Just a month ago, my husband and I were going away for a weekend retreat for young married couples. We were looking forward to getting away and spending time focused on each other and making our marriage stronger. Even driving to the retreat was so much fun. We love talking for hours in the car, with nothing else to do, just us and the road in front of us.
We were also nervous and anxious, since we were also speaking at two of the sessions. We spent weeks getting the material ready and we were looking forward to it with anticipation and trepidation. It was a relief when it was over, but we both love to speak and especially when we do it together, so it was very gratifying.
We had a phenomenal time and the retreat was so well organized, thanks to the great team that put in so much effort into making it a delightful and relaxing time for all the young couples. We also really enjoyed getting to know so many other young couples. It is always great to be with people that want to invest into their family’s future.
One of the most common questions that young couples ask one another is “Do you have any children?” This question is always somewhat awkward for us, as you can imagine. We’ve been in the process of adopting for SO many years now, so we’re technically “expecting” a child, and I always feel so disloyal and like I’m hurtful to my daughter’s memory by not mentioning her, but we’ve learned to simply smile and say, “No, we don’t have any children”. You don’t want to pour out your whole life story to everyone who innocently stops to chat, am I right?
And that’s just what we did that weekend, every time we were asked if we had any children or not.
How quickly life can drastically change. Just a few days later, we welcomed a precious, newborn little boy into our family.
As many of you already know, and have been following our journey for a long time, my husband and I were attempting to adopt 2 children from Russia. Sadly, President Putin banned all adoptions of Russian orphans by Americans in January of this year. We were heartbroken, of course, but this situation was completely out of our hands. Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world, full of sorrow, heartache and pain. Evil has a place in our society and laws are passed that God isn’t happy with.
Since we live in a world where there is sin, sometimes humans make wrong and hurtful decisions. Humans are not robots and God allows the consequences of wrong decisions to come into effect and they hurt innocent people. There are so many examples of different situations in our world where God allowed bad things to happen. Think of Stalin and Hitler. Think of abortions, war, and murder. God is absolutely horrified and opposed to all of it. It’s so sad that hundreds of thousands of Russian orphans lost the chance to have a Dad and Mom and be part of a family.
In the spring of this year, Sergi and I had to make another decision of how we would proceed with our pursuit of parenthood and decided to become foster parents.
It has been quite an adventure. Many years of saving, planning, learning, signing paperwork, jumping through all sorts of hoops, proving to strangers that we are normal and caring people, who can be trusted with a child.
Seriously, it’s SO much easier to give birth. It must be a breeze - Get pregnant, go through the pregnancy ordeal for only 9 months (9 months ONLY, Wow.) and then give birth and take the baby home, no questions asked. Nobody has to inspect your house, get a referral from your job, check out your networth statement, get fingerprinted to make sure you’re not a criminal, completely invade your privacy, get referral letters from people who can vouch for your character, take parenting classes, etc. You birth parents have it easy! Ha ha!
In all honesty, of course it’s a wonderful thing that the social services in this country is trying their best to make sure that these precious children will go into the right homes, to caring and responsible people. I guess we passed, since we got our license as foster parents:).
Many times, it felt like we would never become parents, with so many obstacles that came up one after another. First I lost my patience, then all my excitement, and finally, even hope began to slowly drain out of me.
Yes, it was such a surreal moment when we finally got “the call”. I wasn’t expecting it at all at this point. Of course, it had to come on the day after I had worked a night shift and had to go back to work for another fun night at the hospital.
It was a wonderful, exhilarating day, full of so many emotions and tons of texting and calling our immediate family members, who were so excited too!
I will never forget that night, when we held him in our arms the first time. We fell in love with him the moment we saw him. This outstanding wave of love swept over me, and I knew I couldn’t have loved him more even if I had given birth to him myself. He has filled our hearts and our home with so much joy and thankfulness.
- Why did we decide to foster instead of adopt?
- Why didn’t we pursue adoption from Belarus, Ukraine, or another country?
- Huh? I’m confused. I saw a picture on FB/IG of two babies. What happened to the second one?
- What is foster care all about?
- Is it possible to love a child who was born to another woman as much as your own biological child?
This post is already way too long, so I had to break it up into more manageable, bite sized sections:). I can be really wordy, especially since I have A LOT to say about this subject!
All these questions and more will be answered tomorrow, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. I WILL delete any questions of comments that I deem to be inappropriate. I don’t mind if you say something negative about my food, but I will not allow anything to be said about orphans or foster care that is even remotely hurtful. I am a mama bear when it comes to this subject, so you’ve been warned:). (I realize that most of you only have the best intentions and are very nice and caring people. Most often, comments can be really hurtful simply because of ignorance, so I don’t hold it against anyone.)
If you have any personal questions, feel free to write to me privately, as a private message on Facebook or to my email – firstname.lastname@example.org. I am very open to discussing any questions you may have about this subject.
Also, as I’ve mentioned before, we cannot legally label a child as a “foster child”, so any comments on social media which mention “foster care” or “foster child” will be deleted. While these children are with us, they are every bit a part of our family and we will treat them exactly how we would treat our own biological children.
Thank you so much to everyone of you who have been so supportive and have shared our joy. We’ve been blown away by such a warm response from many of you. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome this little guy into our family and thank God from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to experience this incredible and awesome privilege of being parents.