If you haven’t already heard, (you can probably infer from the tagline of this blog) we are going to be foster parents! As I say these words aloud or even just type them, I really feel the weight of what that will mean…we will soon be responsible for a little one, we will be parenting!

To fill anyone in who only found out about this through our Facebook announcement, Zach and I decided to begin the process of becoming foster parents just over three weeks ago (right around Christmastime). One of the questions that we have been asked the most is “What made you consider/decide to do foster care?”
I can honestly say that foster care is not something that has always been in my heart to do. Adoption, yes, but not necessarily foster care. Adoption had actually been a topic of conversation between Zach & I even before we ever got married. I knew that having kids of my own might be more difficult than it was for most people. What I didn’t know when we got married is that we’d be preparing to celebrate our third year of marriage with no prospects of being parents…with no visible hope of this dream coming true.

Zach returned home from a nine month deployment in July of last year. We were hopeful that this would be the year that we’d get pregnant, that this would be the year that we would become parents. Month after month passed by and we still weren’t pregnant. With each month, the disappointment of not being pregnant was stronger. And with each passing day, our yearning for a child seemed to grow stronger as well. We grew more and more confused…and hurt.

For the first time (probably ever) I really began to wrestle with God, “God, why would you put such a strong urge in both mine & my husband’s hearts yet hold out on us? Why is it that everyone around us seems to be able to have a child, but we can’t?” We began to not only dialogue with God, but with each other. We have a pretty great line of communication with one another about things but for the first time (together), we really dug into our feelings of disappointment and frustration.

You see, my husband is the optimistic type. He’s the type of person who sees a situation for what it is, he sees it for the facts and is good at accepting that and dealing with it. Me? Not so much! But this time, it was really hitting us both. I cried out to God , prayed like I always have, and still recieved no clear answer.
But little did we know, God began to place seeds in both of our hearts.

One day as I was getting an update from my friend (whose husband & her recently became foster parents) about how they were doing. I just began to share with her how I felt like God was beginning to lay foster care and adoption on my heart. I told her that I felt like I needed to talk to my husband about it.
But then I started to have my doubts, thoughts like, “I don’t even know if he would be interested…I don’t know if this is even a good time for us…Would we even get approved?”. So I was just going to let the idea linger. I thought to myself, “maybe I’ll take to Zach about it later but not now.”
Two days later, with no prompting at all Zach offhandedly says, “What do you think about maybe doing foster care & adoption?”
WOW. All of the sudden, there it was and it was so clear from God!
I told him how it had been on my heart too!

[Isn’t it amazing when God uses another person, especially your spouse, to speak to you in this way!?]

So…we had no choice but to move forward. The answer to the question of “why would we do foster care”, all of the sudden turned into the question of, “why would we not?”
I began doing research, making phone calls, recieving council & praying. We got our packet of information, forms, requirements and we just got started on everything that we needed to do!
Our packet is pretty lengthy, it includes personal questions about your childhood, questions about your marriage, questions about kids that you might already have, your work schedule & your medical history. I had to have a physical done, be fingerprinted, have a TB test preformed & make sure that our dogs’ rabies shots were up to date!

The next step is a 6 week foster care class, two interviews & a home study. All of that paperwork is then submitted and then we wait….we wait for the first child that will enter our home.
We might get a baby, we might get a five-year-old. They might have behavior issues, they might have lice. They might love staying with us, they might just want to be back with their birth parents. We just don’t know.
What we do know is that we’re ready. Not ready in the sense that we have it all figured out, because we absolutely do not, but ready in our hearts. Our hearts have been overflowing with expectancy, our hearts have been bursting with love to give to a child for a long time! This is our time & God has placed us here and we believe that with all of our hearts.

We can say that we’re doing this is help children that need us, but I know that we will need them just as much. Need them to teach us, to widen our awareness, to make us better parents…to grow our hearts, daily.
We couldn’t be more excited to be parents! We have no due date, no baby shower planned, and no cravings or morning sickness…but we are expecting. We are expecting children in our home who we will care for like they need us to…who we will love like they are our own.
We are going to be parents, y’all & we cannot be more excited about it!

© A. Tatum Photography
© A. Tatum Photography
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