Foster Care Month: Hope for the Weary

Two years after adopting our first son, we were ready to begin the adoption process again. Once more, God showed how much he loves us. Church members donated items for our garage sale. We ended up filling four large storage building and three smaller storage buildings with donated items. Our garage sale was huge, and our church family donated their time to help make it a success. Many people were in awe that a church would do that for just ONE family.  

We were matched seven months later. We met the expectant mother, and I ordered everything to set up a nursery for a sweet little girl. We moved the crib and glider into the nursery.    

Sadly for us, we experienced a failed match. We were devastated. Our son was devastated. We asked our agency to place our file on hold for a while. For six months I couldn’t open the door to the nursery. For six months it felt like someone in my family had died. Fortunately, I knew how to process my grief as a result of the counseling I previously attended. I was able to help my husband process his grief, and we were both able to help our son process his grief.  

We decided it was time to push forward with the adoption process. About a year later, and we were wondering why we were not being chosen. We spoke with the director at our agency, and she suggested that we enroll in the straight adopt fostering program. Prior to that, I had told my husband I would NEVER foster; however, I felt the Lord tugging at my heart to move forward with the paperwork and training. After prayerful consideration, our agency allowed us to remain in the private infant program as well as the straight adopt fostering program.  

I’m very direct, and also very sarcastic. After waiting almost two years without being chosen, I made a shirt for our caseworker that I wore to our quarterly training. It was a white v-neck with black letters that simply said: #whereismybaby??? My husband was mortified that I was wearing it, but I assured him it was fine because I had warned her (our caseworker) I was making it. It turns out we had actually already been chosen to become the adoptive family of a sibling pair. Our agency let us know we had been chosen by creating a meme of the picture they had taken of me wearing my #whereismybaby??? shirt, and captioned it with “Did you mean #wherearemybabies? Call your caseworker.” One week later, our littles joined our home.

I recall when the littles arrived. One of them would constantly scream when I held them, but would also scream when I put them down. They didn’t know what they wanted, and their vocabulary was very limited so they couldn’t express what they needed at that time. Our other little screamed for hours at a time.  Nothing appeased them. We reached out to our agency, our pediatrician, other foster families, and their caseworker. We prayed A LOT. We also cried A LOT. We attempted to function on three hours of sleep each night. Our church family was (and is) amazing. They provided us with two months of meals. I can’t fathom what we would have eaten had they not provided our meals. While it took us a while to find our new normal we eventually did, and our family is now whole. There’s a lot of laughter and even more love.

Fostering isn’t easy. Adoption isn’t easy. Raising kids from hard places isn’t easy. Navigating transracial adoption isn’t easy. Many people say things like, “The Lord never gives you more than you can handle.”  That’s incorrect. He never gives you more than you can handle as long as you cast your burdens at his feet, as described in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”   

I have cried out to him on many occasions, as I know only he can heal the hurt our children endured prior to my husband and I becoming their parents. Their lives have been changed forever, but more importantly, our (me and my husband’s) lives have been changed forever. Our hearts hurt more for those who are hurting. Tears flow more easily from my eyes when those around me are weeping. The level of compassion I now have for others is beyond what I thought it could have ever been.  

Adoption is so beautiful in the sense that what was once a broken situation is made whole with the redemptive blood of Christ.

In a perfect world our children would still be with their first families. They would not have to endure the grief they may likely experience at some point when they realize their lives were changed forever when they lost their first families. I rest in the fact that Jesus heals all things. Yes, our kids may need to see a counselor at some point to sort through their feelings regarding having been adopted, but they can lean into Jesus while doing so.

We are surrounded by a community of foster/adoptive parents who understand the needs of our family. Bringing our kids into our family has brought so much happiness to our home. Our story of becoming a family of five spans almost a decade. I’m so thankful for our journey.

Sara is a wife of 14 years, mom of three young children, and a high school math teacher. Her journey to motherhood spans almost a decade and ranges from visits to fertility specialists, a successful private infant adoption, a failed adoption match, and fostering that led to two more additions to her family via adoption.

-Waiting in HOPE- Foster Care Month: Hope for the Weary