Many people ask me if we plan to have biological kids. We are in no way opposed to it and are always praying that God guides us as he grows our family. For now, orphans in Austin and the need for foster homes continue to weigh heavy on us. God has only strengthened our desire to foster. As of last week, Lane and I are again accepting foster placements. We know that in many ways our story with Anna Lee was much “easier” than many fostering stories. We also understand that it is a unique journey with every kid that enters our home. We cannot wait to see what God does over the months to come.
Similar to most large commitments/changes, the thought of fostering again brings a mixture of excitement, fear, and trust. Excitement comes when I think about our family growing and when I think about what our next foster kid will be like. In order for Anna Lee to stay the oldest child in our family, we will only be accepting infants. I have fears around having an infant. I honestly don’t know what to do with a kid that needs bottles! I also wonder how hard it will be for Lane and I to keep fighting for time together as our family grows more and more. Many of the same fears that I had before we met Anna Lee are back. Will I be able to love them like a son/daughter and not put any walls up? Will I be able to feel the love and grace I need to toward their biological parents? Will I be able to let them go if necessary and lead Lane and Anna Lee through that loss? But there is a trust that is greater than all these fears. I trust that God will take care of Lane, Anna Lee, me and whatever child comes into our home. I trust that He will lead each one of us and make us better through this process – no matter how hard it is on certain days. I trust that for every hard decision and every hard day there will be more joyful ones as I watch God move powerfully through my family. It’s this trust that helps me focus on the excitement of it all.
So, why we are choosing to foster again? First, adopting Anna Lee and the process of fostering has taught me more of God’s love, grace, and guidance than anything in my life. It has been a very real and physical example of what it meant for God to adopt us as sons and daughters (“Adopted“). Second, there is a need. Several months ago our agency emailed us about a great need for people willing to foster babies right now. There are many people willing to adopt, but there is a need for homes that are willing to straight foster babies. Third, we want our family to forever be connected to foster care and adoption. Though we may not always be available for placements, the need for people to foster and adopt is too great for this to just be a short season in our life. It’s a need that Lane and I are very passionate about, and I don’t see those feelings fading anytime soon.
I hope and pray that I again am ready to be a father to whatever baby comes into our home, for however long they’re with us. I also hope that our community loves the next baby that joins our family as much as they love Anna Lee. That topic deserves an entire blog, but our community has come around Anna Lee and treated her as family more than I could have ever imagined. Our extended families, our church family, our friends, our coworkers, and our youth group students have loved Anna Lee from day one. It has been the best picture of the Church that I have ever experienced. I pray that every kid that enters our home can experience this very real outpouring of God’s love.
As I brace myself, I am so excited to see what is ahead. Please pray with us has God prepares us physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the days and weeks ahead.