(Thank you to Laura for today’s guest post! Visit her blog to follow along with her family’s story: Living and Learning in Kentucky)
Why We Became Foster Parents
By Laura Witten
I have always had a heart for children, and as my childhood dreams came true, there was one dream that remained elusive – to have more than one child of my own. After several years of marriage, we had our son, who is now six. We had been unsuccessful in conceiving again, had tried all the easy fixes, and are unwilling to go through more severe measures when there are so many children out there who need good homes. I mourned over not having more of my own for a while, but life went on. Maybe God has something other than more biological children in mind for us – but it was just a fleeting thought at that time because I had so much else going on. My marriage was in trouble, I quit my job, and had no idea what was in store for me. I tried to renew my focus in life and get back where God wanted me.
During my personal crisis, I accidentally began looking at nearby foster care agencies. I told myself it was crazy, stopped, prayed, and went back to it. I eventually told my husband, and to my surprise he agreed to find out more.
We weren’t ready to jump into adoption, so decided to help children out in a temporary fashion for a while. We had the room, I had the time to devote to them, and my husband was up for the adventure. My son was 5 when we started, and we have made him a part of the decision process from the beginning. He was looking forward to playmates, but understood the deeper purpose for giving these children a temporary home while the parents got their act together.
We elected to go with the State instead of private agencies because they were the most responsive to my queries, and in my research I discovered that the private agencies pull from the same group of kids but typically get the more troubled ones. I found out that foster parenting classes were beginning in early January 2010, and told my husband that I thought this is where God was leading, and he agreed to the time commitment to make it happen. The more classes we took, the more I wanted to help out these kids and knew this was the direction our lives should go. We went ahead and did concurrent planning, in case we are led towards adoption in the future, but were listed as foster parents, not foster-to-adopt.
During the winter months we attended class, I began doctor’s visits again to figure out why I couldn’t conceive. An ultrasound confirmed I have PCOS, and another ultrasound showed possible cancer in my thyroid. I had surgery (February 2010) to remove over half of my thyroid; it was biopsied and NOT cancer, thank God. I then got on a different pill to shrink the ovarian cysts, which gave me severe stomach cramps, so that was not an option for me. Birth control was the only other option to control the PCOS symptoms.
We completed foster parenting classes, physicals and the mountain of paperwork that goes with it all, and passed the home visit. I was very excited, as was our son. I think my husband was still leery, but trusted that I knew what I was getting us into.
About 3 months after we were officially approved, we got our first placement – a two-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl. It was a challenge, but so rewarding. They were with us over six months. Three months to the day after they left, we got a second sibling group. These sweethearts were challenging in a different way, but worth it. At this time, they have been gone just a few weeks, and I’m jumping at every phone call, wondering if it is the DCBS… but it’s not.
The journey is ongoing. I’m still wrestling with whether adoption is the right route, and if so, should it be a baby or an older child. I am trusting that God will make it clear to all of us when the time comes.
(Do you have an inspiring adoption story to share? If so, please contact me!!)