My husband and I became licensed foster parents in September 2014. At that time, we had two sons, Joseph, who was 3, and Jacob, who had just turned 8. Over the next 13 months, we cared for 9 children through foster care. Sometimes the children were a set of siblings, and sometimes they were just one child. Sometimes we cared for them for a few months, and sometimes it was just one night. Sometimes it was respite care, and sometimes it was our own placement. But when our last little guy left our home, we realized we still wanted more children who would be in our family permanently.
Due to complications from my last pregnancy and birth, I could not carry another child, but I had always dreamed of adopting. However, the cost of adopting terrified me, and kept us away. We applied with an adoption agency on the recommendation of a friend and started the process of fund-raising, applying for adoption grants, and completing our home study. As former foster parents, we were very experienced with mountains of paperwork and everything that goes into a home study. It’s a lot of work for sure, but that part really wasn’t stressful.
Without a doubt, the most difficult part of adoption was the waiting for us. We created an adoption profile book about our family with photos and basic info. Our sweet friend that had recommended the agency was kind enough to look over it for us. The agency would show the book to expectant mothers who would consider a family place her child with. However, we had no idea if expectant mothers would come to the agency and be interested in families that already had children, and we had no idea when we would be chosen.
One day, almost a year after we had originally applied to the agency, we received a call that three expectant mothers would be looking at our profile book on a particular day. If the first expectant mother did not choose us, the book would be shown to the next and so on. The agency would call us at the end of the day and let us know if our family was chosen. We just knew this was it! The end of the day came, and no one had chosen us. I was heartbroken. That night, my husband and I reached out to friends via Facebook. We posted a brief message saying we wanted to adopt and asked for others to please share our info with anyone they knew considering adoption.
God had a plan the whole time; He always does, right?? He has perfect timing that we cannot even begin to understand. Just a couple weeks later, I got a message from a friend that was licensed as a foster parent as well. She had a friend from church who had been caring for a family member’s son since he was born. It was becoming more and more apparent the birth parents were not going to play a part in this child’s life. The family was praying and asking around for foster parents that would be willing to foster to adopt this child and still allow the birth family that had been caring for him since birth to be involved in his life. At that time, the baby was about 5 months old.
Looking back, it sounds so crazy! We had no idea what would happen with this little baby!!! That night I called and talked with the family member our friend knew from church, and I asked if she would be willing to send us some information about him. They sent photos and some other information... that was it, we were in love. We prayed, and we both felt certain God wanted us to say yes. There were so many IFs. At this point, our foster license had lapsed, so it would need to be renewed in order to move forward. We just took one step at a time, knowing that if this was God’s plan for us, then he would make a way. I am not by any means implying it was easy!!! It was a lot of IF we can get all
this paperwork done tonight, IF we can all get doctor appointments and physicals today, IF DHR approves. We did everything we could from our end, and, time after time, God continued to open the door. He moved in with us at 7 months of age, and I would love to tell you soon after, the adoption was final. However, that wasn’t our story. Our little fella legally became James Dee Jackson at the age of 20 months.
Everything about adoption is terrible and beautiful. Easy and yet so hard. A mother isn't able to parent her own child, for whatever reason. She goes through the pains of childbirth and labor to lay eyes on a baby that then leaves her.
Another woman longing for a child has waited and longed and prayed and waited and longed and prayed and then the phone rings……..
Now that’s not how it happened for us, and really every adoption story I have heard, just like every birth story, is so different. They are all beautifully orchestrated.
More and more, as time has passed, I have looked at adoption as God’s story. After all, as Christians, we have all been adopted by God into His family. He has chosen us, not because of anything we did. Instead, it is because He loves us. He has given us His name. We are children of God.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Blog Written by:
Jeannie Jackson, a guest blogger