I have known for quite a while that I probably will not be able to have biological children. While I know this reality is heart breaking for some, I grew up dreaming of being the president of the United States. Like other girls my age, I thought about getting married and having children, but I was more consumed by the other daydreams of where I’d live, what I would do for a living and how I was going to make it all happen.
So, when I grew up and got married, reality set in that my husband and I might not be able to go the traditional route. I honestly handled the news well. I was not really sure I even wanted kids. I mean, they take up a lot of time. And energy. And resources. I’ve watched my friends make the transition to parenthood and I wasn’t sure I was up for the sacrifice it clearly requires.
But, if you know my husband, you know that he is amazing with children and that my contentedness with the status quo should not automatically dismiss his giftedness and desire to be a father. So, we talked and prayed through what it might look like for us to have children. Everyone who faces infertility is surrounded by lots of people with lots of opinions of how to move forward; medical treatments, international adoption, domestic adoption, foster care. Our family and friends who love us felt torn as we made our decision. I think we often want people we love to choose the path of least pain and least resistance, even if God wants to give us something more, something higher, something better than we would choose for ourselves.
So, in December of 2013 when Andrew and I began telling family and friends that we were going to start the process of becoming foster parents, we were met with a myriad of reactions. Some smiled and jumped up to celebrate with us, others sat dumbfounded, while still others seemed uncomfortable or upset. Through it all, we felt unified and convinced that God was asking us to put one foot in front of the next and to move forward. I do not want to dismiss how people reacted; we understood that some of our closest loved ones had to mourn the picture they had in their minds of what our family would look like and how it might grow.
Fast forward to present day, I can confidently say that I am so grateful that God has given Andrew and I the opportunity to be foster parents. The little one who was placed with us last summer is the sweetest, cutest, most precious bundle I could never have imagined- because only God could see what my limited mind and small daydreams could not. Throughout our journey, God has reminded me and made me acutely aware of the reality that all children- whether foster, adopted or biologically given- are His. He knew them before we did, He knit them together, He gives them breath and life. We have the honor and privilege of being stewards over the wonderful little lives that He sets in motion. We do not own them; they are His.
We are frequently asked what will happen with our foster son, whether or not we will adopt him and how we will handle the transition if our son leaves our home. Of course we will be heartbroken if he leaves; I mean we love him like crazy! I have to remind myself that when we started out, we did it intending to provide children with a loving home that they need and that foster parenting isn’t about us. Really, parenting in general isn’t about us. When I look at my own life, the people who have loved me best have done so in spite of the heartache I bring to the table. And when I think about the lengths that the Lord has gone to in demonstrating His love toward us, it becomes more and more clear that the heartache is worth it. I find great hope in the truth that the Lord is with me, whatever may come.