Thank you for all of the support. We have been blown away by all of the kind words and encouragement everyone has given us. It's strange to be planning for a child/maybe children to enter our home without Laura being pregnant or even knowing anything about the children. So thank you all. It has helped me feel more like I'm (hopefully) about to be a dad.
I've always thought it would be fun to have a blog with my wife. It's something we both enjoy, but we've never had something we wanted to work on together. But now that it's here, it's intimidating. I mean, did you guys read that last post of hers? She's good at writing. How do I follow that?
So I started thinking about what my first post should be. She made the big announcement, so I thought it might be good to answer some of the most common questions we've been asked since starting this foster care process.
Are you adopting because you can’t have biological children?
Okay, no one has really come out and asked this in so many words, but we do get the sense it’s a common knee-jerk reaction. Getting the awkward one out of the way first — the answer is no. (Or, more accurately, we don’t know if we can or not because we haven’t tried yet.) We feel called to do this, and feel like one of the things we can offer a child (or children) in need is we don’t have biological children. We can focus all of our attention on meeting their needs without concern for what impact it will have on our other kids. We still hope to have a biological child in the future, but who knows what God has in store for us.
Is this a recent development? How long have you been thinking about this?
As long as we've been married, we've wanted to adopt. We just always thought it would be after we had biological children. Then about a year and a half ago, we started feeling called to adopt first. We have a lot of resources at our disposal right now that would allow us to really give to a child with the needs adopted children are likely to have.
At the time, we didn't know exactly what path we wanted to take. International, domestic infant, foster care. There is a lot to think about. After meeting with pastors, other couples who have adopted, and many hours of conversation and prayer, last fall we decided we were being pulled toward foster care.
What does the process entail?
Great question. It's intimidating to even try to answer because I feel like we're constantly learning more about it. I could say something here and then learn on Monday that I was completely wrong. But here it is as I understand it:
We are currently 4 weeks into a 7 week class the state requires of all foster parents. These classes are meeting every Monday for 3 hours, plus we have homework each week. It's a lot. We also have a binder full of paperwork we get to fill out.
At the end of that 7 weeks, we will begin a series of 4 home study interviews. Two of those are with us as a couple, and then one with each of us individually. As far as we know, that should be it.
We're hoping to be done with all of that by this summer, and receive our first placement then. That could be incredibly optimistic, but that's what we've come to understand.
Do you have a preference on what kind of child you get?
This always feels strange to answer as well because it feels like we're selecting a dog breed. But we are having to be honest with who we think would be the best fit in our family.
Right now, the one thing we are sure of is that we want to stay with age 5 and under if at all possible. Playing to our strengths, here. We would prefer a girl, but it’s not a deal breaker. We are also willing to take a sibling group of 2 children. Going from no kids to 3 or more would be too much for us, plus we would be super cramped in our current space.
Beyond that, we have no idea who will be joining our family.
How do you prepare to receive ANY child?
Another great question. This has been incredibly difficult. We have to show that we have space and the essentials for whoever we receive. So we have gotten at least one set of clothing for both genders in just about every size between infant and age 5. Laura was even able to get a suitcase full of toddler girls’ clothes for free from a nice family (that wasn’t even the half of of what was offered from them!) — positive thinking? :) We also have a pack and play we were also generously given, and will soon purchase some bunk beds. We figure even if we don’t get a sibling group right now we can use the two beds in some capacity in the future.
Once we actually receive a placement, we can purchase more clothes and toys for the specific child. We just have to get by long enough to actually go shopping.
So that's it. You know almost as much as we do at this point. I'm sure there are some common questions I'm missing. I'll post more if I think of them. Also, if you have any questions for us, feel free to leave them in the comments. Thanks again for your support. We can't do this alone, and are grateful for all of you.