Last month we were finally able to throw a little party with some of our family and a few close friends to celebrate Collin’s adoption. The anchor-themed decor was simple yet purposeful, significant for the sense of voyage and adventure it represents. Exactly the imagery I wanted to describe our experience getting to this point!
I’d found various quotes about adventure that I wanted to use in the decor, and I cried when I realized how perfectly these quotes describe our reality of fostering to adopt.
Anyone who meets their son or daughter via fostering will tell you it’s an adventure!
I used the following cards to tell our story, and today I’m sharing them with anyone curious what a foster-to-adopt journey could look like. Knowing what I know now, these are things I wish I’d understood before starting this adventure. Here’s what present-me would tell pre-fostering me:
While not true for everyone, it does seem that if you’re called to foster, you’ll probably face the greatest opposition leading up to saying “yes.” There’s an enemy prowling who’d love nothing more than to keep you from stepping into what God has for you.
You’ll start working through fears, wrapping your theology around all that could go wrong. You’ll research all you can, and you’ll seek and confirm what God’s asking you to do, and every bit of that pre-fostering life is important work. An essential part of the journey.
You’ll never guess what the end looks like, but once you move through the experience and reflect on what He’s done, you’ll be amazed that it all started with one decision to leave the shore. You’ll be thanking Him for giving that courage to begin with.
It happens immediately, that sense of knowing that your whole life is changed the instant a stranger-baby is dropped off at your home. Your feelings are all over the place, but this? This you know for sure. You’re in for a ride! You feel how big it is, how impossible it will be to know what even your next day holds. You’ll just have to live out those days one at a time, waiting to see what God will do in each one. Life is always an adventure – a winding, turning path of events, certainly full of surprises. But at this moment – when you meet the child you’re fostering – you’re immediately aware of how little you’re in control. It’s a strange mix of feeling excited and nervous to know you have surprises in store; you just don’t know how you’re going to be surprised. What was an idea, a dream, a plan, something you trained for is now happening, and that first meeting brings it all into reality. In a second. Nothing prepares you for that. Thank God for adrenaline!
You won’t know how your fostering story will read until after you experience it. It will be hard to understand what’s happening at the time, but that’s normal. Clarity will likely come in retrospect. Learning can certainly happen in it, but so much of the time it comes later. Perhaps the work of fostering just keeps you too busy to think about it much. There’s no time to process it all. You just live it and then later look back and learn why things happened the way they did (or of course, wrestle with why they didn’t work out as you’d expected).
When you finally get to the courtroom and that child becomes yours forever, you realize the power of story in what God brought about. Your perspective now is different, and seeing all the things God walked you through, you’ll want to tell what He’s done. You’ll love looking back to remember. Celebration becomes priority, and you’ll invite others into the story any chance you get.
You’ll know for certain it was risk upon risk worth taking. Your faith will have grown to want more adventures because you’ve seen God up close in this one.
Wherever your calling takes you, you’ll never regret obedience.