When Shari and I first met, there was an immediate flood of information that flowed between us easily and freely. As with most couples, it’s a good sign that you’re compatible when you can’t stop chatting about anything and everything. One of those things we talked about was kids: how many, boys or girls, and adoption. We both agreed that we wanted at least two kids. We also agreed that adoption wasn’t a bad idea, but we were too young–and too unmarried–to make a definite decision about it.
Here we are about 7 years later, and we have decided that talk is cheap. Enough people talk about how great it would be to love an unwanted child, but not enough people actually go through with it. Shari and I had some long conversations with each other and with some friend’s from church who are already foster parents. We landed on the idea that our best course of action would be to foster with the goal of adoption. God has totally changed our hearts from being lukewarm about adoption to being red-hot passionate about fostering.
Foster vs. Adoption
Shari and I just finished the first week of training with our chosen organization (Covenant Kids), and we are still ruminating on the loads of information they dumped on us. One thing we learned before we even started the process was the difference between fostering and adoption.
When you foster, the goal is to reunify the child/sibling set with the parents. That can be a hard line to walk if all you want is to play the loving, protective parent. If you’re not prepared (and Covenant Kids is preparing us for this in a big way), you start to look at the parents as the enemy. They are drug addicts, abusive, neglectful, and careless with their kid’s lives. However, they are not all bad. As a matter of fact, most of them are trying to do good, they are just damaged people like the rest of us.
There comes a time when the state decides that the parents are not fit to parent their child. At that time, the child becomes available for adoption and the foster parents are given the opportunity to keep that kid forever. Shari and I are driving for this goal, but God is changing our hearts towards fostering. The opportunity to show these kids love and give their parents a chance to turn their life around is one that we just can’t turn down.
Some Promises Should Never Be Broken
We are not sure when we will “go active” and start fostering, but we know that we will request babies Caleb’s age and younger. Now that we have started the process, we are not turning back. The state of Texas is in need of foster parents and we feel that God calls all Christians to lay down their life for others. We appreciate any and all prayers on our behalf. We have a long road ahead of us.