I don’t know why I’ve felt so anxious about writing this post. I feel like the longer I blog the more hesitant I become to share such vulnerable parts of our life. When I was pregnant with Finley, there were a handful of times I thought “I wonder if I could get away with not telling anyone online until she was born?” Could you imagine? If all the sudden I was like “Here’s our baby!”. Anyway, I am not pregnant in case you are wondering and I do ultimately love sharing with this wonderful, supportive community. If you follow along on instagram you might have noticed that on Wednesdays, Kev and I have been heading out for the night just the 2 of us. We always take a picture together to remember the evening. It’s an important night for us because we are actually about 2 months into our certification class to become a foster care family! Our class is every wednesday from 5:30-8:30pm. At the end of May/early June we will be hoping and praying for a new little one to be joining our family. Our end family goal of fostering is adoption. However, I know the goal of foster care is reunification with the birth parents, so we will lovingly take and care for as many children that need temporary homes until one gets to legally become part of our family. I am sure we will continue to foster even after that point. It’s something we really feel strongly about. God has truly laid a desire in our hearts to do something in our community for these children. I’m going to be quite honest and say I am completely terrified and extremely excited all at the same time. Yes, we are excited to adopt thru the foster care system but I am already praying for all of these parents and their children to eventually stay together. Of course we want families to stay together! It will be extremely hard to love unconditionally and then have to say good bye but we are excited to partner along side and co-parent in a supportive and encouraging way. We will become that child’s advocate when they don’t have one and we will honor and respect their birth parents (although I am sure in some cases it will be very difficult) when they feel like they have lost them. At this point I really honestly know nothing. I feel silly even talking about it because I have no clue what it will be like. I’ve been scouring foster care blogs to read peoples stories. Everyone’s is so different, so personal. I may not know what it’ll be like and we have a lot to learn, but we are doing this for the children that need a loving, safe, and stable home for the time being. And THAT is the one thing I do know we can give.
I saw this short film a few weeks after we started our class and it just wrecked me… like to the core. I don’t know if I had all kinds of built up emotions from the intense stuff we are learning in our class or what but, I was sobbing for like a good 30 mins after this video. I just wanted to share it here. I feel like there can be a sigma that comes along with foster care children. Do we ever really stop and think about what is really going on behind their actions?
I’ve really loved these 2 blog post as well…
Foster Care Isn’t For You
“Won’t my biological kids be effected by foster care?”
This is going to be a journey I am not sure how will play out. I just trust that God will give us the wisdom and strength with all that lies ahead.
What a beautiful act you and Kev are doing! Just curious, did you guys set an age limit on children you would bring into your home? You mentioned a “new little one”, but my Mother works in the industry and most of the children she talks about are into their teen years.
Such wonderful news!! Will be praying for your family as you begin this journey. Foster care/adoption is such a blessing, but born out of such loss- it truly is an amazing reflection of God’s pursuit of us and adoption into his family. If you need some encouragement along the adoption road, my friend Amy has an aammmaaaazing story/blog over at http://www.tinygreenelephants.com A great post on there about how it all affects the biological child(ren) (hint: it’s better than you could even imagine!!). Blessings!!!
Wow, Jen. That video left me sobbing too! You and Kev are so kind and brave to be doing this and those kids will be so lucky to have your love and support, even if it’s for a short time. I’m sure it will be intense and difficult at times, but also incredibly rewarding. I look forward to hearing all about this new chapter!
We have been a foster family for nearly 6 months, caring for two brothers, 5 & 6, out of 8 siblings. There are 5 separate non-relative foster families. The kids see their mom and siblings once a week for 2 hours. Like you, we were excited and scared and had no idea what to expect. It doesn’t matter how much you read or talk to others who’ve done it…you have NO idea what to expect. All I know is that if God’s given you a heart for this, you can expect to love these kids AND their families, even when they’re unlovable. I was completely taken aback by how much compassion I felt for their mom when I met her for the first time. Like you, we pray for reunification, but will adopt if the judge decides that’s best. It’s a hard, emotional, beautiful journey you’re about to embark on. Stay close to the Father…you will need Him.
Wow Jen this is amazing! I love how you share your faith and love in everything you do. I’m sure you and Kev will be amazing foster parents
God bless you and your family! What a beautiful thing to do!
What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing. And I’m sure you’ve already found her, since you’ve been looking through blogs, but Rebecca at Fosterhood (http://fosterhood.tumblr.com/) is fostering-to-adopt. She gives a really honest look at the system as well — it sounds challenging, but very, very rewarding!
good for you guys! it makes me happy to imagine a child in need getting to spend time being loved by your family. i hope everything goes well!
I’ve been following your blog for a while & am always inspired but this post is especially beautiful! A very good friend of mine & her husband just started fostering a 10-year-old boy. Both said it’s been the hardest but best experience of their lives. Providing a safe & stable home for kids whose parents can’t is so incredibly meaningful. Thank you for your willingness to enter the uncertain world that is the foster system to serve these a awesome kids. I hope to be able to join you one day! Prayers coming your way!
What great news! Congratulations to you two as you begin your journey. We are in the adoption process ourselves and are walking alongside friends who are recent foster parents. I feel like my eyes have been opened to all the ways that God crafts families, and each one is so beautiful. I hope you share more of your journey, or at least the parts you can and feel comfortable with!
It takes amazingly special people to be foster parents so I give you so much credit and am excited for you to begin what is sure to be an incredible journey of love!! You will be blessed in many ways, but more so will the children whose lives will greatly benefit from the unconditional love you and your family will give them – showing that even in traumatic and hard circumstances, there are people who want to help & inspire and will bestow love and care no matter what.
I look forward to reading about your journey – and thank you for having the courage to share!!
Love & blessings!!
how amazing! good luck to you guys on this journey!
Whoah, this is big news! Congratulations to you and your family. This is a journey most people would be scared to start, myself included. Thanks for making these children feel loved!
JEN! I’ve had an inkling your family was pursing adoption, but through the foster system?! Tears the second I read that!! I’ve been a foster momma (and have three young boys of my own) for two years and it is the most heart wrenchingly beautiful and purposeful ride EVER. Currently we have a 5 month old beauty that has been ours since she came to us from the hospital, reunification is obv in the works, but to be a part of this life that we love as much as our own flesh and blood, it’s an HONOR. Lady, I’ve followed this blog for years and watched it, your family, and your heart evolve…I wish I could jump through this screen and share coffee with you, because sister, foster care/adoption is my heart (because it’s soooo God’s heart), and I could lay stuff on you for hours. It will be hard, but it will be the best thing you’ve ever committed to, what a privilege! Sooo very awed that God is going to use your influence in this lil blog world to open peoples eyes to the great need. This is living is about. Sister, I may be all the way in suburban Detroit, but we’re in this together. #Prayers #tears #squeeee #Jesus #I’mdonenow
Jen, I absolutely love this. Chris and I have talked about adopting and foster care after the birth of our birth children. I look forward to hearing your stories, both great and trying. You have a lot of love to share and kudos to you guys for being aware enough to share it! xoxo
Wow! How incredible! I am super excited for your entire family. It is such a brave and selfless thing, and I just know that you will do good in the lives of those that come through your door. Congratulations! I will be praying for you 🙂
Jen, thank you so much for sharing this post, I felt compelled to write to you upon reading your exciting news! I am looking forward to following your journey! Personally, I have always always felt drawn to fostering and adoption, and it is something I know that I will be involved with in some way when I am older, and I am excited to hear your thoughts on this journey!
Holy smokes! What a beautiful turn for your family and the news you will touch. I’ve been a long time reader (since way before Rowan!) and I will continue to be one. I can’t wait to read about your loving new adventures.
What an amazing announcement! I’ve been reading your blog for 4 years and in that time I’ve become a social worker and spent my last year working with Children’s Aid Society (in Toronto, where I live). What you are signing up to do is so incredibly important and I encourage you to trust God with all the pieces of it that seem impossible to handle.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I know it must be so hard, but I really appreciate you sharing this with us. I also have a strong desire to foster children and have met with a foster care/adoption social worker in our home to discuss the possibilities/starting point but haven’t taken any other concrete steps toward fostering. Hearing your honest feelings about the experience is so helpful.
That video was so upsetting but so true. I never wanted to have children but always wanted to eventually foster / adopt. Life changed and I had my own daughter and I’m so happy that I have her but I still dream of fostering in the future. So many kids need a family, even if temporarily.
Wow, every child will be a better person for coming through your home and being the recipient of the love that your family has to share. You guys are incredible!
Oh my heavens! What a video. I’m so proud of you for choosing to journey down the road of fostering. Many of our dear friends and family are foster parents, and so this holds a special place in our hearts. Many blessings!
Thoughts of positivity and support for your family! Thank you so much for sharing that video. Heart-wrenching and powerful.
That is such a wonderful thing to do. Offering a home to a child in need is probably one of the kindest acts you can do. Congrats on your decision to foster and I hope you get to adopt later on, you guys seem like wonderful parents.
Thank you for doing this! Our hearts continue to hurt for the babies we loved and lost. I am praying you have a much more pleasant experience with fostering. It really does take someone special to be able to do it. Good Luck
Wonderful news! I wish you and your family all the very best as you prepare to welcome little ones into your home and into your heart. God bless.
I have read your blog for years now, and this post forced me to post…I am just so happy that you guys have felt called to be a foster/adoptive family, and have truly considered this option and begun the training process. I work as an art therapist with foster and adoptive families, and am constantly amazed by each family’s journey. I wish you well on this new stage of life, and wanted to include my organization’s website in case you have any questions or comments or need for other resources
Congratulations!!! SO excited to follow your journey.
Hugs for your whole family!
I’m a social worker, and my first job out of undergrad was working in a foster care agency as a foster home licensing specialist, and as an adoption specialist. To find families that are stable and committed to caring for the orphans and at-risk kiddos is so challenging. It’s great to read about the things that God places on the hearts of people to meet the needs within communities. So excited to see where this leads your little family! Congrats!
PS. I’ve seen this little film around the internet. It’s so moving. It makes me tear up every time.
Grateful for your heart in this.
This is wonderful and I can’t wait to follow your family’s journey. I don’t know if you’ve run across it in your research but a guy I went to school with runs a magazine called Foster Focus (http://www.fosterfocusmag.com). Looks like a great read 🙂
You (and your family) have such big hearts! Congratulations on your new journey and best of luck!
I just have to say thank you. I worked as as CPS social worker for years and I continue to work with kids in the foster care system and the fact is that the system doesn’t work without dedicated and loving foster parents. If we’re removing kids from their homes we should be making sure that we’re placing them somewhere safe and stable – whether that be long term or for just a short period of time until they return home. So thank you! And best of luck on this new journey!
You are brave. I’ve thought about it a few times but I’m always hesitant because I feel like I could be putting my little girls at risk depending on the age of the child that is entering our home and their history with abuse. I have two friends who were sexually abused by foster brothers and since then I am afraid to take a chance. Have they addressed any of those issues in your preparation classes?
I have been following your blog for quite some time but have never posted. I saw this post though and knew I needed to chime in. I live in Indiana and work for the Department of Child Services. Please think long and hard before you begin this journey. Think long and hard about being licensed through a state agency or through a licensed agency or TFC. I also wonder what this will mean in terms of your blog. You will probably or should probably never post photos of this child to your blog. You are going to have scrutiny on your family like never before. What happens if this foster child makes an accusation against your family… Are you ready for social workers, therapists, visitation facilitators to be in your lives on a weekly basis? To be honest, I am always weary of potential foster parents that want to adopt as a result of this situation. Please be very clear with what you “limits” are before you ever take in a foster child (sexual abide, victim or perpetrator). Please please don’t ignore your gut.
Also, this is going to test your relationship to its core. I don’t know how many foster parents I have worked with that are now required to participate in some sort of couples counseling.
My mom used to work with foster families so I got to spend time getting to know a lot of the foster parents and kids. It can definitely be tough, but also magical. So excited for you and Kev and for the children you will love!
This is such a beautiful ministry! I’m so happy to hear you are doing this. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey!
I applaud what you are doing. Follow God. He will give you all you need for the children He will send you through the system. This book might interest you & Kev as you endeavor to learn more. More the Conquerors by L.G. Shepherd: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1475068816/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1397793555&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40
This is amazing. What a wonderful opportunity for both you and your family to have this opportunity. Every child deserves a loving home, Im happy there are people like you willing to share your love. Best of luck.
awesome jen and kev!!!! I can’t wait to follow your journey.
We still talk about adoption as well, and I can’t think of anything more Christ like than bringing a child into your family…As Christians we have all “Been adopted” into God’s family. How cool to get to do that for someone else!! Much love to you…
I currently work with young people in the care system in the UK and was so happy to see a loving, caring family such as your own wanting to start fostering. I’m in complete awe of anyone who makes that step and gives a child a loving home, it’s such an important thing to do! I just wanted to wish you all the best in this next step in your life and say that I think you will make brilliant foster carers. I love reading your blog and look forward to hearing about what happens next.
read this blog, and good luck! http://www.becomingsarah.com/
That’s so amazing! I look forward to following the journey.
This post made me tear up. I love following your family journey. I hope for the best for you & Kev, Rowan, and Finley!
What an incredible and inspiring decision! So excited for you and the family. While I’m sure there will be sensitivities with what can/cannot be shared publicly, as a loyal reader, I’m looking forward to following your family on this journey.
We took our foster care certification classes last February- and then waited exactly a year to be certified because of lost paperwork and such. So, I understand your feelings here when you say you are excited & terrified at the same time!
We brought home our first foster daughter two months ago, and it is looking like we may be able to adopt her, for which we are so grateful!
I’m excited to follow along with your family as you begin this journey!
As a parent and teacher, who has reported cases of abuse, thank you to you and your family.
Thank you for doing this.
Hi Jen! I’ve been following your blog for a while and love everything you share! What an amazing act of God’s love played out for all the world to see! May God continue to bless your family, your journey and all those who may come and go in your home through this process! I heard the song by Matthew West: Do Something and thought of you. Encouraged by your response to His calling and by doing something!
Watched the short film and bawled for about 20minutes after the movie was over…so touching. Our second is 9 months old and I have always wanted to adopt a third…not yet, but eventually. I’m home this year but will have to go back to work in June, and work full time which makes me nervous about adding a third to the mix. I am really looking forward to reading about your journey and how fostering goes. So exciting!
When I first saw the post, I thought you and Kev might be announcing that you were adopting! But I was delighted to hear that you were training to be foster parents (and maybe adopt along the journey). I work at a low-income school and we have several families who foster children who are abandoned or abused or whose home lives are going through dramatic changes. It fills my heart that you and Kev will be able to give a safe place for these innocent babies who need extra love. Best wishes to your family!
congratulations! sending lots of love and good thoughts from colorado.
I’m so happy to hear this news! I teach first grade and have seen the wonders a good foster parent can create. I’m so happy for you guys! You might not know this yet, but how much are you allowed to share on the blog about any little ones you’ll be fostering? I’m just curious because I know we’d all love to hear about it, but that foster parent rules can also be quite strict, and disallow FPs from even doing things like haircuts without permission.
Your family is such an inspiration! You have just a beautiful heart and I pray that you & Kev will be able to bring safety and love to more children. Best of luck on this new journey!
I found your blog via Orchid Grey, and although I don’t know you, I wish you and your family congratulations and all the success in the world on your journey to become foster parents. I currently work in a pediatric office, and I’ve seen for myself how much people like you and your husband are needed (and appreciated) in many kids’ lives. You’re doing a wonderful thing. Best of luck from Virginia!
This is awesome! We’re definitely called to foster/adopt someday, as well. We’ve been trying to find people who are doing the same right now so we can get an idea of what it might look like for a family with little kids. Will you be sharing much about your foster family experience publicly, or will it be private? I’ll be praying for you guys!
Good for you all. I was a foster parent for a few years. I had the joy of having 2 beautiful children in my life. I was fortunate enough to be able to adopt my foster daughter. Being a foster parent changed my view on the world forever, and I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything! It is definitely a calling, and I think its wonderful that you all are willing to change your lives to help others. Good luck on your journey.
I don’t know you personally, but I wish there were more people like you in this world. This video just about killed me for many personal reasons. You are amazing people and will make an enormous difference in whatever child or children come into your lives. Thank you for sharing this.
You’re so sweet and kind, and you’ve made a brave and wonderful decision, There are so many children suffering out there, and you’re giving them a home. Congratulations! Best wishes to your family.
Love, from Argentina.
Wow Jen, good for you! That’s amazing – I think it takes truly special people to be able to do that. My Nana had over 200 foster children in and out of her home during her life span, in addition to her own 7 children. She ended up adopting 2 of the foster kids along the way as well. I think you are embarking on a seriously challenging but seriously amazing journey. I know my Nana has been contacted by a number of her foster kids 20-30 years later thanking her for what she did for them. You are changing lives, Jen! Best of luck with all of it!
I’m excited for your family! We have had a two-and-a-half-year-old little boy with us for 11 1/2 months. He came to us last Mother’s Day. I never forget that while it made my day it also was hell for another mother. Before that we had a little guy for 17 days and it TORE US APART when he left to stay with an aunt. We figured we were broken and not cut out for fostering. But we took a few months off and then remembered what one of our foster trainers told us: “You say you chose this path because God led you to it. Don’t forget that. There will be days when you can’t imagine why you would put yourself through such heartache. Those days that truth will be the only thing that keeps you going.” I’ve found that every foster family has a different experience and there is no instruction manual that will ever make you feel secure enough. So remember that truth and keep in mind that heartache doesn’t equal failure. Heartache doesn’t mean you should quit. God led you down this path, he’ll lead you through it too.
Thank you for sharing! The video was so profound. I’m a foster parent and it has been an amazingly beautiful experience. I wish you the very best.
I left a note on RATM’s FB link, but figured I’d post here as well: My husband and I also fostered to adopt and were able to adopt our son through foster care. We’ve formed strong relationships with his first family and I blog about it. There aren’t lot of honest portrayals of open adoption after fostering, but I’d encourage you to form as many bonds as possible and as is healthy. One of the best things and definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Be encouraged! God is in it all.
I am full of love for this post and your family! How amazing that you are giving yourself so selfishly to a child(ren) in need! I can’t wait to continue following your journey. I have always wondered how people allow themselves to be so open and loving, knowing that it could end so suddenly. Truly inspiring!
Thank you for sharing that! God has placed that on my heart, too! My hubby and I aren’t quite ready to start the process yet but it is something I hope to do in a few years when we are settled. Thank you for sharing – I’m glad to know someone else out there feels this way! 🙂
Good luck on your journey. I was an ex foster youth and am willing to answer any questions you might have (and actually wrote an ebook about foster care for new foster parents.)
You can check out my blog if you want to read about what it’s like. alexlovessweden.com
i’m blown away by your desire to do this and am praying that God gives you and your family the strength to do this. this is so rad. what a great way to love on these kids and to share with them God’s never ending love. looking forward to hearing more about your journey along the way!
I came here from Rage Against the Minivan because my husband and I are on the cusp of of starting our foster care journey. Finished classes, done the home study, just a few more pieces and then we’ll be open. And the reality of it all has almost frozen me with fear, for so many different reasons, but something in your words…it’s always so helpful to know we’re not alone. Thanks for sharing. I think you helped me find my courage again, and to remember why we moved toward this in the first place. Blessings to you and your family as you begin this journey.
Yay! That’s so awesome! My husband and I have been fostering for three years. Our experience isn’t the norm — 17 kids came and left in that time. (For comparison, one of the couples who was licensed with us kept their first placement throughout the time we had our first ten.) We take sibling groups, and most of our placements have stayed for two months or less, while wonderful relatives got the green light from social services to take custody of the children. Our motivation was the same as yours — to foster until someone came to us needing a forever family. That is finally happening (two someones, actually)! But every step along the way has been worth it. We’ve met the most amazing little people, and it’s been an honor to get to be a small part of their lives.
I have been reading your blog for a very long time. I can’t even express the beauty in what you and your family are taking on. My BF and I can not have children and have been playing around with fostering. You and yours are such a inspiration. Thank you for sharing such a personal decision. That video just about brought me to a blubbering mess. Again thank you for being one of the kind ones that is there for the weak and helpless. I’m not a religious person but I hope and wish that who ever is in charge makes more like you and your family. Thank you.
I am fairly new to your blog and never have left a comment before. But I wanted to say “thank you”.
I am a 45 year old former foster child. Rarely do people talk about the “after”. The adult.
I was placed into the system as an older child and was never adopted as many of the families wanted younger children. Beauty rose from ashes and I eventually married, had two wonderful children and became an interior designer.
Everyday I am thankful.Go forth and change the world one child at a time.
I believe this is God’s direction and you are to be praised for that decision but adoption and fostering does not belong on a public blog you are talking about the human being that deserves privacy and respect it is wrong to have this information on your blog please reconsider when fostering an adoption not to exploit the child.
It appears you removed my comment. Again Fostering adoption is Gods desire and is a blessing for all involved. It is wrong to advertise this on your blog. The poor child is not a advertisement. This should be kept private and personal. Humble is what Gods loves not exploiting a helpless one.
Hi Jen, this is Tara, former terra novian. Do you remember me? It’s been awhile since I’ve “caught up” with your life via the blog so I’m just now learning of your news to foster and adopt. Congrats! My daughter Evangeline has been home from China with us for almost 19 months. So so hard and not what I expected. My daughter has had attachment and behavior
problems (though most China families I know haven’t had it as hard as us– yay us!). But I see glimpses of redemption and healing, though it is coming slowly. I’m sure you’re familiar with Karyn Purvis, though I was not, prior to adoption. She is now my lifesaver! I went to her empowered to connect conference in Birmingham this year and lately I’ve been trying to watch some of her YouTube stuff everyday just to keep reminding myself what it looks like to be kind and big pictured oriented. Those things don’t come naturally to me. Like at all. Anyhow, I wish you the very very best and I can’t wait to read more.
Also the previous commenter is crazy off base. Wow.