“I will do anything but foster. Send me to China, Africa, Haiti, but please do not ask me to foster.”
Years later, here I am, Alexis, a passionate foster momma. International adoption had always been plan A for me, not foster care. When my husband, Todd, and I began dating he jumped right on board with that plan. We began looking into adopting internationally when we were 21 and 22. We were accepted into a program, but when my husband decided to return to school, we decided to put a hold on adopting.
Two years later, I went to the doctor with severe nausea and blue veins. We were shocked to learn that a new little life was growing inside of me! We had been told that there was no way we could conceive without medical intervention. We loved our miracle baby for nine and a half weeks before Harper went to heaven.
After that, we were burning to start a family. We attended adoption classes. We pursued two special needs adoptions. Both fell through. And then, Todd’s brother and sister-in-law began fostering and we began to feel called to do the very thing that we had resisted.
We completed our classes and welcomed a precious little girl into our home. She was ‘at risk’ of being adoptable and, if she was not able to be reunified with family, we were ready to adopt. Gratefully, we were able to help her transition to her wonderful auntie and we continue to have a wonderful relationship with them.
Just as I had feared, I did get attached, and I broke my heart into pieces and sent it to live out of state with a spunky toddler who had turned our world upside down. If we had chosen not to foster because of this fear, we would have missed out on seeing beauty in the broken places and reunifying our daughter with her loving family.
Unbeknownst to us, our caseworker, who knew us well, called our agency and specifically requested our family for a newborn baby boy. Not knowing anything, we said YES, intending to fight to restore his family. Before I even met G’s first momma, I felt this immediate, surreal connection to her. Though I felt the most tender love for this precious child, I felt a wave of emotion for his biological mother.
We developed a relationship with G’s family. It has been a beautiful and fulfilling relationship. Eventually, they chose for us to adopt him and be his forever parents. We are so grateful to have an open adoption for our son!
We are in this, not just to reach children, but to help restore families, to reach out in love to first families. Your emotions and attachment are not an excuse not to love and serve children in care. Don’t be afraid to live a life of passion and purpose in foster care!