When Dave and I married we dreamed of a full house of children. Dave dreamed that we would "fill the pew" at Church. We had settled on a nice even dozen. 12. Yes, we wanted twelve children. We had read "Cheaper by the Dozen" aloud to each other (among many other books) and that settled it.
David Paul was born ten months after we got married. And that was it. God closed my womb. And in many ways it closed my heart. As I mentioned this heartache in our Sunday School class a while back, a sweet friend remarked that David Paul is worth 6 sons - and that is oh so true.
Still, after many years, struggles and tears Dave and I had decided to pursue Foster Care. We got our license in January 2012 and by mid February I received a call that they would be at my home in 45 minutes. Folks - I didn't even own a sippy cup!
On the dot DSS arrived with two distressed and crying children aged 18 months and 3 years old. A little boy and a little girl. The paperwork took an hour, through which the children never stopped crying and then she left. Left me with two weeping children. I began the short walk to my parents home and wondered what in the world I was going to do.
These precious children were with us for just over 5 months before they were reunited with their parents. It had turned our world upside down. It was hard. It was amazing. It was incredible. It was right. But now we settled back into normal life again.
There are many stories to tell about those five months, but perhaps none more shocking than learning that a year later their lives were worse. And then getting a call a month after that telling us the younger one was hospitalized.
One month later, the children were back in our homes under protective care. Fifteen months later we were granted Permanent Custody.
Foster Care may not be for everyone. But it was for us. We are family now and I cannot imagine being without these precious children.
The system is definitely a struggling one and the line of children waiting for forever homes is long and heart-breaking. If you have ever considered it, I urge you to do your research. Pray. Talk to others who have walked the road. Pray. Get good counsel. And pray. Did I mention prayer? You get my message. It is a serious decision and not one to enter lightly. And give me a call if you would like to talk. I am always open to share our experience.
P.S. Another way to help is to support those who are fostering children in their homes - believe me, there are always needs that can be met by a friendly face.