Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Journey to Foster Care - The Beginning

About 6 months ago, Dan and I began talking about becoming foster parents. It was not a smooth conversation but more along these lines:

Me: "I know we've always wanted to adopt, but what if we fostered?"

Dan: "I have finals tomorrow...can we talk about this later?"

Me: "But I'm afraid we will be the type of people who never have this talk and then just coast through life chasing our own dreams and never sacrificing for others! Think of all the children, Dan!!"

Dan: "Beth, you know I love children. I just can't talk about this now."

Me: "We'll probably have to move to a bigger place. And get a van! Let's get sisters!! Oh man, what if we have to give them back?"
and so on.....

Dan and I have always had a heart for orphans. Honestly, who doesn't? But over the years, we have felt a great burden to care for abandoned children. I spent much of my two years in Malawi at the Ministry of Hope Crisis Nursery, literally holding and feeding babies all day. It was Elijah's favorite place to play, too!

We spent time in villages at the feeding centers but I always felt there was more we could do. It was obvious we were called to adopt.

We pursued adoption at different points in our marriage, but the timing was always off. Adopting not only takes money, but it takes time, which means living in one place longer than 2 years! Since moving to St. Louis, we've realized that we finally had time on our hands, so adoption was back on the table.

Through a series of events and multiple friends having just gone through the training, Dan and I got more information and decided to attend the classes. After three weeks, we still weren't sure what we were doing there and honestly, were in a big fight about our future life plans as a family. BUT, we continued and boy am I glad we did.

God used the classes to change our perspective on caring for the orphaned and neglected. It really wasn't about us and our dreams for family planning. It was a ministry, something God Himself has to call you to. The longer we attended our classes, the clearer the call became.

Fast forward - Dan and I have completed our 27 hours of STARS classes. It will take a month for our home study to be completed and then, we are ready for kids! We've got bunk beds, the car seats, a van and cute hand-me-downs. We are ready! Well, ready is a relative term, but you know what I mean.

This week, we kept Moses (14 months) for a day and night and it was goooooood practice. Even just thinking through logistics like "who gets out of the car first?" Are we ready?

Over the next few weeks, in preparation (and excitement!) for our first placement, I will be doing a mini-series on fostering, adoption, orphans and neglected children by way of Top 10 posts. Stay tuned!


  1. Wow! How exciting and amazing and crazy wonderful! I can't wait to see where this takes you all!

  2. I am really looking forward to this series. I have always planned on adoption--since I was young. even if I never get married, I want to adopt (I know some people disagree with this but my theory is one parent is better than none, although not as good as two - in most cases) I've thought domestic v. foreign? race? girl or boy? have kids then adopt or adopt then have biological kids? but only a few weeks ago did I start thinking maybe I should foster first (obviously not right now) -- so I am excited to see an honest portrayal of fostering. I've known tons of people who adopted but few who fostered. thanks for sharing!

    1. Katy-I will definitely speak to the issue about single parents fostering and adopting. We took our classes with three single women who are going to foster and I admire them so much!! In fact, our teacher (and co-founder of One Heart Family Ministries) is single, has adopted four girls through the foster care system and is still fostering, too!!

    2. Yay that makes my heart happy. I've been praying for a single woman in my church who is in the process of adopting right now. she is 43 and I know her life hasnt gone as she planned but I am glad to see her following the Lords command to ALL of us in His Word to care for orphans.

      I will be praying for yall and following your story!

  3. bethany, this post makes me happy. i think it's wonderful that you and dan will be welcoming foster children into your home. my mom's parent's 'always' had foster children in the home. and my uncle bobby, is one of them. his mother never allowed them to adopt him though she never cared for him. he's my mom's baby brother and our family wouldn't be the same without him. foster parents make a huge difference in the lives of children in challenging circumstances. it's a good thing.....nix that, it's a great thing.


  4. We just got home a week ago with our fourth adopted child but fostering is next in our family plan...after a long, healthy, relaxing (well, as relaxing as four kinds under six can be!) break!

    I love the training MO requires and we've met some amazing foster and adoptive parents in St Louis. There's a group that meets in Edwardsville once a month called "Adoptive Mamas of the Metro" and it's a casual group for foster and adoptive parents. They're amazing!

    1. Kait, so glad you found me!! I will check out that group for sure. Love your blog! Don't be surprised if I email you for support :)