Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of one day starting an orphanage. I think there are probably lots of little girls that dream that. When I was a little older I begged my parents to take in foster children but they didn't seem to have the same idea I had that a houseful of kids would be so much fun!!! Looking back, they were so right. I do remember though bringing it up a few times. Ask my mom...it's true! I even thought of getting into foster care before I was married, but it looked too overwhelming to do it alone.
So fast forward quite a few years. I met the love of my life, Brad. We talked about it when we were dating. The thing of foster care and adoption. He wasn't too sure about adoption and neither was I really. But it was something we talked about. Then after our 2nd miscarriage in November of '09 we talked about it again. Brad still wasn't feeling the same way I was. I decided to pray about it and leave it in God's hands. If this is what we were supposed to do, I prayed God would reveal that to Brad too.
A few months ago, we were watching TV and a commercial came on about foster care/adoption. It talked about how the need is so huge and there are SO many children waiting for homes. Brad and I looked at each other. I remember asking him if he still feels the same way that he did a year ago. He didn't. He told me that he's been thinking about it lately too and feels like even if we could make a difference in one child's life, it would be worth it. We talked some more about it off and on the next few weeks/months. Brad's main concern is/was that I would get so attached to these kids and it would break my heart when/if they have to go back to their parents. While I know it would be disappointing, I also know that I would move on. After a day or 2 of crying and "letting go", I would move on. That's kinda how I deal with things.
So we both decided to pray about it and ask around about different programs. Meanwhile I heard a commercial on the radio about an open house that COBY's was having. We decided we would go and at least get some information and see if this is really for us. COBY's main office is literaly 5 minutes from our house. On Tuesday night we went and both felt so called that this is where God wants us. The lady in charge of the evening said that they have 3 training sessions/year. She informed us that their winter session starts on Thursday and there's still room in the class!! With a few minutes to talk about it we both decided to go for it. This time of the year is definitely better for us. We have classes every Thursday night for 9 weeks.
Last night there was ALOT of information given and all kinds of stuff to think about. They asked why we are there. My answer was "Because the need is SO great and we have the room and the heart for these kids". Basically we have no excuse. Our arms are aching for kids to love on and help. Sure I know we very well may get a child that is "unlovable", but I am convinced that God will give us the strength and love that we need.
Last night after we crawled into bed at 10:15 we talked about this journey we are starting. I told my husband that I really am not sure what we are doing. It all looked so overwhelming. The MOUNDS of paperwork, housevisits, etc. Is it really worth it? Are we ready for sleepless nights, sick kids, doctor visits, parent visits, maybe school kids etc. I was seriously feeling ready to back out of it all. Brad told me the more we get into it and the more info we get, the more excited he gets. That's what I needed to hear. While I know that most of the work will fall on me, I still needed to know that he's with me.
It seems like everything is happening so fast. We haven't really talked about it with alot of people other than some family and friends. We know that it will be a while before we have children assigned to us so it does give us time to prepare. Time to get outlet covers put on, guns locked up, rooms ready etc!! There is all kinds of stuff we have to do! We so know though that this is what we are supposed to do...walk through this open door. If at the end of these 9 weeks, if we're not ready to take in children, we at least have our training and have that part of the process finished.
Pray for us as we start this journey. I know there are many of you in blogland who have done foster care/ adoption so any advice you can give us is great!!
***Brad just called me at lunch time to tell me of the plans he's making to build a great big tree house and swing set in the back yard!! LOL Don't know what the regulations would say about all that but it's fun to dream! : ) I love to see him so excited about this too!