May is National Foster Care month so in honor of that, I am doing my first annual 31 Day Challenge and the tag to use/follow will be #fosterchallenge2018
Our Story Into Foster Care
I had always wanted to adopt but also wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a mom. Glenn and I had been married a long time and had discussed trying to have kids but I was struggling with migraines, chronic knee pain and what I know now was hypothyroidism. We decided that we would try to adopt because we heard it would take a long time anyway and to be honest, that was comforting to us.
We went through the training, the home assessments and all the requirements to adopt through the Province of Alberta. We also went and started our application for international adoption, but when they closed Ukraine, we stopped and never stared again. During this time we met the most amazing Permanency worker who took her time with us, who explained everything and was able to speak so both Glenn and I were comfortable. We trusted her and we could tell she was someone who cared about us and finding a perfect match for us. We sat down with her to do one of hardest things we have ever had to do, a checklist of what you would be willing to take in a child and what you would not. This made me realize just how selfish we were and how we were attached to the idea of a perfect child. She guided us through and made some suggestions. We agreed on our requirements and she went on her way with the promise that we would wait a long time if we would ever get placed because our requirements were not anything that was coming through their system. We went on our way and were approved and waiting. During this time we made an agreement with God. I knew I could never say no. If a child was needing help I would do anything to help. So we have a pact. I will never say no, but I will trust when a door is closed. I will not hunt things down and make things happen (as I do in most other areas of my life) I will trust God and know His will is perfect and He will be in charge.
Very shortly during or after this we started doing respite for a little guy and his baby sister. We wanted to help a wonderful, generous and amazing woman from our church as she had taken these children on and everything that came with them. We very quickly fell in love with the kids. We would take them every chance we got and soon started asking our worker if we could ever parent them. We got our first NO. Looking back it was for the best, but I can’t tell you the pain that had. We had started to dream of them in our home, they had met our family, we had discussed cultural issues with trusted friends… we had jumped the gun and I was reminded of our pact with God that he would handle this. He loves His children and will look after them. That is not my job, I am just His hand and feet.
We continued to provide respite for the children we thought would live in our home until one day we got a call from our worker. It was not even a year into our waiting. She asked us if we would consider dropping some of our requirements. She particularly asked us to more to what was then the Foster to Adopt program instead of Adoption. She knew we were uncomfortable with the idea of taking a child in just to have them leave but she told us she knew the system and knew we would have a better chance at being placed. Glenn said no and I said yes. We decided to wait a few days. We discussed it and decided that because we trusted our worker and that God would only give us something that we could handle that we would switch our requirements. Again we went into wait mode. But not for long. Shortly after our worker called us with a circumstance that lead us to our son Porter. We had a bit of a rough start with him due to some ‘system’ stuff but were able to have his adoption completed within 9 months. Even with dealing with the Slave Lake wildfires and our workers home buring and also thinking our files were burned in the fire. We ended up moving to Sherwood Park at the time his final adoption was processed and very shortly were called to take his little sister. From this point on we have had many NO’s and a few more YES’. They have all been guided by God and I trust He will continue to guide our journey.
We are now foster parents and work very hard to reunite the children that are in our home to their families. Sometimes I wish that another YES was coming our way, but in the meantime I really am in love with providing love, compassion and help to our kids birth moms. My calling is to advocate for fostering/permanency/adoption and I would love to open some doors to you if you are wanting to know more. Message me for information about our next event:)