The adoption process is a whirlwind of emotions. Allowing your heart to be vulnerable to the ups and downs of this journey takes more than just sacrifice–
it takes stamina.
Holding on to hope for what is best for a child takes
willpower and true grit.
Stubbornly fighting for the rights of a child demands
courage and unfaltering determination:
A sacrifice that is made willingly, because the reward is so much more than momentary.
It changes a life.
Illinois alone has over 16,000 children in the foster care system [ILDCFS]. My son and daughter-in-law are both school teachers, and two siblings in foster care were attending the school where she teaches. Falling in love with this pair of siblings, and in hearing their story, the two of them were inspired to begin the process of becoming foster parents. Choosing to do so opened the door of their hearts. Their faith–and their commitment to this very big decision–brought them more than they could have ever hoped for. These two young children that had inspired them soon became their foster children! This young family began the year with a 19 month-old daughter. In May they welcomed a newborn son, and by August they became a family of six when they welcomed a big sister and a big brother!
You’re kidding yourself if you think this was an easy task. The logistics and the dynamics of this new family would change drastically, and the adjustment for these precious children into a new family required unconditional love and commitment–and a load of patience! Their lives were a whirlwind of activities and adjustments–not just for the children they were bringing into their home, but for their little ones as well.
Being in foster care can mean years of being in and out of different homes, never knowing where you will be next. Stability is key, but not always possible. Our sweet littles had been moved around several times before coming to us. These precious children needed love and a sense of security and a place to call home.
Only you can’t promise any of it.
Fostering is a commitment to love and care for a child and absolutely must accompany a willingness to risk getting your heart broken. You want to tell them that they can stay forever, only you can’t. Only the courts can decide that.
When these precious babies move in, they don’t just take up space–they fill a void you didn’t know you had in your heart and they camp out there.
The reality, unfortunately, is that their story is not unique.
The needs are great, but fostering children is not to be entered into lightly.
As you can imagine, the insecurity and uncertainty that fills their young minds will sometimes cause them to be reserved or distant or angry. Their little minds can’t always grasp what has happened to them and why. These sweet little souls just need someone to willing to show them that someone does care about them. Someone who will nurture them and love them and help them to overcome the emotional consequences of their physical circumstances.
To give them hope.
This journey is just beginning for our family… because their parents’ rights were terminated, they were able to move forward with adoption, and on National Adoption Day 2017, we welcomed two more Muntons to our family! (I was happy to use my Cricut to make them matching shirts for their special day!)
There is so much more to this story than I could ever tell. This experience has compelled another of our adult children to foster a baby that they received straight from the hospital. We are so grateful to God for His hand in this process, and wanted to share just a small part of our story in hopes that others will be made aware of the need and consider making a difference in the life of a child….
If you want to know more, just check out the website for your area. There are many ways to get involved even if you are not in a position to foster or adopt. In Illinois, the website is: Illinois.gov/dcfs
Together We Rise is a great organization that helps provide “thousands of foster youth across the country with new bicycles, college supplies, and suitcases so that children do not have to travel from home to home with their belongings in a trash bag.” [Visit their website, togetherwerise.org to join them in making a difference.]