3,000 kids. That's the number of Nebraska youth who are currently in foster care. 1,500 are from the Omaha Metro area. In the basement of the agency we visited tonight was a shelter for youth who had no foster home to go to. There are currently 12 kids there (which is this shelter's capacity) and one of these kids is only nine years-old....only one year older than our oldest niece. It was heartbreaking to hear these statistics.
We learned that a 10 week training program is beginning in early April (as opposed to a 13 week training program not starting until early May with our current agency), and after that it takes about 45 days to get our licensing finished. So, we could be done with the process by about the time school is starting. We asked a lot of questions tonight and found out some valuable information. When the meeting concluded, Nate looked at me and said, "I think we should sign up for the class in April." Nate's a pretty intuitive guy; he doesn't often make hasty suggestions. It's part of what I love and respect about him. Before we left, we signed up knowing that we still have a few weeks to pray and talk about the matter. Though, I just don't know there's much to pray or talk about. We want to be parents and 1,500 kids in the Omaha area need homes. God has adopted us into his family when we haven't done anything to deserve it; why shouldn't we offer this same gift to others? I'm sure it will be a challenging road to travel, but I am excited by the possibilities. I'm looking forward to learning more about caring for kids who've been through trauma (this knowledge will help us both in the classroom, too) and about ourselves.
In the meantime, we need to talk with our agency about the switch (luckily, this new agency will accept all of our current background checks!), and we'll keep praying for wisdom and that God would prepare us for whatever He has in store for us in the coming months.