It might sound crazy, but I knew I was going to adopt children someday as far back as a teenage girl. When my mom would make comments about becoming a grandma in the future, my response, without fail, would always involve the fact that I was going to adopt someday. What teenager responds like that? I did. God was preparing my heart for adoption even while I was still a child myself.
Fast forward eighteen years later to 2008, two years into being married, and being faced with the harsh reality that my husband and I would not be able to have biological children. After coming out on the other side of grief and still having a strong desire to raise children, we decided to pursue adoption through foster care. We became certified foster parents in 2013. Since then, we have been blessed to share our home with eight children. Some stayed for a few months before being reunified with their biological family, some stayed intermittently for respite care or while permanent placement was being decided, some only graced us with their presence for an emergency overnight placement, but two of them have become our “forever sons”.
God has a funny way of allowing life to unfold sometimes. We got a second chance to bring our “forever sons” into our home. The first time the Department of Social Services (DSS) asked us to foster our “forever sons”, we said, “no” and they were placed with another foster family. Our response had nothing to do with the children. It had everything to do with us needing to recover from a low emotional state. Within a short period of time, we had been asked to foster several children/sibling groups, but the requests all fell through at the last minute for one reason or another. The emotional highs and lows of those circumstances led to us saying no to our “forever sons” simply because we needed a mental and emotional break from the disappointments.
One year later, we received another phone call for the same two boys. Their foster plan was shifting from reunification with their biological family to adoption. Their foster family at that time was not prepared to adopt both boys. To avoid separating the children, DSS reached out to us. This time we said “yes”. The road has been challenging, rewarding, frustrating, sad, exciting…all rolled into one. After many court hearings, visitations, meetings, ups, and downs, we adopted our sons and became a forever family on August 18, 2015. The challenges of raising children who have come from less than ideal backgrounds are great. I would trade these challenges if I could in a heartbeat, let’s be real! However, the challenges come with my sons who I love dearly and will hold a special place in my heart always. I love them and I love watching them grow into young men with opportunities before them that they may not have had if God didn’t give us a second chance to say “yes”.