We have had quite a few friends and family ask us about our adoption journey. It was a very short journey and our family needed some time to heal before we shared any details. I hope that our story can help others or if anything help people to understand that it’s okay to “fail” at something that so many make sound so simple and seamless.
It’s a rare thing lately that we get off the farm for a day in the “big city”. We had headed out for the day (March 6, 2016) for some space from catering to the every needs of our girls (aka cows). On the way home, my mom sent me a text:
do you want a two-year old girl?
I immediately sent a text back:
Who?! Call me.
She wasn’t getting back to me soon enough, so I called her. My mom is always getting herself into something. Be it a teenage mother that needs help, a drug addict trying to turn his life around or just about anything of the sorts. So I wanted to know what she was talking about or getting herself into.
She answered the phone and quickly began to explain.
She had run into an old high school friend and they began talking. Her daughter wasn’t doing so well. We grew up together, we played together and our moms were friends in high school. She as so many others in our small community had turned to drugs and simply could not turn her life around. In the midst of it, the state stepped in and took her daughter. To make matters worse, they were planning on terminating parental rights.
The grandmother, my mom’s friend was frantically looking for someone to step in and raise her.
Insert me. Insert us. Insert my husband and I. Insert the start of the most craziest thing we have ever done.
I told my mom that we would take her. The foster care system had been on my heart for over a year now. We never moved forward. We needed more information, we need to talk about it and needed to pray about it. We needed to consult my husband’s parents to get their insight/wisdom. We needed to process it.
The following week I was standing in the DSHS office talking to the social worker. It was then that I was informed that I needed to take a background check and start the process to become a licensed foster care provider. It seemed as thought this would be a fairly simple process.
I attended the foster care orientation on March 21st. It was there that learned that this was not going to be such a simple process. In fact, there was a lot that needed to be done in order to get my license. It was the end of March and I knew our busy season on the farm was coming quickly so I needed to get it all done fast. It needed to be done by June.
April 4-30, 2016 | Classes the entire month-long.
May 5, 2016 | Social Worker Visit- A visit with the social worker to introduce her to the family.
May 11, 2016 | Transition Planning Meeting- Creating a plan to move her from the foster home to our home.
May 13, 2016 | Weekend Visit to the Farm- An overnight visit to get to know us before permanent placement.
May 20, 2016 | Brought Her Home to the Farm
May 23, 2016 | Doctor Visit- A requirement to be done within the first 72 hours after receiving a child into your home.
June 15, 2016 | Adoption Planning Meeting- Starting the official adoption process.
So as you can see, it all happened fast. Very fast. Insert all sorts of emotions. Insert a whole lot of confusion. Insert a whole lot of highs and lows for our family. Insert chaos. Insert a little girl into our home that just needs to be loved and cared for. A little girl who needs a mom and dad. A little girl who just wants to be loved.
What I quickly found out that just because you have a heart to do something, it doesn’t make you the right person for the job or even more so the right person for the child. When you have a farm and three children, jumping into a broken system just might not be the right place for you or your children. That was the hardest thing to discover. We knew not long into the placement that we had gotten into something that we shouldn’t have. She deserved the very best and we were not it. So we waited patiently and prayed for the right family to be found.
At the end of July she went to live with a new family, an amazing family. There are so many details I simply am unable to share nor would I if I could. I can honestly say that those four months were the hardest four months our family has ever experienced. I felt like a complete failure. I am so very thankful for several foster/adoptive women that have shared their stories with me and have given me great comfort in knowing we did the right thing and that I did not fail the child. I did what was best for her because I truly cared about her. What a sigh of relief to have support instead of judgment in such a hard time.
We decided to not finalize my license and not continue within the foster care system. I can honestly say, that having the heart to do something doesn’t mean that you should. My heart is still tugging at me to be part of the change. I continue to pray for the child as she will always have a special place in my heart, I pray for the foster families, the parents and I pray for the children that are part of this very broken system. AND I pray for you reading this. If you have foster care on your heart, pray about it, research it, take time, don’t rush things and if you decide that it’s not the right choice for you. That is okay, there are other ways to support the families within the system.