In 2014, we experienced several changes in our home and in our hearts: Part 1 (read Part 2 here)
This past spring, we asked Children Services to put us on the bottom of their call list. We were still willing to provide foster care but we were evaluating if it was best for our family long term. We felt “M” did not understand all the comings and goings of her friends.
We needed time to process.
You see, on one hand, we always expect that the new children in our home will be here temporarily. We know that’s the goal of foster care: we provide a safe environment so that parent(s) can work through issues. Then, the children return home (or, sometimes, to a family member).
However, we also know that our little family is not “complete.” And we have room for more children in our house. Moreover, we want another child to be here permanently. And, in many ways, we are ready for consistency.
So during the spring and summer we were more purposeful in reviewing profiles of children around the U.S. waiting for “forever families.” We prayed over them and submitted our Home Study to various caseworkers. We read several Child Study Inventories and discussed if we COULD care for certain challenges and, ultimately, if we SHOULD. During that time, we saw many doors close. So, in the Waiting, we continued to look at photos of children and wonder how God would meet their needs. Moreover, we grew more comfortable adopting an older child.
In the Waiting, we also started an adoption savings account (yet we do not feel this is the time to pursue private adoption). Still, we added a few dollars here and there to the account as we waited.
In the Waiting, we continued to get phone calls from Children Services and welcomed new kids into our home. By the end of the summer, three children had left our home in four months’ time. We know their Creator cares for them, and we continue to pray for their families (and keep in touch!).
By fall, we were still in the Waiting. Our home is modest but it has room for more children. At that time M’s bedroom had one bunk bed while the spare bedroom contained a crib and changing table on one side and a desk with my dusty craft supplies on the other. That other side was starting to bother me. I felt like I was just storing tools and pretty paper that would never get used. I was not annoyed that the “stuff” was getting neglected — no, I was bothered that the space could be used more purposefully.
Once day, I told Joey that we need to clear out my supplies and prepare the room for children. In faith, we should get ready.
“Are you sure?” he said.
Yes, of course. I was embarrassed it took me so long to realize where my priorities laid. One weekend, I sorted through the piles and kept some things that I could use in my pocket scrapbooks. We moved a small desk to our (now cramped) bedroom and I started giving away the rest. I was in a different season when those supplies were purchased, and I was delighted to share them with others who can use them now.
(The following day, we accepted a baby and an unborn sibling. So the room project went on hold for several months — and we were still in the Waiting.)
Six weeks after we rearranged the rooms, our pastor said something that resonated. He gave words to what we were feeling:
“Don’t equate waiting on God with inactivity. Waiting on God means we submit to God and invite Him to lead us, work in us, and work through us.” –Pastor Brad, Esther 5 Sermon on December 7, 2014
That statement echoed what the Holy Spirit had been whispering to us. Act in faith. Trust that God is who He says he is and that He will keep His promises.
In the Bible, Hebrews chapter 11 lists accounts of people who acted in faith and were commended for it. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. … And without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:1,2,6).
Here, at the end of 2014, we are still in the Waiting.
In the Waiting, we will continue to care for kids. We anticipate what God would do with our home as we get things “in order” for whomever He will bring to us.
– – – –
Elaine and her husband, Joey, are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio.