There is a saying that goes… make a plan and God laughs! How true those words have been for us! From the beginning we wanted to start a family immediately… that was our plan. Being a little older than most newlyweds and having established careers, it seemed logical and right for us.
Having been married a little over a year, we have had what you would call a whirlwind of events during our first year of marriage! It went a little something like this… marriage, job promotion for the husband, difficulty getting pregnant, job change for the wife, routine check-up, unusual finding, thyroid cancer diagnosis for the wife, and treatment! By the time we reached our first year anniversary, which was eventful in itself, we knew that God was certainly in control and his plan was greater than ours!
About six years ago, while still single, I (Bridgette) sat in the pew at my church and listened to a woman give her testimony about her adoption journey. I knew in that moment, that God had called me to adoption. While I was eager to answer the call, I was apprehensive because I was single at the time. Seeking out an agency and exploring my options, I was still ready to move forward. Then, in the blink of an eye, my family’s lives would be forever changed. My beautiful niece and god-daughter had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at seven months old. It was then that I had quietly decided to not mention it any further and simply support my family in this journey. As my niece finished her journey, I had begun to think about starting the process again… once again, God had another plan. This time we would walk a journey of cancer with my mother. Nearly six months out of treatment and here we were, hearing those words again. Needless to say, that calling was put on hold!
In September of 2010, I would meet my husband for the first time. From the beginning we both knew that we would be married and again, life had changed… We were married on a perfect, sunny, 80 degree day on St. Patrick’s Day in 2012. We knew we wanted a family and being older we knew that if we wanted children we would need to try to start a family right away! When that didn’t happen in the first six months of marriage we decided to see a fertility specialist. Routine check-ups led to a cancer diagnosis. Once again, that word entered our world, and this time, it was said to me. I was never more thankful that it was contained, and extremely treatable. Being given a clean bill of health and having everything go according to the protocol, we were blessed and we knew it! We were instructed to wait until July of 2013 before starting a family! In the meantime, God had other plans…
In February of 2013, Jason and I found ourselves looking for ways to give back, pay it forward, to get involved in our church and to be a positive change in our community. In one text and follow-up phone call, our lives had changed. We had expressed interest in becoming involved in the Empty Chair Orphan’s Ministry at our church. It was then that I was asked to step up as the educational coordinator for the group. Without hesitation, I wanted to say yes, but I knew I needed to talk to my husband about it. Needless to say, his response was YES!!!
Within two months’ time, while preparing educational materials and researching we had made the decision to become foster parents! For us, we simply could not ignore the statistics. We decided that even if only for a moment we could pour into their lives, love them, keep them safe and give them a nurturing place to grow, we would be that change or that chance in their lives.
So here we are today, our home is being re-organized to prepare for a child! We are excited to start our orientation class this week and our training classes this weekend. In the meantime, our home is full of a lot of hustle and bustle of getting a room ready for a child we don’t know… WE ARE EXPECTING!!! We are not sure how old, what gender, what needs, or anything else we should be expecting, but we are thrilled. We have new carpet on the way, new boy bedding (we already have girl bedding), toy box, dresser, and neutral decorative items have been purchased. Our goal was to prepare a room that would be inviting, nurturing, empowering and safe for a child.
I think we are ready; we are open to God’s plan and realize that HE is in complete control. Our fears, concerns and anything else we “worry” about are in his hands! We know one thing for sure… we want to carry out God’s mandate in James 1:27 ~ “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”