Nearly two and a half years have passed since Joel and I received a phone call one chilly March morning informing us of a 6lb baby boy that had been born. He was two and a half weeks old, ready to be discharged from the hospital and was needing a home to be placed in for a few days, possibly a few weeks until more permanent arrangements could be made with family members. Little did we know, those weeks would turn to months, and the months would turn into years. His first steps we thought we would never witness, we were able to joyfully cheer on. We have been able to teach him his first words and how to count to ten. We have been able to teach him the Gospel song and Romans 5:8-which he often manages to rattle off in the midst of a terrible two’s tantrum. Quietly chanting “Christ died por (for) us”, has a way of quickly dissolving many situations into laughter, or sometimes tears as I’m reminded of Jesus’ grace for me in the hard moments of parenting. This little boy is clever, quick, and always planning his next endeavor. We couldn’t imagine our days without his sneaky little grin or his deep belly chuckles, and now we don’t have to.
On September 6th, 2016, the day so many of our friends and family have prayed and longed for with us, this little guy will become a Lind forever. Joel and I will have the privilege of swearing under oath before God, the family court judge, and our friends and family, to officially (and finally) make this little boy a permanent part of our family. I absolutely cannot wait to celebrate this day and tightly squeeze in my arms this little boy who in our eyes and hearts has been our son since day one, but who will now officially be recognized by the state as our son, and Joel and I as his mother and father. No more monthly social worker visits and no more permission needed to travel out of state. We can now write down his new name at the doctor’s office and most importantly instead of kissing him good-bye like we dreaded just over a year ago, we will be able to, Lord willing, kiss him as he starts his first day of school, heads off to college, gets married and beyond. Such a gift we are being given.
As many of you know, the journey to get to this point has not been quick or easy. Joel and I began the process just over three years ago, and though our hearts have been broken by the things we have seen, we don’t regret for a moment the decision to venture down this path. We have anxiously awaited phone calls after court dates. We have nervously braced ourselves to say goodbye to our baby on numerous occasions. We have cried over news of birth parents dropping out of rehab. Most recently, in November, we wept as we watched our little guy’s birth parents kiss him goodbye (for now). We are now nearing the end of our first foster care journey-parental rights have been terminated, biological family has been ruled out, we have an adoption worker, we have chosen a lawyer and we have signed adoption papers. We praise God for the hard-working social workers he has given us and for the long hours they have put in to get us to this point. The court date on September 6th will be the final step! Phew!
I have said it before, and I say it again: Foster care is a messy, complicated process, filled with messy, complicated emotions. The road has been long and even treacherous at times for our hearts but we have a God who never grows faint and has upheld us every step of the way. As you rejoice with us in our upcoming adoption, we ask you to also consider stepping out and venturing down this path yourself. Foster care doesn’t have to be “plan B”. Joel and I did not pursue foster care because of an inability to have biological children. We also didn’t do it because we are special or possess a unique ability to remain unattached from children. (See: Wanted: Parents Willing to get too Attached) Our hearts are not unbreakable or unaffected by pain. Our road has involved many twists and turns, tears and sleepless nights and your road will most likely hold the same things. You will have many questions, fears, and hesitations, but God will go before you and meet you there as he did for us. There is an incredible need for foster families in the US right now and our prayer is that the Church, those who love and follow Jesus, would be the ones to open their homes to children in need.
For more information about getting involved in foster care, go to your state’s website and search foster care or find an organization in your city that works with foster children. In Kentucky, you can go to adopt.ky.gov and find all the information you need to know about the process. You can also contact me and I would be more than happy to talk with you, pray with you and point you to helpful resources!