Sunday, April 22, 2012

Guest Post

Well it has been 4 weeks since our homestudy.  According to me, we could hear that we are on the open list any day now :)  Who knows, but really the lady that did our homestudy did say she would probably have it done in less than 45 days.  So...since this is day 28, we could have anywhere from 0-16 days.  In the meantime, we've been enjoying our last few weeks of our 2 person, 2 dog family.  I plan on writing a post sometime soon (I know I haven't been good about that lately though) about what exactly we've been up to. 

For now though, I've been meaning to post this "guest post" from my husband.  He didn't know it was a post when he wrote it, but he has agreed that I could put it on the blog.  Our pastor asked him a few weeks ago if we would speak at church about our foster care journey (ummm...yikes!!!), and he asked for Dave to email him "our story."  He let me read it and I just love it.  He did a great job, better than me, describing our story and why we are doing this. ya go!

"Good morning Neil,

Thanks for reaching out to us about sharing. God is doing some pretty cool things in our life. We are still not sure exactly what those things are, but we are excited and can't wait to see what happens next. I'll give you a description of our path over the last couple of years from my perspective, and then I'll include a blog post from my wife describing things from her perspective. You might want to grab a cup of coffee…

When Kristy and I first got married we (more me) really struggled with contentment. I'm a small business owner and I was doing "all the right things" but God was choosing not to bless us financially, at least not up to our expectations. I was frustrated; we were frustrated. We took the Crowne class with the Wantlands leading. That really helped me get out of the results business. I needed to do my part - work hard, serve God by serving my customers and employees, and let God worry about providing for us and determine our level of worldly success. Letting go has been a huge relief. Making it not about me has been freeing.

Kristy and I both love kids. Kristy is a special needs kindergarten teacher and I've always loved being involved. In high school I was a preschool Sunday school teacher and camp counselor, in college I participated in and eventually led an inner city ministry, after college I taught 4th grade Sunday school, was a camp counselor, and was 4 year old Sunday school teacher. I'm not trying to put my resume out there; I'm just trying to emphasize the point that I've been a dad in training for 20 years. I have been looking forward to being a dad for as long as I can remember. We decided in 2010 that we wanted to start a family. We stopped playing defense that summer and didn't get pregnant right away. We got out the charts and calendars that winter and tried in earnest for another 10 months or so and… nothing. For Kristy the monthly disappointment of not getting pregnant was excruciating at first. I was disappointed too, but I was out of the results business, so I was trying to figure out what it meant. What was God doing? I had some help.

When we first started trying, I was helping Matt lead a Genesis study. One of the things that really hit home in that study for me was the story of Lot. Lot was a righteous man who appeared to have no impact on his family or community. What impact were we having on our community? Not much. 

Then, when we started trying to get pregnant in earnest, I was going through the book of James in a Tuesday morning study with a group of guys (led by Matt). James 1:27 really stood out to me. 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. What were we doing to serve widows and orphans? Not much. 

This led us to go to an adoption conference. We heard about international adoption and domestic infant adoption, and we also heard about a group of people who still make us a bit uncomfortable. People who were in such a bad situation that a teacher or neighbor or relative asked the state to get involved. So bad, that the state determined it was unsafe for them to live with their biological family. People who have experienced extreme trauma at an early age by the hands of those who should love them most. These people are foster kids. They need temporary parents and sometimes permanent parents. 

Being made aware of this need + recognizing that we need to be doing a better job of serving our community + knowing that we needed to be serving widows and orphans led us to our decision to be foster parents. We are extremely excited to welcome kids, who have been treated like trash in many cases, into our home, love them, and tell them about the infinite eternal value that our heavenly Father says that they have. How often do you get to invite a stranger into your home and tell them about Jesus every day? Awesome! We went from the sadness and despair of infertility to the unexpected joy and excitement of being able to serve God and impact our community through foster care.  It has taken us 5 month from the decision to get to where we are now. We have one step left, our home study write-up. That will be completed anywhere from 20 to 35 days from now at which time we will be officially licensed and open for kids. We are praying for a sibling group (2 or 3) under 10 for our first placement, but we are open to whatever God has in store for us. We are also open to either being temporary or permanent parents for any placement. Kristy and I feel like it might be better for us to share after we have kids in our home since our story with be much further along with that last BIG step, but we will submit to you on that one. 

That’s all I got - Dave"

FYI- they both agreed that we should probably wait to share until we have actually had foster kids :)  Which is A-Okay with me...speaking in front of an audience of adults makes me feel sweaty. 

Thanks again for reading!