Over the past few years we've peeked at a local agency's website that contains photos and profiles of kids in Nebraska who have been in the foster system but are now available for adoption. Typically these kids are older (the average age seems to be about 11) and many of the kids on the website come with siblings that must all be placed with the same family. Last week we made contact with a woman through this agency to see what we needed to do if we were interested in adopting one or more of these kids. She responded promptly and gave us all the steps we needed to take...the first step is to become licensed foster parents. After some praying and researching, we've decided that we will take this first step. Even if we don't adopt one of the kids from the above agency, there are lots of kids in Nebraska who need stable, loving temporary homes. That's something we can provide, so why wouldn't we?
Nate and I have been thinking and praying about this a lot this week. We've wondered if we should stay in the adoption pool and just become foster parents while we wait; we've wondered if we should take ourselves out of the adoption pool for now and pursue adopting one or more of the kids who are ready for adoption...it's a lot to think about, really. When most couples get married, they assume they'll have a few babies to raise. Most couples don't imagine themselves facing infertility and adopting an older child. It's definitely not the direction we thought our lives would take, but the more we face reality, the more we realize that we simply want to be parents. When I think about not adopting a baby, it doesn't make me sad like it once did. Our path to parenthood might be non-traditional: It could mean fostering kids; it could mean adopting an 11 year old or adopting a set of three siblings. I'm sure people might think we're crazy for taking on any of those options, but if crazy means providing a loving, safe home for kids, then I'm all for being crazy.
If you're the praying type, here are a few requests:
- We're trying to decide if we should stay with our agency or switch to a different agency here in Omaha that works more closely with the agency that places those older children with "forever families." It's a big decision, so we'll need to be wise and patient as we make it. We will be attending an informational meeting in two weeks for this other agency to see what the process is for fostering and how it compares to our current agency.
- Pray that God would continue to prepare us (our marriage, our home, and our families) for whatever God has in store for our family.
- We need to close on our house in Ogallala, and if we want to foster or adopt, we'll need to find a home here in Omaha that we can move into by June or July. Like most young couples, we're on a limited budget, but we would like to find a home that doesn't require a lot of work and has four or more bedrooms so we can either adopt a set of siblings or offer foster care to siblings.
- Something has to change a bit with my current schedule before we invite kids into our home...not sure how that might look, and I know I need to remain working full time. I want to be able to give whatever kids we have in our home the attention they deserve.
Many of you have offered us support through prayers and kind words; please know that we could not have traveled this tough road and come out stronger on the other side without this support. Thank you!