Tuesday, October 30

So in case you hear Graham say that he's getting a new brother or sister.......

It's true. We hope.
But not in the traditional big belly, 0-9 months sorta way.
We're not expecting, but we are expectant.
We don't know when.
We don't know how many.
We don't know gender(s).
We don't know race.
We don't know age.
That is a lot of we don't knows, isn't it?
We are in the process of being certified to become foster parents with the intention to adopt into a forever family. Graham is very excited and as we head to each meeting he asks if we're bringing home a brother or sister tonight. :)
First, let me take a moment to say that we couldn't have made this happen without some very sweet people who have selflessly given of some of their evenings to care for Graham & Eden while we attend meetings. Bethany, Laura, Steph & Jake - what a blessing you are to our family!
We are going through a Christian agency called The Bair Foundation. We have loved their commitent to not only these children, but the sovereignty of God through this process. Sometimes in these scenarios, results seem less than favorable. We may only have God's sovereignty to rely on and it is comforting to be partnering with a foundation who fully supports that.
We have completed most of our classroom training (20 hours) and now have to focus on completing around three thousand pages of paperwork. Approximately.
Then our home study and wah-lah - the waiting will begin.
We should be certified by the end of 2012 if everything moves along smoothly.  
A few things we need to do to prepare our home:
  • get a set of bunkbeds (we are anticipating that we could easily get a group of siblings and are preparing for that, though we believe 2 is our limit for the space we have right now)
  • get another dresser or two
  • get some more chairs for our dining table, since ours currently seats only 4. I don't think Graham & Eden want to eat on the floor. No, wait, they would probably love it!
  • put up a no-smoking sign. Yep, it's a requirement. :)
Here's what you can do:
  • Pray, pray, pray. And pray some more! This is a daunting task before us. One we don't take lightly, but feel God has called us to. We don't know what kind of turmoil, abuse, or neglect this children may have experienced. Pray that God would grant wisdom, grace, strength for loving & nurturing whomever he chooses to bring into our home.
  • Because we will not know ages or genders and could be given a quick placement - we would greatly appreciate whatever (local) friends could help with in the moment as far as clothing & carseats. Nothing would have to be given permanently, but even just loaned until we would have the time to purchase what would be needed.
  • Consider this as something your family may be able to do. The most common response I hear is, Oh, that's so good of you or I always wanted to do something like that..... What we hope people might say is, If they can do it, anyone can! :) The need is so great and even as we hear some of the more personal stories the burden increases in our hearts for these children. The Bair Foundation  (Pittsburgh chapter) oversees 70 children right now in foster care. That is one organization (out of several) in one city. Out of the families that are hosting these kids (keeping in mind that most are sibling groups), they currently only have 2 families with stay-at-home moms. Two. One of these was just placed with a 2 day old infant, one of these just had the children they were caring for go to the birth family's relative. Bottom line, they tell us we could be called right away. They almost could not find a home for the 2 day old infant because babies cannot be placed in day care until 6 weeks old. So we shall see!
We had 9 couples at our initial orientation class, only 3 came back to complete the other 4 classes for certification. Out of everyone who completed the last certification class, none have handed in any paperwork yet. The need is great.

Our goal is to only take in 1-2 children who would be 3 or younger. We believe keeping Graham in his role as first-born is important. We also see the need as great for taking in the younger children to give them a chance to be loved & nurtured at home. We desire for whomever we take in for there to be the high probability of them being available to adopt. Particularly for G's sake, who will most likely become very attached. However, though these are our desires, we hold them loosely praying that God clearly directs when & if those calls come. It would be hard to say no, but Bair says they fully want us to & expect us to if we don't feel it's a right fit for the family. Again, we covet prayers for wisdom especially for calls that could come with the possibility of just a few short hours before they are dropped off at our home.
Every time I watch the news now and see mother sets fire to house and charged with arson, baby found with broken arm and mother's boyfriend charged, father & mother arrested in domestic dispute, mother arrested on drug charges........I know that in most of these scenarios, kids are being placed into foster care that night. I praise God for the work that The Bair Foundation is doing and for the great care they give these children.
We excited for this new journey for our family.


jeileenbaylor said...

Praying for you guys as you walk through this process day by day! May the Lord pour his love and life through you into each child he brings into you home!

cranny + b said...

I am so, so excited for you. Like, I had butterflies in my stomach while reading this! I am so excited and so burdened to pray for you all and for the child(ren) who will be placed with you. What a gift you will be to that child(ren). I am positive of that. Thank you so much for this-- I am so challenged by you all!

ps. we sent our paperwork in :)

Kerry M. said...

Kelly, what an encouragement and challenge for us all! I will be praying with you.