#1- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU and I cannot thank everyone enough for the sweet words of encouragement on my birthday and since then! I've truly felt spoiled this whole entire week, and with Christmas coming I think I'm starting to get a little too used to it!
#2- For those of you who have heard, (and for those who haven't), I wanted to explain some exciting news a little bit further!
In my last post I wrote about some of the struggles Brent and I have faced over the past years and specifically during this year. It has been so, so hard to seek out that "silver lining," or really figure out what the Lord is doing in all of it. I've felt angry, hurt, self-hatred, self-pity, fear, and disbelief, all at different times. I've also (and I mean this in the most genuine way) felt loved, supported, and cared for with an intensity that I cannot explain. God has been so good, through the people in our life.
When I lost our first baby, over two years ago, I cried out to the Lord. A lot. "Why me? Why us? Why this?" But there was one specific thing that I felt come up in my heart again and again, almost a battle between me and God, and definitely a battle in my heart. We are not "called" to adoption. That's just not us, not our life. It's true, and I hate even admitting it, but I was not the girl who dreamed of adopting lots of children. I was the girl who dreamed of getting pregnant and producing a lot of mini me+brents. The funny thing is, at that point, when I first felt that I can't do the adoption thing feeling, I had no reason to think that we would have difficulty. At that point it was just a "normal" miscarriage, and I was just like all the other women who have them.
Over the course of these years, the Lord has continued to work in our hearts. We've played around in our minds with lots of options for our family, we've dreamed in different directions, and done lots of tangible medical testing. Through all of this, little by little, my "adoption is not our thing" stance began shifting. I realized the box I had immediately squeezed us into was really out of a whole lot of fears.
After my diagnosis in the Spring we began talking more seriously about our life given some of the things we'd discovered. We began to talk about adoption, and my comfort level grew. I began meeting with people for coffee, making connections, reading, talking with Brent, journaling and praying a lot. Beyond adoption, something was really drawing both of us to the idea of foster care. That yes, we would love to adopt, but even more than that our hearts are to love children, to create a safe environment within our home, to love people. It was at the beach with my family this summer that we officially decided we would "go for it." Really what that meant for us was me meeting with a couple people I knew specifically about the foster care process. I freaked out, jumped right in (as I do with most things in life) and scheduled a meeting with a friend who knew the system. Each step in this process has been a step of faith for us. Ok, so I felt great after having coffee with this friend, now what? We'll fill out the initial application and see what happens. Ok, we feel good so we'll schedule the interview. The interview went better than expected, so on to training.
And that is where we're at. Brent and I just completed our training, and are currently having paperwork dates to complete all the things we need before our home study. I am slowly designing a nursery (!!!) and in early 2017 we will be welcoming a baby into our home. A baby who is not our own, but a baby whose care we've been entrusted with. It gives me chills, and brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it.
So why foster care? We really feel like the more we've learned, the more we've prayed, and the more people we've talked to who have gone through it- this is where our hearts are. I couldn't believe the way I felt during our training even listening to all the relational dynamics with birth parents. It's all a little scary, and messy, and unknown, but at the same time we feel like it's what we get to do in this season, and we are so excited!
That is the best part. We are so so excited. I cannot help but think that if we weren't on the journey we have been on, we never would have reached this place. A place where my heart has grown by leaps and bounds in only a way the Lord can do. We are feeling amazed, and really thankful for this silver lining.