our story: foster to adopt, part 2

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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. (You can find part one here.)

We enjoyed our new little family, as we went from three to four, adding a boy to the mix. Jude was born December 2013 and we adjusted and enjoyed the craziness of caring for two littles. 

We attended a friend's wedding in October 2014 in Reno. While we were in the area, we visited with friends we had been blessed to walk with through their journey of fostering to adopt. Our friend is a pastor and we stayed for service. It was Orphan Sunday. Tears ran down my cheeks as I listened. My heart continuing to break for the children. For the child God had for us. I have never cried so much in a service. Or knew without a doubt that we had to start the certification process again. There was a child waiting for us.

We contacted our agency and got started filling out packets of paperwork and all the fun things you do to get ready. We were thankful that some of our past interviews were kept, which sped up the process and we knew what to expect this time.

We had planned to go through months, if not years, of court dates and visits and prayers for families and reunifications and everything else that a typical foster to adopt process takes in order to end up in adoption. Everything we had heard and seen others walk through its doors. 

We had prepared ourselves as best as we could, while we installed new locks on the cabinets and spent hours in more trainings (I have to add, these trainings were AMAZING and every parent should take them; not to mention yummy food is provided) and rearranged our home to accommodate another little person and completed the check list of county regulations. We were wet behind the ears with our official, newly certified home.

A whole two days passed between being certified to receiving our first call for a baby. We were out of state. The logistics did not work. Another week. We received a call for an emergency placement. We said yes to the sweetest seven month old baby boy for eight nights.

It was during those eight nights that I found myself asking what we were doing. What we were doing opening our home and interrupting our schedules to cater to strangers. What we were doing bringing social workers in to our home on a regular basis and welcoming the uncontrollable. And what if what we were doing was going to wreck our children and their childhood. It was a wake up to the reality of what God had for our family.

We were not meant to live cookie cutter lives or be so set on our own pursuits that we miss out on those around us. Being in community, having friendships and loving others allows for interruptions to be turned in to opportunities.

For us, this was our opportunity to be interrupted with phone calls for children and for self centered prayers to be turned to those in the system, those who needed Jesus. This was our entry in to deeper gospel living and receiving more than we had to give to those God placed in our care.

Receiving the blessing to care for those who cannot care for themselves and be reminded of how rich God has made us, not in material form, but in Spirit. In his love and compassion and this was our opportunity to overflow, despite the exposure of opening up our home and our hearts. 

We were ready, as we could be, for the next call. 
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