I was sitting in front of my computer, reading the daily news. One of the top stories that day was about a foster family in Milwaukee. An infant had been placed into their care. And the foster mother killed this baby. I don’t remember any other details. But I remember my response. I sobbed. Here was a tiny baby, killed in the home where it was placed in order to be safe. My heart was broken.
That day, a few years ago, is imprinted on my mind…and on my heart.
It led us to start looking into foster care. We got together with some good friends of ours who had done it for several years. They were so good about answering our questions, being realistic about the joys and hardships of fostering. One day, I ran into a snag…our house wasn’t big enough. (the laws don’t require that much space, but I admit, our house did seem to be crowded with just the seven of us in it.) So, we shelved that idea, understanding that God obviously did not intend that for us at that time.
Fast forward a few years, and here we are, living in a different city and a different (and larger) home. God has still been impressing on our hearts the need for foster care. But this time, He is showing us that He has given us the means to meet that need. Maybe not money and material goods, but we have the space, the lifestyle and the love to do it!
At the very beginning of this journey, it was I who was prompted to look into foster care. I would not do something without my husband’s full approval, and while he did agree with us doing this, it was more of a head thing than a heart thing. He was unsure that he would be able to truly love a child that was not biologically his. But God allowed us an experience to test Chris’ thinking in that area.
My cousin lives in the same city we do. And NOT by chance, I fully believe it is of God. Shortly after we moved, she gave birth to a baby boy and needed someone to watch him. We offered, and she took us up on our offer. We have loved having Baby K with us. The boys are so good about playing with him, and Michaela has taken on much of the responsibility of caring for him. And Chris has learned that yes, he can love a little one, even if they aren’t biologically his. He has a huge capacity to love…especially children.
Several weeks ago, I made the call to our county social worker and started the process of applying for our foster license. It is long road ahead, and we have just started this journey. We are hoping and praying that our licensing will come through by the end of the year. Our license will cover children from birth to 18, but we will primarily be taking little ones up to 2 years old. At this season of our life, while most of our children are still doing school at home, taking care of a baby makes the most sense. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of school with the kids while Baby K is on my lap or in the pack and play with his toys!
I have started collecting items that we will need to care for little ones. I was just talking to my friend, Amy, the other day about how “what we need for the baby” changes as we get older~and dare I say, wiser? Some of what we used to deem “necessary” just isn’t necessary anymore. A few good quality items will do, thank you!
Another dear friend, Alaina, put out a request on Facebook for items that her friends didn’t need anymore. We have received a convertible car seat, a carrier that I can use to “wear” a baby, and some items of clothing. I will continue searching for clothing in a variety of sizes, and a few more items that we’ll be able to use)
Because of having Baby K’s pack-n-play, exersaucer and high chair around, it doesn’t seem much more odd having these baby things collecting in a pile in the den!
I write all this now because, once we have little ones, we are bound by privacy laws and we won’t be talking about it. I want people to understand why we are doing this, and also that there is a need for families to do foster care.
Let me restate: I want to give people the chance to understand. I do not expect everyone to understand.
“Why would you add a baby to your already (by some standards) large family?” “Why would you add the expense of another child?” “Should you be doing this with your back issues?” “What about doing school with the children?” “You want to go back to middle-of-the-night feedings?” “You know it’s going to be hard, don’t you?”
We are trusting God to control the amount of children that we have in our family. Whether biological or fostered, I have faith that He knows, way better than we do, what we can handle.
We trust that God will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory. We are taking a step of faith, and we know that He will provide.
Yes, my back does act up sometimes. But it continues to heal, sometimes more slowly than I’d like, but for the most part, I can function just fine!
But thank you for caring!
As I have mentioned before, it is possible to do school with a baby in my arms. I’ve done it before, and I can do it again. I am certainly not the only mother to school their children with an infant or toddler in the home!
Middle-of-the-night feedings…do I want to go back to them? Honestly. No!! I like my sleep. But will I, for the sake of loving a precious little one that Jesus has put into our home? You betcha! By the grace and strength of God, I will love someone else more than myself. I will consider myself a servant to every person in my home.
And yes, I know it is going to be hard. I don’t want to live a “comfortable” life. I always want to be in a place where I am dependent on Christ. I want to live a life that cannot be explained other than by His Holy Spirit living in me and through me. I often tell my children that hard things are the things worth doing. God is giving me another opportunity to live out what I say I believe. Our pastor has been teaching about faith, and I am so excited that we have an opportunity to exercise our faith. Thank you, Jesus!
I’m sure that more questions will arise, and that some people (probably including me, at times) will think that we are nuts! I don’t know exactly what the future holds for us, but I do want you to be aware of what’s new in our life, so that when the day comes, you understand the story a little better!