First off let me say that our first training class to become
OK now let me back up.
Before moving to our new home, our amazing friend M mentioned several times that her friend was a children's minister at a Baptist church in the area we would be relocating too. I met her friend and their family at
Her name came up again once we started this journey. M mentioned that her friend had a great working relationship with the social services in our county and did many workshops through their church to encourage foster parenting and adoption within their church body. Since I was already in touch with her friend's contact on my own I didn't make any connections.
Are you lost yet?
God moves fast.
Of the two dozen people who were in attendance last night, HALF of them (I'm talking six families) came from M's friend's church. Seriously. Once the first couple mentioned it, couple after couple openly repeated that they went to that church. That is right, people. Over the next couple of months we will be growing a support system with other Christian families. I wanted to cry right there.
The dynamics of the group were surprising. Four families were empty-nesters. Two couples were young with no children. A few mentioned previously adopting. Some were current foster parents. And one guy (and his wife who was not present) had adopted a sibling set in California four years again when they recently got a phone call saying the birth mother of their children had another child and asked if they wanted it. He was going through the process in our state to foster that baby until they could adopt it so their children could be with their sibling. There were several single woman. Some who only wanted to foster teenagers.
It was eye-opening. It seems God calls all kinds of people to do all kinds of thing for his glory.
The class was very informative in a helpful and overwhelming kind of way. We both came away from the first class even more excited about the journey ahead and open to whatever God has in store for us.
We were able to turn in our application last night. The instructor said she will be able to start processing paperwork within the week. Finger prints are next week. Then soon will be the home study (which we heard--from others who have gone through the process elsewhere--was super invasive but learned yesterday might actually be harmless). When that is completed, we should be able to qualify to receive a placement call BEFORE the end of our training. That would be interesting. I guess technically we could bring a lap child (with approval) on our family vacation to see relatives...
We learned some helpful statistics last night that will help direct our prayers for what God might be preparing for us. There are more foster homes in our county than there are children who need homes (which is a good thing!). The average length of stay is 12 months. The percentage of kids in the age range we were hoping for is very low, like 2%. God might have other plans for us. We will just have to wait and see.
I will admit I was getting anxious about leaving the kids yesterday afternoon for the training class. Brother actually cried after nap not wanting me to leave him. That is SO not his temperament. I bribed him with left over peanut butter cake to eat with my friend (who ended up bringing her daughter) and he quickly got over his tears in a jiffy. Maybe he was still waking up? In any case I needed him to be strong for his sister because I was more worried about leaving Babydoll. We have gone out before but it has usually been after putting her down to bed. I am not sure a sitter has ever put her to bed. I gave Brother the one responsibility of singing her night-night song to her. He obliged. I have no idea why I was so anxious about it. I totally trust my friend. I guess I just didn't want my Bundles to give her a hard time. Breathe. Of course everything went fine.
Well God was faithful to send texts from THREE of my favorite J friends in the hour before my class. I felt their prayers and appreciated their encouragement. Thanks girls of California, Tennessee and Florida. You are gifts in my life! Not to mention the sweet card I got in the mailbox from one of those J's just before my friend arrived to watch the kids. And the drawing and letter from our sponsored child in Nicaragua that came in the same pile of mail.
God is more than enough, people.
One class down, seven more to go! We are doing this.