Just three months after we moved to Colorado, we started foster-to-adoption classes through our county. In March of 2011 our intent was to open as a foster home and build our family.
God had much more in mind! Three years later, we now have 80% of our friends in the Colorado Foster Care/Adoption community. These people are the kind of friends who have also become our extended family. Family who help, share ideas, and, love my kids as much as I love theirs. I'm also a part of a foster/adoption support group that meets monthly. These connections led me to the most amazing Girls weekend I've had yet - The Passion for Orphans retreat. I'm currently in classes learning about trauma and the brain, and, how to connect more deeply with the people in my life.
I am grateful.
I am humbled.
I am amazed.
I've watched this wonderful community of selfless people grow along with their children. They've watched me and my family do the same. It's a beauty for ashes, sweat and tears kind of journey.
My heart is full tonight as I think of so many interactions I've had with my son and my friends children, who have come from the hard places (foster care).
One moment that I'll never forget:
We were all together at a karate function. Our friends foster son, E, (a sweet teen boy) was carrying around Lauren and JoJo, when he said: "Your kids really love me, don't they?" I answered: "Yes, they do." Then, E stood just a few inches in front of me, looked me in the eyes and asked: "Am I lovable?" Surprised by the sudden depth. I quickly said: "Absolutely, you are!"
I sit here, tonight, weeks later, still pondering the condition of a heart that would feel the need to ask that question.
It's an honor and a gift to know these precious kids. They are so valuable. They've shown me that all that truly matters is how we love others. period.
They teach me to be more careful with my words, my facial expressions, and, my tone of voice. They teach me that each day is a chance to begin again. They teach me to forgive quickly.
They teach me to be present.
We almost didn't move to Colorado. We almost waited longer to attend the foster-to-adoption classes. God has made our life rich!
Today in the U.S. about 100, 000 children are currently waiting to be adopted from 'the system'. Many others need foster care short or long term.