The Original Purpose

A few days ago I posted a blog asking where all you Beautiful Blogging Buddies come from and I am so happy that some of you did.
The blog stalker from New Zealand has yet to post a comment, but I know you're out there and I'm really interested in how you found me!
But what really surprised me was how many of you are following along this Journey that brought us to our Josie because you too are interested or in the process of becoming foster parents.
It brings me back to the reason we started this blog.

It started as a way to keep our family up to date about how the process was going.
As I started to learn more about fostering, DFCS, and the amazing kids out there needing families, I wanted to keep blogging to bring awareness to the need.
Then when we got to bring Josie home way before we ever thought we'd be able to, it became a blog about mothering her and my life.

But my true passion is still caring for the kids in the foster care system.
And even if we don't have any placements right now, I still feel a desire to bring these orphans to the surface.

I am honored to have women like you reading my blog. And I apologize for not having more content regarding our journey.
But I hope that you find encouragement in that the journey is not always long. For us it was a short few months. For you it may be longer, it may be shorter. But either way, becoming a foster parent or adopting a child that needs a home is an absolutely amazing experience.
One of our old friends started the IMPACT class right after we did and they brought home their beautiful baby boy just this weekend.
Miracles happen. And every one of these kids is a miracle.

These are the kids that we have had the honor of having with us. Each one of them came with their own story, their own tragedy, their own needs. They all have the most amazing personalities and were the most loving children I've ever known. They were silly an kept us laughing (Especially when the boys thought I was Andrew's mom too!).
The boys came right after we got Josie. They were adopted a month after they came to us by Andrew's Aunt and Uncle. Another miracle we got to be a part of.
A few of you asked for me to share any advice that I may have for the DFCS process.
We were lucky, we had an amazing case worker, but I've heard stories from people who weren't so lucky. Try to remember how overwhelmed caseworkers are. Most of them have hundreds of children that they are responsible for. When you think of a question or concern, no matter how small, write it down and be sure to ask it when you get them on the phone or have their attention at a home visit. Don't be shy.
We are proof that there are babies that need to be adopted in the foster care system. They will tell you that there aren't, but just smile and say that's ok, you still want to do it.
The IMPACT Classes are long, boring, and not very informative, but they are a small price to pay for a beautiful child. Pay attention, learn what you can, and don't let the classes scare you out of what God is calling you to do.
Turn in all your paperwork as soon as possible. We were the first ones to turn our packet in. Not only did we get a (not so attractive) t-shirt, we were put at the top of the list for the order they would do home studies in. Had we pushed off our paperwork, we wouldn't have been approved when Josie was needing a home and she very well could have ended up with the wrong family.
Your paperwork will ask you a list of things that you are willing to accept in a child and not willing to accept. Unless you have a situation that you absolutely positively cannot do, say yes to all scenarios and then assess each individual case that is presented to you. Josie's case file states a history of mental illness, drug use, and no prenatal medical care. She is also tagged as special needs. But our baby girl is 100% healthy, has no developmental delays, and was only special needs based on her race and age. If we had said, "no special needs children" on our forms, she wouldn't have been brought to us.
On the other hand, if you get a placement call and don't feel like it's right for your family, say no. It hurts to say no to a child, but it would hurt even worse to have to call your caseworker to come get the child if you can't handle it.
The last thing I can think of right now is that you need to go ahead and think about what you are willing to work with in a child and what is just not possible for your family at this time. Because when they call you with a child sitting in their office that needs a home, you have to be able to answer pretty much right away or you will miss your chance. We've had a couple calls that we told them we'd need to talk about first and when we called back they had found another placement. Some of them we feel just weren't meant for our family and some of them we feel like we didn't obey God by not saying yes.

On my side bar you can link over to Faith Hope Adoption. They are the ministry that guided Andrew and I through every step of our adoption. This ministry was a mind saver for us. They know so much about adopting in Georgia. And they provide their services for no charge at all! Please contact them. Even if you don't live in Georgia, they will surely be able to give you guidance, and at the least a huge amount of encouragement.
I hope all of your journeys are as graceful and easy as ours has been. But even if it isn't easy, I can say wholeheartedly that it is worth every paper you have to fill out, every home visit you have to arrange, and every hoop you may have to jump through.
And she is living proof.
The day she became Josie Kathryn Pope
March 27th, 2008
Good luck!


Brooke said...

What a beautiful story! Josie is so lucky to have such great parents. I've only "known" one other couple who fostered, and it was several years later that they were able to adopt several of the children they fostered. They said fostering was the best thing that ever happened to them, and that the children were doing them a favor, not the other way around.

Amber said...

I think we're finally ready to go ahead with it all. Last night Kira and I talked at length about fostering. I pretty sure that as soon as we get settled into our new house, we're going to get started. I will definitely be calling for your help! Your story is such an inspiration.

The Henrys said...

We actually got a call from a caseworker today and are about the begin filling out all of the paperwork and have an initial home visit. I may have questions for you very soon!