Disclaimer: all the thoughts, opinions and observations in this blog are strictly my own and do not reflect any agency or government entity. They are purely the feelings in my heart.
I took a few deep breaths. Tears brimming over my eyes, ad made my way around the corner to the kitchen where my incredible husband was trying to complete a mountain of homework. I felt awful interrupting him because then he would need to stay up later to finish, but this was to important to wait.
He looked up and smiled, saw my tears and moved his computer aside.
" Sit down my love, what's wrong?"
"Well, I don't know how to say this, and I don't know what you will think because it is completely opposite of what we decided, and it's going to mean a huge sacrifice on our part, and I'm really struggling with it."
My sweet husband held my hand and waited for me to speak. He had a look in his eye that told me he already knew what I was going to say and that he was proud of me for listening to the promptings of the Lord and trying to come to terms with this decision. He held my hand tight and just waited.
The my tears poured out, my heart ached as I spoke the words that needed to be said but hurt so much to acknowledge. Even now as I write this my eyes are watering and I remember the strong feelings of love, sadness, and comfort at doing the right thing.
I sobbed as I said, " I know we decided that we would do a planned transfer of the children by June if they were still with us so that we could adopt a child. We have to have an open bed to adopt, and all of our beds are full. But Ken, (and here's where I really started sobbing, it was a true miracle he understood what I was saying) I just can't give them away to be split up into multiple foster homes, separated from one another just so I can have the baby I've always wanted. I feel so selfish having such a hard time keeping these children that won't be our to adopt, but I just can't send them away. I'm so torn and so sad. I'm sad for them, and I'm sad for us. And I feel so selfish wanting my own child to keep. Is that bad? Why am I struggling so hard? Are you ok if we continue to foster them and put our own family on hold until they go to their forever family?"
And my husband gave the best response in the world. " I'm so glad you understand. I'm so proud of you for seeing what needs to be done, and putting the needs of these children above our own desires, even thought waning our own child is a righteous desire. I have felt this way about the situation but wanted you to find your way here too. I know how hard it has been for you to wait for the children that will be forever ours. But this is the right decision. We both know that. We can't put these children back into homes where they will be separated. We don't know how long we will have them, but we do need to keep them until they go to their home. I'm so proud of you, it's not selfish, and I know how hard this is."
Then I just cried and cried. He was right, his answer was perfect. We both know that these children need to stay with us until they go home, and that we need to put our adoption on hold. I cried some more, feeling my heart breaking for our sweet foster children and the stress they are under, and knowing we have to wait even longer for our forever family. But we both have comfort knowing we are doing what the Lord would have us do, so despite the pain, we know it will be ok.
Many people don't understand what goes on behind the scenes of foster care. You love the children as your own, and you need to give them back. In Arizona the biggest priority is reunification with family, which we wholeheartedly support. Some foster parents try to sabotage the biological parents because they think they bio parents aren't good enough. That is not right, it is not what the Savior taught, and we make every effort possible to support reunification.
Fostering has shown me the extremes in compassion and selfishness in others. And in places I would never expect to see. I have seen extreme compassion and love in biological parents who just need a helping hand. Who are ready to change their lives and serve others around them. And I have seen great selfishness in people who consider themselves to have their lives in order and think it's ok to be judge and jury on things they don't understand.
What you can do is support Ken and I in our decision to wait for the precious children we are in charge of to be safely home. And support us in our efforts to adopt children with special needs and disabilities. We have prayed and fasted and know this is what the Lord wants us to do. Yes we have to wait for our adoption, but we know in the Lord's timing it will be worth it.
Fostering is so difficult to understand when you aren't living it. Hopefully the example above of one glimpse of a decision that will affect the rest of our lives will show you how complex fostering is. PLEASE ask me questions, please be supportive and kind. And know that I will continue to be an advocate for reunification, for adoption, and for mothers who can have their own children. Find ways to help support and serve your community or foster and adoptive parents. There are so many opportunities out there, you just have to look!
We are so grateful for the guidance of the Lord. We are so grateful to be able to pray and fast about difficult decisions and have people in our lives do their very best to support us. We are grateful for the trials and big decisions that leave our hearts slightly broken from the sadness of the sacrifice because it gives us a chance to allow the Savior to heal the wounds and for us to grow closer to him.
Our adoption process has been put on hold at least until the fall. We will keep you posted as things progress. Please pray for the children in our care that they may feel loved and supported by all those around them. Love to you all.