Jen, thank you for the invitation to guest post on your blog during National Adoption Month.Â I am excited to share about the GIFT of foster care as a means of building oneâ€™s family.Â
Â Let me let you in on a little secretâ€¦Â
After years of dealing with infertility, my husband and I turned to adoption.Â There were SO many unknowns.Â Paul struggled with the idea of a non-biological child, I struggled heavily with the idea that I had to have 20k in the bank to become a mom and we struggled together with questions of open adoption and race.Â We just wanted to be parents and it seemed the amount of questions and obstacles standing in between us and our goal were enormous.Â Â
We decided to pursue domestic adoption, completed our home study and were waiting when we conceived our miracle daughter â€œRosieâ€.Â That adoption experience was crucial preparation for our future. Â
When we encountered secondary infertility, it was so much easier to shift our focus towards adoption.Â At the time, local friends of ours were in the process of back to back adoptions from foster care.Â Their success led us to contact our local county agency about fostering.Â We began the training process in December 2010.Â I was amazed at how many families knew â€œthe secretâ€.Â Foster families were big families!Â Many of the families had several adoptions under their belts and they still continued to foster.Â
In our county (a moderate sized city) our parameters were completely up to us.Â We wanted a child younger than two and gender and race did not matter. Â We had not even officially completed our training when we accepted our first placement, a 2 Â½ month old baby boy on March 1st. Â
SO often I hear people say â€œI could never do what you doâ€ and â€œyour family is so great, it is quite heroicâ€ etc etc.Â As another foster mom once said “Someone just handed me a precious baby and told me I could take him home. That’s not charity, that’s lucky!”
The biggest surprise for us was the fact we were paid to foster.Â While I would highly discourage anyone from fostering for the money, it was a hidden blessing for our family.Â I learned that foster care is essentially our American version of an orphanage.Â In training you learn â€œthe goal of fostering is reunification.â€Â This must be kept at the forefront of your mind.Â With that said, in our county, 60% of the cases go to adoption.Â As we were classified as foster-to-adopt, we knew that our placement had a very high probability of going to adoption. Â
As I got to know my foster sonâ€™s parents, I learned they were wonderful people who could not get their lives together.Â The process of forming a relationship was slow and in the end, it was critical.Â As his parents learned they could not take care of him, they needed to see who we were and how we loved him.Â Those things allowed them to terminate their rights in February 2011.Â Our adoption was finalized in July 2011.Â Cost to us for finalized adoption?Â About $200 for two yearsâ€™ worth of clearances.Â In addition, we continue to receive an â€œadoption subsidyâ€ and â€œAugieâ€ is eligible to remain under state insurance. Â
Overall, our experience was been so positive thatÂ we have accepted our second placement, a baby girl.Â Her case is progressing much quicker and we are expecting a second adoption in the Spring. Â
For anyone seeking to adopt and considering foster care, let me say â€œBe Not Afraid!â€Â Contact your county, go to an information session and donâ€™t be afraid of the next step.Â I might even go as far to say, once you are in the doorâ€¦it can become a little addictingâ€¦hence the reason there are so many â€œbigâ€ foster families!Â May God bless you in your journey.Â
For my related blogs, check out:
Answering adoption FAQs
Answering adoption FAQs
Elisabeth, thanks for sharing your story! Â Elisabeth blogs at Blessed and Broken
What a great story. We adopted two from foster care too. However, our story was way more shaky getting there. One of our kids has FASD and RAD. I think it is an awesome option. I would pick it again if I were adopting.
Elisabeth, thank you for sharing!@ what an awesome story of how you are building your family.
I really REALLY enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing, Jen!
What a beautiful family! And a beautiful testimony.
Thanks for the feature Jen!
Thank you for this testimony, we are looking at this route and are encouraged!
I am enjoying all of the stories here, Jen. What a testimony to life and God’s grace all around us. Thank you to Elisabeth for sharing!
Lionden Landing says
Yeah. I heard those stories too. We have been fostering now for a year and half and currently have no foster children inour house. We have had several through but they always go home. We want someone to stay forever