This is our updated Foster/Adopt page and our foster story. I thought some of you might enjoying reading it.
Most people probably don’t realize how many children are in need of a forever family. The numbers are staggering, in the U.S. and in the world. The U.N. approximates that there are at least 145 million orphans in the world (and this number doesn’t include abandoned or displaced children). In the U.S. alone there are approximately 500,000+ children in the foster care system with around 78,000+ of those kids in California alone.
We truly believe that if every Christian got involved with orphans and adoption in some way, there would no longer be orphans/abandoned children in this world! Our prayer is that through our story and others’ stories, we might encourage other families out there to also look into foster and/or adoption!
Christian and I had one child but knew we weren’t even close to being done. Addy was nine months old when we started our foster parent licensing and one year when we received our first placement. Aaliyah was seven, Bea was four and Aalysha was two when they first came to live with us. It was hard to go from one to four kids, but it was amazing. I can’t say we loved every minute of it, but it was worth every minute of it. We thought we would adopt them, but the Lord had different plans. Letting them go was possibly the hardest thing I have ever experienced.
Four months after our girls left, two year old Luca came to live with us. Five days after he came, I found out I was pregnant. I won’t sugar coat those months. In fact, those were some of the most challenging months I’ve lived. I had horrible morning sickness and our little man had been a drug baby. He didn’t know how to sleep in a bed, he didn’t know any words and he just wanted to sit in front of a television. He cried more than half of every day. Every day was a battle over every little thing. There were times when we wondered if all our hard work and struggling was even helping him.
As I neared the end of my pregnancy, I found myself thinking more and more about our girls. Christian and I would reminisce together and wonder where they were. It was an ordinary afternoon, walking through Joann’s (fabric store) when I heard Christian say, “Luca?!” There was our little man, with his new foster mom and as he looked at us, he smiled a brilliant smile. As we talked to his foster mom, we were amazed as she began telling us about all his progress. She talked about him sleeping through the night in his own bed, eating healthy food, playing with toys and better yet, talking. I couldn’t believe how much he had improved. I knew the Lord had brought him back into our lives to show us that every tear, every sleepless night, every frustration had been worth it. Yet it made me wonder about the girls even more.
Mercy was born two weeks late, in June. As we were sitting in the living room, enjoying our new baby, Christian muttered under his breath, “wait, what is this?!” He had received an email through his facebook from Aaliyah. We were all in tears about the idea if reconnecting with our girls. Sure enough, we were able to begin corresponding with their mom, Marilyn, and she asked us if we would be willing to visit with the girls. Willing? Ecstatic was more like it.
So far, we have spent one long and amazing afternoon/evening with our girls. They are all bigger, talk more and are doing so well. As I chatted with Marilyn, I knew without a doubt that we had done what the Lord had called us to do. We had been the girls temporary parents while Marilyn figured out that her lifestyle meant she was not loving her children the way she was supposed to be. Aaliyah talked fondly about church and coming to know Jesus. Bea was living in reality and smiling and laughing. Aalysha was chatty and funny. I realized then that even though Christian and I felt like we had experienced a lot of pain through it all, we had actually helped them experience less pain. We had provided stability when everything around them was chaotic and we had shown them unconditional love when they felt the most unloved.
I’ve always wondered why the Lord called us to foster while we lived in Southern California if it wasn’t to adopt. I think I can finally say I know the answer.
It was to love an unloved child.
Are you willing to love an unloved child?