My husband and I have differing opinions about a certain website where you can pin ideas onto a board! He jokes that it is costing him a lot of money, while I say that I am inspired almost daily on ways to improve organization, help others, recipes and other such wonderful ideas, thoughts and inspirations!
While on the website, I will often type in foster care and adoption to see what new information and inspiration I can gather. Yesterday, (Sunday) I came across an article on expecting women, and how different it is for women when they are expecting a child through adoption or foster care. There is no visible bump, morning sickness, cravings and all of the other things pregnant women experience. Instead there is an undefined waiting period from the time of approval to placement, anticipation of the possible age and race of the child. There is a huge unknown as to whether or not the process will be successful or if it fall through. There are even the thoughts of healing the hurt child, and honoring their birth family and the child’s heritage. The article mainly talked about being recognized as an expectant mother, whether it is mother’s day or other ways that moms are honored and how others can make the “adoptive/ foster mother-to-be” feel honored as well, while they are in the process of this journey. For me, it is a non-issue. I fully respect both sides and opinions and while anxious to become a momma, I am learning to enjoy this process and time before children enter our home. Am I an expectant mother… Yes I am an expecting mom, even though there are those that feel foster care is merely babysitting.
Choosing to foster children was a very deep and personal decision for my husband and me. I have said lately, that we did not “choose” foster care, God has chosen it for us. We truly believe in our hearts that we were called into this ministry or “mission field.” Otherwise I believe we would have first attempted to try for biological children or attempted to adopt a baby. While we still plan to try for a baby when we are cleared in July, we feel no less called into foster care.
I have heard on two occasions since we have begun this process that fostering is equivalent to babysitting and both times have found myself overwhelmingly bothered by the comment. I refuse to think of myself as a babysitter in this respect. Having babysat since the age of twelve, I believe there is a huge difference and while there are some similarities in the care that is given, there is more to fostering children, you are expected to treat them as you would your own. The words that immediately come to mind when I think of fostering include; advocate, nurturer, unconditional love, consoler, and healer. The list goes on and while there are rules and policies in place that we will have to abide by, I will think of myself as that child’s mother, if for only a moment.
So where does that leave me? I am an expectant mother and while I am not with child, this beautiful child is forming in my heart. I am beginning to think as if I were a parent and what exactly I would want for my child. I am beginning to think and wonder if we have what it takes and how we will meet their needs. When I look at the room we have created for this child or these children, it is what I would want for my own. In this room, in my heart, I see what my husband and I have longed for over the past year, I see the tears of frustration in infertility – although undetermined at this point, and I see the tears of joy and sense of satisfaction that comes from the preparation. I see a sense of wonderment and worry and I see a husband and wife that have been joined together for a purpose far greater than our own. We are not perfect, but we are perfectly His, and we while we sometimes consider ourselves weak and imperfect, we are strong and more than conquerors in the eyes of our beautiful savior. His grace is sufficient for us all, His mercies are new every morning and His love endures forever and ever!
Psalm 136:1 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.