February has been a pretty significant month since we became licensed foster parents. February is the month we became officially licensed "Foster Parents." It is also where our adoption (currently still in the process) started. Last but not least, it's when we received our two newest placements. Absolutely a significant month in our household.
What began our intention to foster? It all began with my parents placement "S" that they had for well over a year. We met this beautiful blonde-haired, brown-eyed little girl. Stubborn. Difficult. Sweet. Loving. All emotions wrapped in a tiny package. The weight of the emotion she carried is far beyond anything a human being, let alone a little girl, should have to endure. While I cannot go into detail, her past was awful. This little being touched our hearts. We then learned that her case was going to change from reuniting with family to parental rights being terminated. As neil and I climbed into bed one evening he said "we need to adopt her."
This came after struggling with infertility after a vasectomy reversal and a fertility specialist. It hadn't been a week before that I surrendered to God and gave up on my hopes of having another child. I assumed that losing Logan's twin went on to mean I was only meant to have my 3 living children. I was heartbroken, but so tired of the endless ups and downs of trying only to be let down again momnth after month. I had no more energy to devote to trying. I was mentally and physically exhausted.
So "we need to adopt her" came and I wasn't sure how I felt. I thought it was a crazy idea... but then I awoke the next morning to a feeling I still cannot describe. Almost like butterflies and anxiety all mixed into one. I tried to rationalize with my inner feelings. It went on for several days and I couldn't shake it. Finally I brought it up again... "Did you really mean it when you said we should adopt her?!" His reply, just as strong as before: "Yes. I think we need to find out about how we could adopt her if things continue to go as the court thinks."
So we made the decision together to find out what we needed to do in order to make this little girls life apart of ours. We became her "pre-adoptive" placement. In the state of Indiana you have to have the child 6 months or more before they let you move forward. We are still slowly but surely creeping forward. We are closer than we've ever been. Parental rights have been officially terminated. We have our adoption paperwork all turned in. Now it's a matter of the attorney submitting it all. We should have a date soon!
So...that brings us to Feb 27th when our world changed yet again. We weren't sure if we would ever use our foster license other than for the pre-adoptive placement, but something a week prior was pulling at met yet again. We spoke with our Foster Care Specialist and told her we would like added to the list of available homes. We are licensed for 6 children and we had 2 empty beds. While waiting in the doctors office with my sweet "S" I received a call asking me to take a little boy...and she mentioned he had a sister. When I asked where she was going they were going to find another place for her to go because she was school-aged. I offered to take both. My heart couldn't imagine them being seperated.
I arrived to the two cutest little kids. I was a nervous wreck - knees shaking - heart pounding. This was my first "real" placement of foster children. I picked up a tiny bag that had medicine, and they each had a small backpack. We held hands and left the building to begin the unknown. The whole time I am telling myself "be brave for these kiddos." We settled in late evening after Neil did an emergency clothing run for the basics - and PJ's! I have never in my life watched children so excited to get new clothing. It was more excitement than my kiddos on Christmas morning. They kept asking "are these really OURS?"
Fast forward to today. I am a mom of "6." Our routine is set. The trust and love has grown immensely. While it hasn't always been "fun" or "easy"... it has been worth every second of sleepless nights, tears, and exhaustion. We have all settled in. I wake up to 6 hugs and kisses every morning. I get the opportunity to teach these sweet souls. I get to help shape these kiddos that will one day be a member of our very own society. I want these children to have the same success, zest for life, and experiences as I do with my own. I want them to know that when they go to bed I will be here in the morning when they wake up. I want them to know there is nothing they can do that will make me love them less. I want them to know I am on their side. We are a team. ❤️
While I haven't experienced the part most people fear: "Saying goodbye." I do believe it will be a hard day, but I will have the hope that the small things I taught them they will be able to carry with them forever.
Cheers to February!