Eight years ago, when John and I were engaged, we talked about growing our family. Foster care and adoption were often on the table. John’s parents were both Pharmacists, and his Mom, who worked in the NICU, often brought home stories of babies whose parents would leave them at the hospital. This motivated him to want to do something. He’s a man who cares about justice for the orphan, and adoption and foster care were natural responses to these desires. Personally, my desire to adopt came from my own upbringing, as well as my conversion as an adopted child of Christ.
4 For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him in love. He did this by predestining us to adoption as his legal heirs through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will—
After my parents divorced, there were a lot of women – my Mom’s friends – who took care of me like I was their own. In addition, my Dad’s friends who were going through a rough time were often invited to live with us for a period of time. Not only did he invite people to live with us, but my Dad often played the role of Dad for my best friend who lost her Dad when she was sixteen years old, and who lived right up the street from us at the time. The way my Dad stepped into her life is how her Mom stepped into mine. I even put my friends’ Mom as “Mom II” into my phone. She played a vital role in helping me pick out a college, and supported me in writing applications.
Overall, having all of these people in and out of my life served as an example of the type of Mom I wanted to be one day: One who opens her doors to kids going through a difficult time. In three words, you could say this is the Foster Care System. When John and I opened our doors to a handful of kids, it was so incredibly difficult to watch these same kids who we cared for leave our home, often with an uncertainty of where they would go, or about their future in general. In general, this is due to confidentiality within the Foster Care System, but I was often left feeling unsettled. Not too longing fostering, John and I wanted to adopt in order to give kids a forever home without constantly wondering where they would go to next and how long they would stay. As I write this, John and I are in the waiting period of adopting a baby. Although the wait can be hard, the joy of romping children is always worth it.
When I met Diane, she told me she became the adoptive mother of four children. She knew they needed a home, and rallied for each one to become a part of her heart and her home. I had the privilege to live with Diane for over two years and be inspired by her fire for advocating for children who were vulnerable. Generally, social workers also act as advocates. I’ve seen this throughout our journey as foster care parents, and John and I are currently working with social workers as they find expectant Mothers who are looking at adoption. Not only is Diane a friend, but also a teacher at heart. I will always remember those two sweet years of fellowship and the importance of being an advocate.