To begin I would like to thank my sweet friend Erica Halpin for encouraging me to blog :) It is long overdue.
Phil and I are halfway through the process of becoming foster parents. We have completed our PRIDE training through Buckner and have a few more certifications as well as a home study before we are certified to foster. How did this come about? Well, Phil and I were having a discussion one night about 6 months ago where I casually asked him if he would ever consider adoption. He said "Yeah, I think that would be cool. What about fostering? I have done some research on it." My reply was silence. Shocked, mostly, by his admission. I had been thinking the exact same thing. I never really considered fostering as a legitimate undertaking, however, and so I told him that I would think about it. Well, of course, being the person I am I began my own research the very next morning. I spent countless hours looking into CPS, foster homes, foster programs and parent blogs and about a week later I presented Phil with my findings. Buckner looked to be the best option for us as we both wanted to be involved in a christian foster organization. I made a couple of phone calls and sent a few emails. We heard back and were asked to come in for an interview. Oh the anxiety! We were not prepared to be split up for the interview and had not discussed all the questions that they were likely to ask. God took the reigns and needless to say we were accepted and began our training in January. It has been quite a ride already and we are thrilled about where God has led us as a family. There have been legitimate concerns about fostering since we have a toddler and family was understandably concerned. We have a great support team in our families, our friends, and our church. The fact that we could possibly have a foster child in our home by this coming September led us to our next endeavor...
We knew that we would have to turn our music studio/office into a bedroom and would be needing to make a lot of changes in our home to accommodate another child and abide by the guidelines (rules) given to us by Buckner and CPS. Phil really likes looking at homes online, just to "see what is out there". He contacted our realtor (a precious woman who helped us get our first home) and we were out looking at houses in a week. I didn't take it too seriously because I didn't want to get my hopes up (do we need to put our house on the market? Will it sell? Is this part of the path God is leading us down?). We found it. The perfect house for our growing family. We both fell in love (and Lilah really loves the stairs!). We made an offer, the contractor countered, we accepted. Now it was time to put our home on the market. It didn't hit me until I saw the sign in our front yard, "We are moving... forward" and a lump settled in my throat. This home, our first house, was where we learned how to be husband and wife, it was were we got pregnant, it was where we brought our baby after we left the hospital. So much of our sweat and tears have been poured into this sweet little house and we made it our haven. The thought of leaving these precious memories behind is nearly too much for this girl to bear. But God is opening doors and beckoning us to follow after Him, and we go willingly.
After being on the market for less than a week we had two offers. I swear that trying to sell your home is a part time job in itself. You have to be ready to drop everything at a moments notice, interrupt your routine and "HURRY, WIPE DOWN EVERYTHING! PICK UP LILAH'S TOYS! DOES IT SMELL LIKE BUTT IN HERE?!" :) We countered the first offer and they walked. I had been praying fiercely that God would bring a couple or a family to our home that would cherish it, make their memories in it, and bring joy to others through it and I guarantee the first couple was not going to do that or it would have worked out. We countered the second offer and they accepted. Whew! I though the hard part was over... wrong.
A few less than awesome things have been brought to our attention and we are asking God to lead us to the best solution. We have a contingency period on the home we want to move into and if all goes well we will be closing by May 15th.
Onto the most wonderful part of the whole story: my beautiful daughter.
Lilah is 16 months old now and I don't remember life before her. She is why I was made. She is my purpose. I pray that the Lord sees fit to bless us with more children of our own in the future but if not, Lilah Ann is blessing enough. God shows me who I truly am as a person when I look into her eyes. Can she be a handful, of course! Do I just need a break from the tantrums and some privacy every once in a while? You better believe it! I wouldn't change a single thing about the last 16 months or about this life I have the honor of living each day.
My little family is amazing. I love us and I am proud of the lives that we live as a unit, bound together in Christ.
Bring it on, world. We are ready.
All My Love,