Several of our foster families have agreed to share their stories in hopes that they will touch the hearts of anyone who is considering becoming a foster parent, is or has been a foster parent, or has experienced the foster care system. We hope that you will read this story and share with others. Be sure to check back regularly for more stories from our foster and adoptive families.
Let me give you a little background on how our journey to foster care began long before we ever realized it.
My husband grew up in a strong loving family with one brother. His mom and dad were heavily involved in their church with a strong community outreach for children in below average living conditions. They were not a certified foster family, but that never stopped them from housing children through the years and dedicating over 13 years to a special child. This instilled in my husband a sense of servanthood and compassion that plays a huge part in all our decisions as a family.
I also grew up in a drastically more un-structured family of 6(plus). My parents were just as dedicated to God, family and children. Their open door policy always kept life interesting. One day, one 15 year old boy came into our family and never left. Our brother chose us as his family and didn’t need a court to tell him any different. That made us a family of 7plus.
We were elated to begin our own family in 2004 with our first son and then again in 2007 with our second son. The second pregnancy was very difficult then I had post delivery complications. Despite 2 procedures, 1 surgery and eventually a hysterectomy, the hardest part for me was the reality that we would not conceive another child. We resolved that we accepted God's blessing of 2 boys, and were so grateful, but God had more for us.
Since the age of 16, I have dreamed of a daughter, and more specifically an Abigail. Inspired by the strength and tenacity of the Abigail in the Bible. Even after the birth of 2 precious sons, that dream still revisited me on a regular basis, and God used that dream to steer us in a totally unexpected direction.
In 2009 after much prayer, we began the grueling process of adoption. Our motives were genuine, our hearts were tender to orphans, but knowing deep down that we were going to get our girl and get out! Both my husband and I were business owners, the boys were in Christian Schools, and we were ready for this, or so we thought. After 2 years of waiting, rejection, and heartbreaks, we were forced to re-evaluate ourselves and our motives.
In 2011, in order to be eligible to adopt a little 4 years old girl we began MAPP training classes. We swore the entire 6 weeks that we had no intentions of fostering! We were only taking these classes to get her and get out! We were once again rejected, and left with a whole new perspective. What we discovered was a need of foster care that we were fully equipped to meet. And more than that, we discovered that through the years, we had already been doing that anyway! You see, we also have an open door policy in which at different points in our lives, we have had family, friends and random strangers live/stay in our home. Fostering these relationships is a lifestyle, not a job, and we were already there. This realization forced change. I walked away from my business, and as a result, the boys were pulled from Christian School. The night this change happened a new world of possibilities were opened up to us.
We got the call we’d been waiting to get for years, but not the way we thought it would come. A dear friend and troubled grandmother called us that very night, and said, “I have a little baby girl and we need help, do you have a place for her to sleep for a little while?” That was 3 years ago, and that little girl is now our goddaughter. She came into our lives that night, and changed us forever. We realized that we could love a child that we did not conceive, like she was our own.
We began to research how we could get involved in orphan care and checked off the Google list of all the options in our area. We went back to an incredible social worker in Forsyth County that had helped us through the heartbreaking process of the 4 year old girl I mentioned earlier. She reluctantly told us that she was retiring, but had someone we had to meet. While sitting in her office, she dialed Ken Maxwell and put him on speaker phone. She said I have a family here that wants to make an appointment to speak with you. We followed up with that appointment and sat down with Ken and Sally to share our hearts. We weren’t even sure at this point what our involvement would be. We knew eventually we would want to adopt, but didn’t want to sit around anymore and wait for that to happen. He listened, and I will never forget the pause in the room while he absorbed all we had discussed. Then he sat back and said “Ok, first things first, let’s get the paperwork filled out and go from there.” Now that I know him better, that was his way of hooking us...and it worked.
We’ve been with Seven Homes since that day in June, 2012, and we wouldn’t change a thing that led us here. These children have changed our lives, and we are so grateful that we are not the same people that we were 5 years ago when we began. We want to always be tenderhearted, open and available to what God has for our family no matter how hard it may seem at the time.