You may have noticed that I often mention how much one of my daughters really likes a recipe. I don’t know if I can adequately express how happy it makes me when I see her joyfully partaking in a meal or special treat.
J was 2 1/2 when she came into our lives. She was a teeny, boney little thing with straw hair and pallid skin. Neglect and lack of nutrition had taken it’s toll on her tiny body. But this did not dampen her fire. That girl had energy. She was in a bouncy house at a church picnic. I often tell her that the first time I saw her, she was “jump, jumP, juMP, JUMP-ing.” She had already been in the system and had been moved through several foster homes by the time I met her.
I’ve always known that I wanted to adopt. Ed and I talked about it before we were married and we were both open to adoption if that was the path God had for us. Infertility, miscarriage, preterm labor, and premature babies were things Ed and I became very familiar with. And we revisited adoption.
On Sept. 20, 2010, there were 408,000 children in foster care in the United States. (source) At that time 22% of those children would age out of the system and become homeless for a portion of time.
After Ed and I had prayed, talked, and researched, we decided that foster to adopt was what the Lord was calling us to. We started researching agencies and licensing criteria. Each state has a different set of foster care requirements in order to obtain a foster care license. You can go through a county foster care agency or a private foster care agency. We chose a private Christian foster care and adoption agency that dealt with many counties and provided foster care, therapeutic foster care, and medically-fragile care. J. was one of the children serviced by this agency.
Due to the neglect and abuse she had suffered, she required both therapeutic and medically-fragile care. It is nothing short of a miracle every time my daughter requests that I make her Cranberry Bliss-fully Happy Bars. It is nothing short of a miracle every time she sits down at the table with us and happily eats her broccoli. It is nothing short of a miracle when she has friends over and they eat pizza together. Just writing this out makes my eyes well up with tears because I know how far she has come physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
At this point in my blog post, I’m supposed to pull this all together and ask a question or make a “call to action.” I’m not really sure that I want to do that. I just know that the Lord laid a burden on my heart to share part of our family’s adoption story. I hope it ministered to someone. Deciding to adopt a child or children from foster care can be a very personal and private matter. Please feel free to comment below or contact me privately if I can help answer any questions.
Sharing at Three Word Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Serving Joyfully, Nancherrow, My Freshly Brewed Life,
Thanks for sharing a bit of your adoption story. While I have never been involved with the foster care system, I did recently adopt my own step-son. There’s something nice about being able to tell your child (through actions or words) that I picked you to be my child.
Dawn, That is one of the many beautiful things about adoption, isn’t it? Congratulations to you and your son!
We plan on fostering someday. I am really excited about it, but it will be a while still.
Brittany, it is a wonderful thing, both for the chid in need and the family providing support!
I also rejoice, every time we see J choosing to eat and eat well! My eyes brimmed up at the memory of seeing her in her new beginning with you, and His Presence was all over me as I read your blog!. It takes an especially big heart filled with God’s love for God’s children to undertake this kind of challenge, and we applaud you and your whole family where Love Won!
<3 <3 <3
Thank you! You've been there since the beginning and you have seen what God has done for us! He IS good!
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Our foster care journey has been very interesting! Our oldest was 8 when we got her and we have had 9 little ones (1 has stayed, the rest have moved on.) It has been very, very hard at times and painful but always worth it.
Yes, it can be painful, but I agree it is worth it. After we adopted J, who was then five, we stopped fostering so that she could heal. It has been a very long journey, but one I wouldn’t trade for anything. <3