We are sort of in an “in-between” phase with foster care/adoption. Our next class is not for several weeks and right now we are supposed to be getting a bunch of paper work done. We both need to get physicals and have background checks done on us. We also need to fill out paperwork for every person who we think may provide childcare for our kids. When they handed out the form for this task at our last meeting, I realized how incredibly blessed we are. Our trainer asked me how many forms we needed. As I tried to do the math in my head, I just asked her, “Is it okay if I just make copies as I need them?” So many of you have already volunteered to help us when kids arrive and I know that not everyone has this level of support.
As we talk about foster care and adoption more and more, we find that people have some questions about our reasons for taking this route to grow our family. I am hoping to answer some of these questions in a series of posts. Here is the first question we have been asked:
Are you not able to have children?
And the answer is: we do not have any reason to believe we are unable to have children. I think one day we will probably have a biological child but after a lot of research and talking it out, we both decided we would like to adopt prior to having a biological child.
There are a few reason for this. Let me first say, this is just the conclusion that we came to for our family. This is not necessarily how we think other people should structure their families.
The first reason is birth order. Because we are open to fostering/adopting a sibling group (and actually hoping for a sibling group – two boys please!) we know that if that should happen they will come with an already established birth order. When birth order is disrupted, it can make things challenging. The only way I can explain this well is with an example:
Let’s say, we are given a placement of a sibling set: Johnny (age 4) and Adam (age 2). Johnny has been the first born in his family and he is used to the role. Then we have a biological child, Mary. Mary is always used to be the youngest. Adam is the only one who has to adjust from the role of the baby to middle child (which is just the way things work in life – sorry, to all you middle children out there). If we had a biological kid first, we would feel like we would need to wait until he/she was five or six to start fostering (since the age range we are interested is infant to four years old).
I hope that makes sense. Foster kids already have to make so many adjustments; this is just a way to make their adjustment into a new family easier. For more information, check out Episode 9 of FPP.
Another reason we want to adopt first is to let our adopted kids know that they are exactly what we wanted. They are not an afterthought, they are not Plan B. This does not mean if someone has biological kids first and then adopts that they cannot send this same message but it is just another reason we came to the conclusion to adopt first. My prayer through this whole entire process is that more people will learn about foster care and adoption. I think our culture often sees adoption as something you do if you cannot have biological children. My prayer is that more people will consider adoption regardless of this factor.
Lastly, we know God is telling us to pursue this now. We are ready to become parents. Speaking for myself here, I am very ready to be a mom but have no desire to be pregnant right now. It also is not very important to me to have an infant. God has given us hearts for foster care/adoption and He is directing us to that path in many ways. I assume at some point in the future I’ll be ready to experience pregnancy but right now my heart is so drawn to our children who will come to us through foster care. I often think about how they may already be born and how they may be facing very tough situations right now. And I pray for their protection and I pray that God will bring them to us soon.
Again, this is the just the conclusion we came to for our family. If your situation is different and you still want to provide a loving and caring home for foster kids then you are awesome in my book!
We welcome your questions and comments so feel free to leave them in the comment section or send us an email at prvbs308 at gmail dot com. I mean this with all sincerity: we know there are people who care about us deeply and may not totally understand us pursuing what will likely be challenging, difficult and heartbreaking. We are totally willing to answer your questions or talk about your concerns.