Because of an intense stirring in my heart, it’s been a little quiet on the blog lately.
When Andrew and I first met, we always talked about adoption and the desire to open our hearts and home to orphans after we had biological children. Just as we have all been adopted by our Heavenly Father, we view adoption as a beautiful picture of the gospel on earth that points us back toward Christ. From the very beginning of our journey, we saw ourselves being a part of something bigger than us, a mission of love, acceptance and service. It wasn’t until after several years of infertility that our desire to adopt moved to the forefront of our family plan.
After the recent failed adoption (read more about that here), I immediately began raising funds so that we could afford the hefty price tag of adoption agencies and consultants. As we raised and saved the past few months, we spoke with several agencies and consultants so that we could make an informed decision. The financial aspect of adoption began sinking in for us and somewhere along the way, we felt the focus was money and not the original reasons why we loved adoption so much.
We want to impact a child’s life. We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We want to share our farm with children and allow God’s love to pour all over their spirits just as it has our own. There is healing in the farm life we lead. I’ve experienced it myself and I believe it can touch others in the same way. As our adoption journey unfolded this past year, I began to understand the Lord’s purpose for it all in a different way. God began tugging on our hearts and pulling us in a different direction. He began speaking to us in the painful hallways, uncomfortable places and never ending waiting room.
It is with hopeful hearts and nervous anticipation that Andrew and I begin the journey of becoming foster parents.
I hesitated to announce this initially because it’s only the beginning for us. Since so many were wondering where we stood in our adoption journey in this New Year, I felt the need to share this new chapter. We will commence our training courses for dual certification (foster and adopt) in two weeks. The entire process will take approximately 90 days through the State of Louisiana. It is a little scary walking into the unknown wilderness of foster care but we believe the Lord will give us the strength, just as He has all along.
Throughout the past 5 years of infertility, the one thing we have learned is to listen to our hearts and the whisper of the Lord. Our own will gets in the way sometimes but ultimately, as we continue to seek God in our every day, He points the way for us and gives us the peace our hearts desire.
Over the past couple months, the Lord has spoken to us on different occasions and really impressed on our hearts the difference we could possibly make in a child’s life, no matter how long or short term. We could influence a child’s life in 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 years. When we looked at the staggering number of kids in the United States foster care system (approximately 428,000) that only want to belong, to be loved, to be given a chance and to flourish in a safe environment, it was a pretty easy decision for us. But that decision doesn’t come with lots of questions.
Could fostering children not be a good fit for us? Possibly.
Will we be approved and certified? Gosh, I hope so.
Could we encounter extremely difficult situations? Yes.
Will we become attached? Very likely.
Will our hearts hurt when or if children leave our care? Absolutely.
Will everyone understand the path we have chosen? No.
Will it be worth it? We hope so.
We won’t know unless we try. And we will love because the Lord first loved us.
I can’t say that I’m not nervous and somewhat scared to begin training this month because I am very much both of those things. With everything, sometimes a little bit of fear is behind every BIG step of faith. There’s a reason the Lord brought us to this point. I don’t doubt that for a second.
We only need to trust Him and not our fears. Trusting in the Lord’s plans will bring His glory on earth. This much I know.
In addition to foster/adoption certification, we have visited with additional adoption attorneys, making sure they have our home study and profile book on file for possible matches in the future. We have also applied for a couple adoption grants but won’t know the chosen recipients for another couple of months. We aren’t closing the door on private adoption but the cost of an adoption agency or consultant isn’t feasible for us at this time.
Even though our adoption path has changed somewhat, a farm day is still on our radar. There are many farm projects scheduled in the coming months and some dryer weather is a must for hosting anything at our bayou farm. There has been lots of interest in the farm day and we still feel it would be a great way to share our farm with those in our community. Don’t worry, I will certainly be sharing once we choose the best date.
The Bayou Boutique (aka Bayou Gypsy Boutique) that started as a means to raise adoption funds is still going strong. I’ve created a Facebook page, Instagram account and am working hard to finish inventory for my Etsy shop, The Bayou Gypsy. Because I’m staying so busy with custom orders, my Etsy inventory has taken a back seat lately. Hopefully my Etsy shop will become a reality soon so that I can stop sounding like a broken record. In the meantime, I’m enjoying designing and creating. It keeps my gypsy spirit happy.
Thank you to all of our friends, family, coworkers and incredible church community that have supported us along this journey so far, whether through donations or emotional support. We couldn’t do it without you. Literally. There have been many times we have felt lost in a sea of emotions and wanted to quit pushing through life. But it is our community of Christians around us that keeps us grounded and connected with Christ. Thank you for being that and so much more.