January 27, 2017.
I was a few weeks in to my last semester of my Bachelor’s program. It was heavy on my mind that morning of what my plans would be after I finished my degree. Do I apply to Nurse Practitioner school? Do I stay in the NICU? Do I try something completely different?
As I was driving my oldest daughter to school that morning I prayed
“Lord, guide me. Show me what I need to do after school. Put me where you can use me.”
Walking into the school I noticed an Elementary school friend in the car line that had just moved back to our town. I waved, surprised to see her, and thought, I’ll have to get in touch with her! Later, with a quick glance at her facebook profile I learned that she and her husband had adopted two children. My Mom and Dad, and an Aunt and Uncle, on both sides of the family, did foster care when I was younger. I have 3 cousins that are adopted out of the system and 1 cousin who came into our family through private adoption. So, foster care and adoption have always been near and dear to my heart and I was happy to see that she had chosen that path.
I start praying again, “Lord, guide me and show me what I’m supposed to do next”.
All of a sudden I hear “you should do foster care”.
Not quite the answer I was expecting.
It was something my husband, Jake, and I had been discussing for years, before we even got married, but I always thought it would be later. So, I start my pleas of why that can’t be the plan.
“Lord, I don’t have the right hours at work for that."
"Lord, my girls are only 1 ½ and 4 that would be too hard on them, too hard on me!"
"Lord, I don’t have a big enough car."
"Lord, Jake would never agree to that right now”.
To every argument I had, He said,
“I will provide”.
Kodi with her flower girl and ring bearer-- her two little cousins who were adopted ~ Kodi's girls, Jolee & Jenna ~ Kodi, her girls and hubby Jake! (thank you to Tiffany from Every Single Season for the family photos)
That night when Jake got home I told him about my morning and asked his thoughts. He immediately said “I’m good with that”. However, we agreed that I needed to be done with school first. I finished in May and kept praying that God would show us the perfect time to pursue foster care and that He would open up the necessary doors.
“The materials were sufficient for them to do all the work. There was more than enough”. Exodus 36:7
In August, Jake and I agreed that we were at a place to start the process. In the meantime God provided a different position at work for me with different hours, big opportunities at work for Jake, and a bigger car! On January 26, 2018, almost a year to the date that God told me we should do foster care, we took in our first placement. In three months we have had numerous calls and two placements. We have enjoyed providing a temporary safe place for these little lives and send them on to their next home with prayers that they will be loved and taken care of. My girls have blown me away with the amount of love they have for these kids and we have been blessed by friends and family who have helped, checked on, and prayed for us.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world”. James 1:27
The world tells me that life would be so much easier with only our two biological kids. The world says that both are out of diapers now and by the fall they’ll both be in school and I could have time to myself! The world tells me that I’m a busy, scatterbrained, working Mom who doesn’t have time to take on another child or two. God tells me that that’s not the point, that’s not the purpose of this life.
God doesn’t call the qualified. he qualifies the called.
My husband and I aren’t super-heroes. We aren’t wealthy. He’s an electrician and I’m a NICU nurse. We don’t live in a big house. We are just normal people trying to do our small part in a big problem and we pray that other loving, normal families will pursue foster care as well.
Would you like to do your part for the roughly 10,000 kids in Oklahoma foster care? If you feel called to foster please contact your local child welfare office or OK Fosters at 1-800-376-9729. I would love to chat with you about foster care! You can find me on Instagram at fosteringwithfaith. If you can’t foster but want to help there are many ways to help foster families by providing meals, clothing, or your time. Friends who have reached out via text with a kind word or a prayer have helped me just as much as those people who have helped us with clothing and diapers.
Every single piece, big or small, contributes to the puzzle!
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