CLOSING OUR DOORS
After Baby Brother's adoption, we are closing our doors to foster care. At least for awhile.
We became certified foster parents in August of 2019, nearly 3 years ago. At the time, we had a 10-month old biological son.
The first placement call we received was for Riley and Ruthie (now adopted by our family from foster care). Their older sister has lived with us off and on a few times in an attempt to reunify siblings under one roof, which ultimately and unfortunately failed. Riley and Ruthie were with us 32 straight months before being adopted.
In March 2021 we took placement of Baby Brother, who is now 15 months old and will be adopted in just a few short weeks.
We've also provided respite care to a handful of different kiddos over the years.
It's kind of weird, honestly, because we originally started foster care to help children be able to reunify with their biological families but it just so happened all of the kids placed with us ended up needing a forever home with us. We truly never entered into this with the primary desire to adopt, although we figured it would eventually happen if we fostered long enough.
We have grown immensely as individuals, parents, and Christians in the last 3 years. Nothing can grow you as a person quite like foster care can...
When we first started we had absolutely no idea what to do with a child who had experienced horrific levels of trauma. We didn't understand how their little brains were affected by their trauma. We didn't know how to help them heal. We didn't know how to pursue mental health diagnosis. We didn't know how to advocate for them or navigate the court system or find them the resources they needed. We didn't know anything, really -- well, other than how to keep a child alive (food, water, shelter, etc.). We had done that for 10 months with our bio son at least.
We eventually became equipped to parent these kids though. One book, one podcast, one class, one appointment, one counseling session at a time, we figured it out.
"I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 1:4-7
God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
And then sometimes he calls us to rest.
The past few years have brought us the greatest blessings in our lives, but they've also taken the biggest toll on our families' health. Braton and I are mentally and emotionally drained, especially after the last 6 months, which were the hardest we've ever had. The stress of the last few years has taken a big toll on my physical health as well.
We now have a 5, 4, 3, and 1 year old. That, in and of itself, is crAzy! It's time for us to settle in as a forever family, reclaim our health, find our peace, and rest in God's promises.
We have no idea how long this next chapter will be. Maybe it's just a short break, or maybe this is goodbye to being a foster family forever. We will go wherever the Lord leads us.