our story: foster to adopt, part 1

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We are excited to announce our adoption of Ryland James, as of February 19th, he is officially a member of the family. In honor of our celebration, I will be sharing our journey in to fostering and adopting in a few short posts. Fostering is near to our hearts and our prayer is that God would open yours, too, to see what he has in store for your family and maybe our journey would be some encouragement to get you started.

My husband and I had talked about the possibility of adopting for a while and while reading through the book of James, God spoke to us about what pure religion was to him - caring for orphans (James 1:27) and that was what he called us to do. 

When our daughter was about a year old, we started talking more seriously. One night, I Googled adoption. Distant children from around the globe covered the screen. As I starred at the faces and prayed and cried, God whispered about the children here in our community. I opened a new browser and the name of a foster agency I heard once came up in the searches. This was it.

Going to the park in the mornings was a routine for my daughter and me. 

The next morning we found ourselves there with another little girl and her grandma. As conversation progressed, her twenty plus years of being a foster mom surfaced, along with adopting and her children's adjustment and all things related. As she spoke, I could not help but laugh as God showed me glimpses in to his plan and confirmation of becoming a foster parent.

We signed up for an orientation with the agency and continued on to the trainings and background checks and moving to a bigger home to make room for more family members in the process. In April of 2013, one interview away from finishing our home study and officially being certified, we found out we were expecting.

When our social worker came to finish the final interview, we told him the news. His blank face starred back at us, asking if we were doing anything to prevent it or if miscarriages were possible and went on to say we could not do the interview. Instead, we had to send a letter to the agency to put our file on hold, if we planned on being certified when the baby was six months.

We had just finished a few weeks of praying and fasting and seeking God for direction for the coming years, when we found out about the pregnancy. We knew it was God's plan but it was also disheartening. All of the time and hoops we had jumped through seemed a little pointless, as we would have to do it all over again, if or when we decided to.

The following month, I sat reading a magazine that happened to have an article about adoption. About someone's adoption story. They, too, had issues and the process took a lot longer than planned but on the very day they signed their last paper, their baby was born. As I read, God whispered, your baby is not born yet. And that was the answer. I did not completely grasp what it meant but I knew he had plans and I knew we would be starting the process again, eventually.  
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