Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why Aren't We ALL Foster Parents??

So, I'm going to touch on a subject I virtually know NOTHING about...Seriously..I know NO ONE that is a Foster Parent in OUR state or ANY state for that matter!! Why is that?? Why am I NOT a foster parent???? I once KNEW nothing about Ethiopian Adoptions..but now with the bazillion emails I get regularly..I seem to be the ONE THAT KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!! :) it THAT HARD?? Are kids in our U.S. Foster Care SO broken that we aren't willing to open our OWN DOORS to them?? I'm truly just wondering....I've started reading a little about The Foster Care system...and I know that MOST children will be placed back in their original home EVENTUALLY even if it means that they might be removed from that exact same situation AGAIN and AGAIN!! So, if we KNOW that most of the children will return to their "old" that just too hard to bare?? Is that why NO ONE signs up?? The thought of bringing a child into our home, loving them, and then RETURNING does make me want to throw the seed we plant in that ONE MOMENT IN TIME NOT ENOUGH to make it worth it?? I'm just asking...cause..I really KNOW NOTHING about the foster care system...but I do want to learn more!!

So, I looked at my hubby tonight and said, "Babe, I really want to be a foster parent some day...whatcha think?" I got the reply: "I don't know..that seems REALLY hard!" (not really the reply I was hoping for :) BUT...I did say: "Don't worry..I want to adopt again FIRST from Ethiopia and then Foster about that?" :) Oh, well...he KNEW what he was getting into when he married me!! :) My point...I'm sure someone OUT THERE thinks Ethiopian International adoption "seems really hard"...but it just WASN'T!!! It was actually VERY EASY to love Lucy Lane!! I think that was my hubby's point was easy cause we didn't have to send her back!! would hurt...but if you knew going in that they MUST RETURN to their birth family some day...DOES IT HURT ANY LESS???

So..those are my questions for the night!!! If someone out there would "enlighten" me on their experience and let me know WHY no one signs up to be a foster parent..I'd gladly appreciate it!! :)

And, just to make you THINK about the foster care system IF you weren't already, check this out:

And, I know that MANY children in our U.S. Foster Care System ARE NOT UP FOR ADOPTION...but there are TONS that are (approximately 123,000 children in the U.S. Foster Care System are "ADOPTABLE"!!) ...PLEASE go to and check out their faces!!! I look and pray for them all the time!! I can't imagine what it must be like being an "orphan" in this great country of ours...where everyone seems to have EVERYTHING... besides YOU...and all YOU want is the simple thing called a FAMILY!!!

***Now let me introduce you to a few sibling groups I just simply found by visiting the site...All these children are UP FOR ADOPTION..Are they YOURS??:

#1. Case # sneo15942 9 yr. old Female, 7 yr. old female, 5 yr. old male, and 1 yr. old male: All Healthy!!! Race: AA

#2: Case # SIDO15927 7 yr. old female, 5 yr. old female, 3 yr. old male, and 2 yr. old male All Healthy....Caucasian#3. Case # soko14890 10 yr. old female, 9 yr. old female, 8 yr. old male and 7 yr. old male All healthy and Bi-racial

#4. Ever wanted twins?? How about a sibling group of 5?? Case # sm1015938 (not pictured):

9 yr. old female, 7 yr. old female, 6 yr. old male, and 3 yr. old female twins!! And, they are too cute!!! RACE: AA and All healthy!! (you can see their pic on line by visiting

*****So, that's it for tonight..I don't want to overwhelm ya...but seriously...this is a FREE site OPEN to the public with no password required..and they state on their homepage to PLEASE help them spread the word of these children!! I looked everywhere for a spot that says, "don't post pics"...but it just wasn't I guess if they are open to the public with the pics then I can do it too!! So, pass the word, get involved, foster, adopt....

happy Wednesday to you all (I've gotta go...i've got more pictures and stories to read on !! kj


  1. I'm not sure if they have it in TN or not but have you ever looked into being an advocate for CASA? I felt a calling for this about a year ago, our biological family isn't quite complete yet, but I wanted to SOMETHING more so I prayed about it and then a lady at church told me about casa, I haven't looked back! You can read more about it at if your interested!

  2. i have several friends who foster kids and i always think that's not for us, but have i truly prayed about it? not really. thanks for the encouragement to be open to the lord for what HE thinks is for us not what I think is for us!

  3. Hi Kristi...I have followed your blog for a year now and I am so inspired by your story...I just wanted to share that my husband and I are foster parents and have been since 2004. We were 25 & 26 years old when we became foster parents. We have adopted 2 kids through the system Luke in(2005) and Grace in (2007). We have had 13 children in our home over the years. Yes, it hurts to say good-bye, it is difficult to not always know what happens to them. We do get very attached, because first it is easy to love them and second they need us to get attached to them to help them heal. I know many say that they couldn't give them back, but you can...God helps you through it. Because if it is not you, then who is it that takes these little people in? It gives a person the perfect opportunity to love as God loves us.

    I could write forever about all my experiences and the doors that God has opened and the woman that God has grown me into, but I won't. If you want to go to my blog:
    I uploaded a little video I made of our foster and adopted kids a few years ago. You can see a little bit of our story. Thanks for posting about foster kids, and thank you for being an encouragement to me!


  4. We have been truly blessed to adopt our two littlest through foster care. Aleyna is almost 2 and Zion is almost 1 (his adoption has just started). It is an emotional roller coaster but God kept us strong. Please get involved, there are so many beautiful kids just waiting.

  5. I actually know 2 families here that are foster parents. One adopted the one year old little girl who id precious and the other family is trying to adopt the baby boy in their care. It is neat to see. I have thought about foster care. I think having to return the child you have loved is what scares people. Great post on this. Last night I dreamed of Lucy lane. I wa@ holding a little girl who reminded me of her and I kept thinking how huggable and wonderful it was to hold her. :)

  6. Thanks for sharing Kristi! I have several friends who are foster is amazing the way their love can change a life! Sadly, we live in a county where DFACS will NOT place transracially. One of my foster parent friends has had 2 of the infants she parented put back in an unsafe situation (yup, just because she and her hubby were white thy could not adopt these precious kids) and the babies did not survive. We hope to foster parent one day as well. All kids need a home and a family!!!! Thanks for your love and encouragment!!! And you would look great in a 15 passenger van:)

  7. My husband and I were foster parents before we had our first child. I won't tell the whole story, but I will say it was an amazing, life-changing experience. Everyone tells me "I could never do that." I usually reply that God told us and we were obedient. I do think things are always harder when we don't obey Gods call and we would have missed out on some amazing blessings. We fostered siblings, a four year old boy and his baby sister (7 weeks when the CPS worker put that darling baby in my arms). The day they left was one of the hardest days of my life. It was awful, but God was faithful and he comforted us in a way only He can. I wrote about it on our blog couple of weeks ago. it is titled "Five Years Ago" if you would like to read it.

  8. The Middle TN Orphan Alliance (MTOA) is supporting a program here in our area called "Safe Families." It is a program where kids go BEFORE they enter the foster care system. With all the statistics on kids in the system, this program will intervene before the kids become one of those statistics. I wish I knew more about it to tell you, but I will see what I can find out and let you know. I know they are looking for families right now and you can contact Amy Frew for more info:

  9. We are also very interested in doing foster care in the future! Glad to know we're not alone :)

  10. I am thinking we need "got love?' foster. logo. Very thoughtful post. I am sure it will encourage many of your readers to look more seriously into foster care. Keep speaking up for those who have no voice, Kristi, people will listen!! Blessings to you!

  11. my husband and I currently live in uganda but when we return to the US next year we are considering being foster parents... so if you receive any helpful information about it please send it our way! : )

  12. Kristi, I can share what I have experienced with the foster care system. Several years ago, a large group of families in Williamson county from Fellowship Bible Church went through the PATH classes to be certified as Foster Parents. Very few have received placements as there aren't many kids needing foster care in our county. Also, if you have followed Gillian Tucker's blog, she shared her experiences with fostering this past year and the way the social workers and the system works. It's a tough road. You go into it for the children, but the system is so broken that it takes an incredible amount of fortitude to work with it. When God called us to orphan care 21 years ago, we chose to be foster parents in Ohio. Our 21 yr old was our first foster child. When we moved to Atlanta, we thought about getting licensed again, but decided against it. Having the intrusiveness of the "system" in your family while you still have a lot of young children is very disruptive. I think fostering is best done when your children are older. I think they need to be able to understand why these children come and go and why they behave the way they do. They need to be able to handle social workers showing up very late at night to remove your foster kids because they've decided their placement needs to change. I hope some of the families that are currently fostering can give you their experience.

    Also, all those children waiting for adoption across the US are very difficult to get placed because of the all the rules each state places on them. Most states don't want to place their kids across state lines. Most will not place in families where there will be more than 6 or 8 kids in the home. Most require that you be licensed foster parents first before placing. It's really hard and really sad for all of these kids! That's why so many of us have adopted internationally. It's not because we don't care about the children in our country, but because it's so difficult to get them placed our homes. Our foster system is so broken. It's not about the what's best for the children, it's about federal dollars and bureaucracy. Sorry to be so negative but in my 21 yrs of experience in adoption, I have rarely heard anything positive about our system especially in the south where we're are about 20 yrs behind!

  13. I think we run from "hard" in this culture...plugging our ears and saying "lalala" when God calls us to hard. I'm only 20 and have no experience with the foster system, but I can't wait to be a foster parent! I'm in nursing school...and my dream would be to take in medically fragile foster kids and love on them. I watched a short video clip where a woman was talking about her experience with foster care, and that she and her husband saw it more as a ministry to the WHOLE family...they really come alongside the biological parents and love on them too. I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center, and so many women would rather abort than give their babies up for makes me sick, but I think a lot of it comes down to their HORRIBLE experience with the welfare/foster system and they think that's what adoption means (at least the women I've talked to). Can't we be the ones to give the foster system a new reputation? Can't we be the ones to love on these kids with the love of Jesus, giving them HOPE? Even if we only have them for a little while, HOPE can last far longer.

  14. I can share what I know about the foster care system and most of it is not positive for the families involved or the children in its care. When God called us to orphan care 21 years ago, we became foster parents in Ohio. Our son who is 21 was our first foster placement. In Ohio, it did seem to work fairly well, as the children's best interests were taken into consideration. However, after moving to the south, we saw a different system. Several years ago a large group of people from Fellowship Bible Church took the PATH classes to be certified as foster parents. Very few have had children placed with them. I don't think there are a large number of children needing placement in Williamson County or a lot of them are teenagers. If you have young children it's not wise to have teenagers place in your home. I think the best time to foster is when your children are much older. They need to understand why these children come and go and why social workers show up randomly to remove children because they've made the decision to move them. Read Gillian's blog or talk to her about her experience fostering this past year.

    The kids on that site you mentioned are very difficult to get placed because of all the red tape each state places on them. I know because I spent many years trying to adopt through the system. Most states don't want to place out of their jurisdiction. Your file must go to committee for review and will probably be rejected many times. Most will not place them in families that will have more than 6-8 after they are placed. Most require you to be licensed foster parents first. Trying to get your state to release your homestudy to another state is next to impossible. That's why so many of us have gone to international adoption. We can at least get these kids home! International adoption is easy compared with trying to adopt sibling groups across state lines that are in the state's foster care system. How sad is that! I agree with the previous poster that being a CASA worker is the best we can do for these kids at this stage in our parenting. We need to work for change in the system that makes it possible to get these kids into permanent homes.

    I'm sorry this is so negative, but that has been my experience with the system and observing the system for the past 20 years. It's a huge mess which is devastating for the children and families affected by it!

  15. So very true!! We are on the waiting list for a little girl from Ethiopia but definitely plan to foster after our kids are a little older. I'm a teacher and have taught in a behavior hospital and the majority of the kids there bounced from foster home to foster home. Broke my heart!!

  16. Here's how weird I am - I look at the adoptuskids site frequently. I love the idea of fostering. For me, I feel like I could love a child and show them Jesus even for a short period of time. My husband feels like he could not do it emotionally. He says he would be too attached.

  17. My parents are foster parents and although the system is quite a bit different in Canada, (Aboriginal kids who will never get to go back to the families, and yet their tribes will not let them be adopted) and we have two little girls in our home for the last two years. We have had some bad experiences, but every minute you get to love on these precious kids is SO worth it! Every kid needs a family. They need to be shown love, even if it is just for a few months.

  18. You must have read my heart this week Kristi. As you know John and I are praying for our 3rd child, and I have been looking into this same thing this week. Like you I would love to foster one day as well, after I adopt once more. I think your right, it's hard to know you have to send the child back, but here in my state they offer foster to adopt, so if it's something your interested in you can foster children and adopt them...just fyi....btw, the set of 4 children with the number SID 015927 won't come up on the adoptkids site, how do I get to see more on them....praying for them all...

  19. Kristy,

    Thank you for the reminder that our lives are not our own and that we are to care for ALL orphans not just through adoption but helping them even if it is for a short time. Jesus tells us that we are going to faces tough times and while not every placement ends in adoption, it has the possibiilty for us to be a light for Jesus in someone else's life, even if it is brief.

  20. Hi Kristi! This is a great post and I love that you bring these things to everyone's attention! :) John and I were foster parents to the sweetest 2 year old twin boys in the world. It was one of the best experiences and one of the worst in my life. I have to agree with some of the other commenters - the foster care system in our country is completely broken and quite frankly I don't know how it is still running. We had HORRIBLE experiences with the system and pretty much every foster family we know had the same experience. (we know several in various states) Also, giving the twins back - and YES they went straight back into the home and the situation was still just as bad as when they left - well, that just tore us to pieces. BUT... HUGE BUT... I would do it all over again!! We moved last summer and you have to reapply in each new county you live in. We decided to adopt right after we moved, so we wanted to wait to sign up again. We are planning to get Tucker home from ET... get him adjusted ... then sign up to do foster care.

    Yes it hurts, yes it's hard, yes the system is awful... but every moment these children have in a safe and loving home is WORTH IT!!!

    Thanks for getting the word out! We're hoping to adopt from ET again too (next time a little girl) and my husband actually just told me that he wants to adopt from Asia as well!! I'm looking into the future and seeing a VERY big mixed family! :P

  21. This is something we have been really praying about for our family's future. I am literally moved to tears when I hear about some of these children's situations and I just feel this need to help. There IS some risk though, especially with young children in the home....some of the older children can be very violent, or have drug use...and that is something I am very wary of exposing my children too. That is why I am not ready to do it right now (and yes, knowing they go back home eventually would be heartbreaking, but I can move past that...and between the two of us that would be more my issue than my husband's). Of course, that is not every scenerio...some of these children just need to be loved. We actually have neighbors two doors down that are foster parents and they have adopted some of the children. Two weeks ago they had a 15 yr old single mom and her newborn baby (a couple weeks) staying there...I don't know if they are Christians, but the impact they had on that young girls life is touching. They were teaching her how to care for her own baby! James 1:27 commands us to care for children like these and to be there advocate (see my blog post a couple days ago so I think its something that we as Christians need to be better about. If EVERY ONE of us each did SOMETHING there would be no one left unloved! Thank you for bringing light to this subject.

  22. Hi April and anyone else wondering...If the case # I typed doesn't work for some reason (i do those posts at midnight so when I get another chance I'll look to see if I mistyped something) you can just simply go to the site, click "meet the children" (or worded something like that at the top of the screen) and I didn't type in ANY parameters so ALL kids would pop up and all of the sibling groups mentioned were on the first or second page that you first was so late that i didn't even get past the first or second page in...I'll email this to you too April, kristi

  23. I am so glad you did this post, Kristi! I know nothing about foster care, but I have wondered the same thing...why do I not know anyone personally who is doing this right now? I do know one amazing couple at our church that has had 72 foster care babies go through their home(not at one time!) :) The also have 3 biological children...amazing family! It is something I want to be praying about for sure! Glad you are bringing awareness to it!

  24. I am so glad you did this post, Kristi! I know nothing about foster care, but I have wondered the same thing...why do I not know anyone personally who is doing this right now? I do know one amazing couple at our church that has had 72 foster care babies go through their home(not at one time!) :) The also have 3 biological children...amazing family! It is something I want to be praying about for sure! Glad you are bringing awareness to it!

  25. I love that you did a post devoted to foster children. I have been following your blog for about a year now (your blog was the first adoption blog I had ever seen) and reading your awesome, godly, inpiring posts has changed my life. Now, I have had some experience w/the foster care system. My parents adopted one of my sisters through foster care and is in the process of adopting my baby sister through foster care right now. She should be leagally my sister by fall! My parents have been through a lot...they initially went into foster care just to get liscense to adopt my sister(Sadie). They had fallen in love w/her and needed her as much as she needed them. Then b/c they were liscensed our social worker asked if they could keep a baby for just a little(few weeks). The baby came to my parents house when she was 5days old. My parents have now had her for 19 months. Now the baby is my sister Holly Jane! It was hard for my parents b/c her bio parents wanted her and then didn't and then did and back and forth. It was really hard to hand her over for hour visits and see her crying and reaching out for my mom. Anyway, I could go on forever. I look at and heartline adoptions all the time. I am only 23 but, I plan to have a house full of kids. I really want to be a foster parent...I think being a foster parent is selfless things someone can do.

    My blog is if would like to take a look at my cute pie sisters!
    Blessings Rachel

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Thanks for this post Kristi. I've brought up foster care to my husband as well and his response was pretty much the same, I'm starting to wonder if they're related..
    I've actually started looking into adoption through Catholic charities, just praying that God leads us where He wants. I know one person in our community who just took in a boy, 18 yrs. old through foster care and she has smaller children and is divorced bless her heart.

  28. Hi, Kristi,
    My husband and I are in the middle of our second adoption from the foster care system. So foster care tends to be on our minds a lot (though isn't feasible for our family at this time--it would be too disruptive for our children and their current needs) We know a number of families that foster, but that's probably because due to our adoptions, we're kind of plugged into the community.

    Thank you for bringing this issue up. There are so many wonderful children in desperate need of love in the system right now.

  29. Thanks Kristi, I will go try it now..thanks again....

  30. I have been a foster parent and have adopted internationally...hands down, adopting was so much easier. The system is very broken here. The social workers are overworked, underpaid and in my experience,...well, not pleasant to deal with in the least. Yes, the children have been through so much...but they are not usually the ones to fear, it's the parents that are allowed to reek havoc on families lives.

    I have watched friends foster and literally almost had their families destroyed because of how bad the system was. They used the children as pawns trying to get their way. They tried to conjure up allegations that could have removed all the children in the home (not just the foster children), and they had their hearts broken again and again.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't...but I think that you must be called to take it on. You have to know that God is taking you into it.

  31. We were foster parents last year. We tried and failed to adopt MANY kids listed on ADOPTUSKIDS. They do not want the kids out of state lines...and many times out of their own county. It's horrible, and it's all about money. We did do short term foster care in our county. It was to much for our 4 year old to handle. He just couldn't understand, despite our best efforts to tell him what was going on. It's a hard life, and you WILL endure false abuse allegations that could endanger your ability to adopt again. Birth families, in an attempt to smear the foster families WILL accuse you of things. You MUST be educated, because the same system you are working in can AND will remove your own children while you are investigated. Thus, tramatizing your own kids. It's a corrupt and broken system that does nothing for the children or families it "serves".

  32. awesome post! My sister fosters and I have a beautiful foster niece that is soon going to be adopted into our family! I have had MANY foster cousins throughout my life as many of my aunt and uncles foster and some foster to adopt! I think in one aspect it is harder because of not knowing how much baggage these poor children have had to go through and not knowing how long you'll have them! You definitely have to give a part of your heart away knowing it might get burned or broken but knowing that by doing it, you can help love some child that never experienced love before! My sister amazes me with the strength she has to foster children!

  33. We have talked very seriously about fostering as well. Our housing situation keeps us from being able to do so right now, but hopefully that will change soon and we can look at doing this. We would also be interested in adopting from the foster care system as we have an only child who constantly asks for siblings:) Praying that GOD has this planned for our near future:)

  34. Great post! We are adopting our daughter through the Foster System, as well as becoming licensed foster parents. It has been a dream of ours for 12 years and we are so excited. For those hoping to adopt out of state, I highly recommend Adopt America Network. They have gone above and beyond for our family and had us matched in 1 month.

  35. My husband and I are just getting licensed to be foster parents. At first we were going to do adoption ONLY, but through the process God has showed us He has other plans. It really hit me when I realized that I never have a problem helping people I know with their children. When they need help or have to take care of something I willingly take kids any time for any lenghth of time. That is what I will be doing for these families. I will be helping them out while they are taking a break and getting their life figured out. It may take a long time, and if they can't do it I will gladly become a forever mommy to that child.

  36. My wife and I have been foster parents for over a decade. We've had over 20 different foster kids (in addition to our five biological kids). We adopted one, and are in the process of adopting two little half brothers right now.

    I think that there are many reasons why it's harder to get involved in the foster system than to adopt from overseas. It seems that the big stumbling block to overseas adoption is the financial investment. With foster care, there's the fear that you may fall in love with a kid and then they will return home. There's the fear that the birth parents may get involved either positively or negatively. There's the fear of the trauma/abuse/neglect and other baggage that these kids carry with them (we now have our 10 year old in therapy for her attachment issues after she terribly bruised me several times in her rages). There's the fear of people from "the system" being in our house and lives (we have case workers, CASA staff, licensing worker, Easter Seals staff, Home Health workers, Health Department nurses, our every week we have at least a couple of agencies inside our home). There's the fear that we only want a cute little baby, and we'll get an older kid. There is the fear of all of the court dates and how long things will take (it took three years to adopt the first foster kid, and they're talking maybe four years for the older of the two we currently have).

    Those are at least some of the fears that we've faced and hear others talking about. We are very active in our Foster community (I've even done some seminars on fostering...I could send you a PowerPoint of my presentation if you email me at

    We are PASSIONATE about fostering, and have had great, good, poor, and terrible experiences with kids and agencies in two different states. We'd love to talk to others if you have more questions!

    Andrew & Karen Beaty, Normal, IL

  37. WOW! Thank you for this post Kristi. As you know, we had to serve as foster parents to the twins for 26 months before their adoption was finalized. Is "the system broken"? YES. But does God still "move mountains"? YES.
    Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.
    I pray those who feel called to adopt domestically, will not fear pursing a waiting child in foster care because of a slow and complicated system!
    Heading now to check out your links!
    Love & Blessings,

  38. Hey Kristi, now that I'm home and settled with my Ethiopian babe I'm getting licensed as a Foster home. I took all my classes last month and have my home visit coming up. It was a million times easier than doing a dossier! The adoption community and foster community have a lot of overlap actually- many families have done both.

  39. My husband and I became foster parents when we were 23 and 25. We were struggling with infertility and had no biological children. We decided (with the Lords leading) that we wanted to help children who needed a mommy and daddy (maybe for 2 days..or maybe forever!) while we waited for Plan A (biological children) to happpen! Turns out our "Plan B" of fostering and adopting was God's "Plan A"!! Amazing what can happen when we let God steer the ship, huh?!

    Now, 4 years later we have fostered 12 different children and adopted 3. I have people say to me all the time that "I could never do that..that would be too hard."
    My response is always "Why not? God doesn't always call us to things that are easy!"

    It is so hard to love a child and not know what tommorow holds..if they are going to stay or if they are going to leave. It is hard to see the battle fought in understand why anyone would consider putting a child back in a home with a sex offender or sending them back to the parents who starved them, beat them, neglected them. I have also seen some amazing success stories of children returned to their biological families. Regardless of the outcome for each child, I have a face and a name to bring before the feet of Jesus everyday. Some faces I may never see again on this side of heaven..but I had the chance to love them and hold them when they were so see their little spirits come back to see the healing begin.

    Yes, it's hard. But it will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do! You would be an amazing foster family! Thank you for all you do to spread the word about all these precious children! You are a blessing!

  40. p.s. there are some scary sides to fostering just like adopting from Ethiopia, I am sure! BUT, God has not given us a spirit of fear! There are many wonderful people and services available to children in the foster care system. Yes, it is a broken is a broken world..but that is why we need more believers to come forward and foster! We have only ever fostered children under the age of 3 because that is what works for our family. We found it was too hard to break the "birth order" in the family and had a few scary experiences with bringing older foster children into our home with our younger children. You can find what works for your family..because what works for you will be what is best for the kids too!

    Can't wait to hear more about your plans to adopt from Ethiopia again!

  41. Hi Kristi - I just got your link passed along to me and wanted to say hi! my husband and i just became foster parents 3 months ago! i am now mommy of 5 as we have 2 bio, one who we adopted and 2 foster sons. We are fostering a sibling group of 2 - little brothers 3 and 10 months. 2 years ago we started the process of a domestic adoption and through that very emotional time, God opened up our eyes to the waiting child. It's like he said, "It's not about bringing a child into your family, but it's about bringing your family to a child."

    Really it was just back in Novemeber when our eyes were first opened and because of that, and a number of other circumstances, we started taking foster care classes. Through the classes, our eyes were opened once again to the ministry of foster care. This is a very small nutshell version and i would love to talk to you about it anytime!

    if you go to my blog and click on our domestic adoption heading up top, you'll see more of our journey.

    fostering has stretched and grown me in so many ways already but i am so thankful! we are certain that the Lord has called us to this and that He will continue to lead and guide us as the future is all very unknown.

    I would love to talk with you more! :) Have a great day!

  42. Kristi,

    Mike and I have adopted twice internationally and are also licensed foster parents. We have two foster children here in Maine and I must say, having done both, fostering is totally different than adopting.


  43. From Robb's wife, Cara: Our newest baby came to us through the foster system. In all of my life, I will never be able to express the gratitude we have for the family who loved and cherished our son until we could come along and adopt him. How precious to know that he was loved, held, cared for during the long hours in the middle of the night... that someone cuddled him close and smiled at him. They do not plan to adopt, yet they were still willing to let their hearts go and to LOVE! I thank God for such a blessing to our son and to us!

  44. Great post! I fostered a little boy when iw as single, then my husband and I married. We had him 2 1/2 years and he went home 5 days before Christmas to a Motel 6 (that was the permanant address mom had)...he was abused by step dad on Christmas Eve..nothing ever happend he was a little over 3 at the time. He was put back in the system at 7 after mom over-dosed, he had been burned on 65% of his face and neck at a drunken campfire etc...etc...
    We just adopted 2 from ethioopia dn yes it was MUCH easier!
    I have a friend who is a foster parent and it is hard on the parents and the bio children. The foster kids come back from visits with family with new toys, have double the birthday and Christmas gifts gifts etc while our friends can barely make the monthly bills.
    AS far as the adoptable children in the US. It is hard. Anotehr friend of ours set out to adopt a child between 3-7(male) took over 9 months because lie a previous post stated they want them to stay in state lines, or have regular visits with a g-ma, be the only child, the youngest chile, no pets, stay at home mom...etc etc. Her son was adopted from a state psych ward and it has been VERY rough!

    I have even considered fostering again but in the state of Kentucky you can have no more than 5 children in the home and we have 5 now :(

    The state does NOT make it easy to help these children.
    Bethany :)

  45. Whew! I haven't seen this much traffic on your site in a long time!! Wow. So great to prick everyone's hearts...and sad to hear that the system isn't necessarily in the best state it could be to help more kids.

    Foster care is near to my heart, and I've always kept, tucked away, the idea of 'giving back' by being a foster parent. From my birth until I was 13 weeks old, I lived with a foster family. I am so grateful to people who would stay up with a newborn that they didn't know and provide love and care until my adoptive parents could step in. When it's right, it's an amazing gift. Thanks for advocating.

  46. Hey Kristi! I had actually started praying about foster care before we started our adoption process. Then God made it clear that His plan for us right now isn't to foster a child, but to adopt a child from ET. (But I have a feeling that on down the road that door will open up.)The program I was looking into was one that was started by some ladies at our church (Long Hollow Baptist in Hendersonville, TN). It is called Jonah's Journey. It links "foster" families with pregnant moms entering/serving time in the TN Prison for Women. The foster families take the baby after she gives birth, in order to keep the baby OUT of the formal "foster care" system. (The basis being is that it is often hard for the birth moms to get their children back from Foster Care once they are out of prison, even if they are now capable of caring for their child.)The "foster" family keeps the baby while the mom is encarcerated, and takes the child to the prison (weekly, I believe) to visit the mom. When she is let out of prison, the mom must meet some criteria (help from/attend church, have a job, etc.) The foster family helps minister to the mom as well. The program is amazing, and they have a website and are on Facebook. I have several friends who have fostered through Jonah's Journey. One just recently was having a hard time knowing that the mom (who they did like) was released from Prison and get her baby that my friend had raised from one day old to 2 years - and the birthmom suddenly decided that it was better for the sweet boy to be adopted by this family. It was amazing - as the family has older children and wasn't really planning on becoming parents again - but they were thrilled! Another friend of mine has a sibling group of FOUR they are fostering until the mother gets out. Anyways - check out the website. I think that once we finish adopting, we will be fostering through Jonah's Journey.
    Take care, girl!

  47. Hi Kristi--Just wanted to pass along a GREAT book if you are interested. It's a really quick and easy read, and he spoke at the Orphan Care Alliance Summit in Minneapolis this April: The One Factor - How One Changes Everything by Doug Sauder (Author)

    We actually went through foster classes before changing course to intl adoption through Ethiopia. We are now a respite care family with the hopes of someday returning to a full foster care family. If you read the book, let me know your thoughts!

  48. I'm a foster parent. Been one for 8 (my how time flies) years. We've had the privilege of 24 kids during that time. Three or four, depending on how you count, have stayed with us. We are currently trying to adopt three 6 yr olds that have been with us since birth, birth, and 18 months. I can say that I will not foster anymore after this adoption is complete. It's like being on probation without having committed a crime.

    I can't leave the county without permission, half the time I can't take the kids because the approval process to allow them to travel is tedious. We've spent thousands of dollars trying to adopt, we've been granted legal custody of the kids but as of now their permanency plan is permanent foster care. Mama has even signed her rights over to us directly and we are still no closer to adoption than we were 18 months ago when she did that.

    The problem is not the kids, it's the system. We had a teen tell his caseworker he "didn't feel safe" with us after having lived with us for two years, after a lengthy investigation they found no problem with us, but still moved him. He has returned 5 years later as an adult and said he was scared we'd stop loving him. He's in our life now, but we lost five years because a system couldn't differentiate between a scared kid and a dangerous situation.

  49. I am a foster mom in Canada. Slightly different "system" but still the system. We have been fostering for 3.5 years now and have had 6 kids ages birth to 3. We are in the process of foster adopting the 9 month old we've had from birth. The "easy" part of foster adopting is that , here, it is free and can even be "assisted" for years to come. They literally drop kids on your door step. No plane tickets, no ransom fees, just tons of kids that need homes. It IS tough. I have heard horror stories. I am still haunted by my own stories and goodbyes. I think it is still worth every tear and midnight feeding. I have always been SO drawn to international adoption too. It seems like an even more difficult leap of faith to me. We'll see how God leads. As long as we are open to bringing his little ones into our family..for a short time or forever..God will use that willingness.

  50. I just found your blog today and was so touched by your story and your heart. I was drawn to this post as my husband and I became foster parents almost 2 years ago. We were already parenting our 3 biological children, but God spoke to us that foster care was a path He wanted us to walk down. I was one of those people who always said, "I could never do that...I could never say goodbye" (I am the type who cries at Hallmark commercials). I've learned so much the past few years. Most importantly, I've learned to never say "I could never do that". If God calls me to do something, HE will strengthen me and give me the grace to fully walk that road...and HE has. We have been blessed to foster a sibling group for 18 months and were so sad to see them returned to their parents (who are severely mentally ill) last month, but God has given us so much peace through the process. We are greatly anticipating another call to place more children here.
    In my honest opinion, to only agree to love someone when you know you won't get hurt in the process is a selfish kind of love. We are told to love and to care for orphans...PERIOD. God does not give us a "pass" to avoid the tough things in life. I have to believe that the 18 months of love and stability we offered R and J were seeds sown into fertile ground...can you ever really "lose" when you love the way God wants you to? Don't these kids deserve to be loved until your heart breaks? I know so!
    Is our system broken and failing? Absolutely. However, if all the good people walk away, what is left? An even more disastrous situation.
    I think it is a wonderful thing that you want to become a foster parent, and I truly hope you do. We need more people like you!


Thank you for your kind words!!