family. Your prayers and encouragement and your listening ear has meant so much to me.
Y’all, we only have one life. This is the thought that just keeps repeating in my brain this year. So many people don’t even live as long as I have. I want to live my life following God’s calling and loving His people. He couldn’t have made it clearer to my family what our calling was… fostering. This will be hard. There will undoubtedly be times that we want to give up. There will be times that it will be so hard to say goodbye that I might need my people to physically hold me up. There might come a time when we get to adopt a child… or four (ha) into our family forever. I am 100% all in and open to WHATEVER God wants of me. And man, is this a terrifyingly wonderful place to be.