It has been just about 6 years since we made the decision to start the process of becoming licensed to foster and adopt.
I clearly remember texting my husband after a conversation with a foster/adoptive mom while at a gymnastics class with my older boys. Her story impacted me and made me realize some misconceptions I had about the process of foster care and adoption that gave me hope that we could finally take that first step towards loving on some children in need and growing our family.
Both my husband and I were ready to take on the challenge of classes, home-studies, and the licensing process to become foster parents. We knew that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park or an overnight process. We tried as best as we could to keep our eyes and hearts wide open through our whole journey.
We started with an orientation class in January. I highly recommend going to an orientation class if you are thinking about fostering or adopting from foster care. This class gave us a very real idea of the types of children in foster care, their needs, their traumas, and the process & demands it would take to actually obtain our license.
We worked fairly quickly through our requirements and our home was officially licensed as a foster home in April 2014.
Our first call was for twins. Twin boys who were 7 months old and their sister who was 3. The boys had 13 bones broken between the two of them. My heart ached hearing their story, and while I wanted to do everything in my power for those children, I knew our home would not be the best for them to heal and recover and had to say no.
By the way. It is okay to say no. It’s hard not to feel guilty about the situations a child, who through no fault of their own, has been placed in. But guilt should not be your motive in foster care or adoption. Honesty of what you and your family are capable of is of utmost importance.
The second call was for another set of twins! This time is was boy girl twins that were 2 years old. Jordan (our youngest biological son) was about to turn 2 years old at that time. And the thought of having three 2 year olds to take care of all at one time was pure overwhelm. Before we were able to decline that call, another family said, yes. That was a big relief to me!
The third time the phone rang it was for two girls. And YES, they were twins! They were 3 years old. But while I was asking the case worker questions about their situation, she was interrupted and told that someone in the girls biological family had stepped up.
So, three phone calls and three times it was not a good fit. It was hard to wait, but were knew that we would be able to say, yes soon.
The day after Jordan (our youngest biological son) turned 2 and I moved him into a “big boy” bed, we received our fourth call. It was no longer surprising when the case worker told me that it was for twin girls. They were 3 weeks old and in the NICU.
I quickly called Jon who was in a meeting and we both agreed that it was a sign that we should say yes to twins and also that this would be a good fit for our family.
They asked if we could go down to the NICU and meet the girls and find out more information from the nurses who had been caring for them. Of course!
We spent the day in shock, overwhelm, and a bit of chaos as I ran around the house making a list of things we would need.
When we were being licensed for foster care we decided we would be open to children age 3 and under. It can be a long wait for babies as so many homes are licensed just for infants. There was no way to really prepare for a specific age & size of a placement until we got the call.
We had one crib, but needed two. We had no infant carseats, just two bottles, no formula, no clothes, and no diapers in newborn size.
Running into Walmart and buying a cart full of baby items times two felt strange as I knew that these babies may never make it into our home. A distant relative could step up at any moment and things could change in an instant.
That day in Walmart, pushing a cart full of baby girl cloths, bottles, wipes, and diapers would not be the last time doubt, fear, and wonder about the future would fill my mind.
Walking into the NICU was surreal. We were not strangers to tiny babies with special needs and care. My second son was born at 32 weeks and spent time in the NICU. But this was so different. They didn’t identify me by my wristband, but rather a piece of paper that authorized us to care for these babies.
The NICU nurse took us to the beds of the two most beautiful baby girls I ever laid eyes on. When they placed each girl in our arms I knew that they were the most precious things. I will never forget my husbands face when he held both girls at the same time. That was it. He was done. A puddle of pure goo.
CLICK HERE to read Part Two of our Adoption Story.