Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year, Big Changes

Well I have been trying to write this post since March but I just can't seem to get the words right to encompass all God has been working on in us and in our lives.  However I kind of feel like I am out of time and it just needs to be said. So, without further adieu...

We are opening our home for foster care.

There is so much I want to say and share with you all so I think I am going to cover it in Frequently Asked Questions and if you want to know that part you can read it and if not you can skim past it.  Sound good?  Great! 

When did you all start thinking about doing this??
Last January Matt and I participated in a 21 day fast with our church (little sidetrack:  this is the 2nd time we have done this fast and both times it has completely changed the course of our lives...or got us back on the course we were supposed to be on...who knows for sure ;)  and one of the things we prayed over was whether we should have another child, adopt, or stay as we are.  We have been praying that prayer since Reid was born but really felt this was the time to actively seek the answer.  (You might notice "fostering" was not even one of the option.) Throughout the fast the only answer we received from the Lord was "not yet" fact when I asked God to give me some clarity and I opened my bible, I opened it to the story where God told Abraham to follow Him but didn't tell him where.  I said, "Oh!  So that's how it is going to be, huh?" Ha! 

So how did you all decide to foster??
Then during Spring Break Matt came home and went out and measured the patio (I had JUST thought I needed to do the same thing because I wanted to get a patio rug and thought we were SO on the same page.)  I asked why he was measuring and he announced, "I'm thinking about adding a bedroom.  The Lord has really been stirring in my heart the need to foster or adopt."  (Ok so not at all on the same page.  Ha!)  And I responded, "Great!  Let's adopt!  I don't want to foster." 

So I started searching the bible for verses on adoption and researching all of the different types of adoption and the more I searched the HEAVIER I felt.  Like a giant weight was on top of me pushing down harder and harder...until 3 days later I knew I just needed to be alone with my God.  I walked into our bathroom (because that is where I can be alone in this house) and turned on some praise music and I said, "God I don't know what is going on right now but I am just going to praise you!"

Then God--more clearly than I have ever heard Him in my life--said, "You are looking in the Bible for what YOU want, NOT what I want!"  Then the verse James 1:27 scrolled through my mind, "Take care of the orphans and widows IN THEIR TIME OF NEED."  And we had the following conversations:
Me:  You want us to foster don't you?
God:  YES!
Me:  But Lord what about my kids?  What if...
God:  Just think what you will be teaching your kids about me.
Me: Okay. 

Imagine Matt's shock when I came out a few minutes later and announced, "Hey!  So it turns out God wants us to foster after all!  Haha!  And then over the next week I saw James 1:27 no less than 1,000 times.  I am not even joking.  It was literally everywhere I turned and everywhere I much so that at one point I said, "God I got it last week!  I'm with You!"  (:  But because of that I have had so much reassurance through the whole process that this is God's plan for us.  WHEW!  That was a long answer!  Kudos for staying with me.  (: 

What age?  How many?
We have prayed over this and our plan is ages 3 and under.  However, this whole ship is being sailed by God, so we will follow wherever He tells us.  BUT it would take a very clear message from Him for us to stray from that age range.  We have space for up to two children.

Are you all planning to adopt or solely foster?
We have no expectations and will do what we feel called to do.  If God wants us to solely foster than we will try our best to show Jesus to the kids he entrusts to us and pray for them and care for them as long as they are in our care.  If we get a child that ends up needing to be adopted, we will pray over that when the time comes.  At this point, we are fully surrendered to whatever God's plan is for us...which is really easy right now because we don't have any kids in our care please pray that continues to be our heart throughout this journey. 

When do you start?
We had our final walk through today so we could be open and take kids as early as tonight.  (See why I said now is the time? :)  I don't know when we will get our first placement but we are already praying for whoever that may be and are nervously excited to see what God has planned. 

Ok if you have any other questions I will be happy to answer them.  Thanks for caring enough about our lives to read through all of those words!  You are a blessing to our family!  (: