Friday, December 16, 2011

Foster Friday: Sing Together

Many of you may not know that Kevin and I met when we were teenagers at summer choir camp. **insert "One time at band choir camp" jokes here**  Seven years later we returned to that college campus to get married.  One of the most memorable moments of our wedding ceremony was during the pastor's charge (aka sermon aka long speaking part) where she simply requested for us to "sing together" throughout our marriage to remind us of how it all got started. 

Almost seven years later, I am typing this post to try to explain how we made our decision to become foster parents.  It is a surprisingly simple answer:  to sing together.


Since choosing to become foster parents, it has amazed me at how quickly people make assumptions on how we are choosing to grow our family .

"Oh, so you guys couldn't have a baby"

"Maybe if you practice a bit more, you won't have to be foster parents."

"You know you can just adopt?"

While I realize that the decision Kevin and I have made is pretty unusual, so I think these questions are in an attempt to understand why we chose foster care.  We are very open about all aspects of this process, so for the inquiring minds here are the questions that people are probably wondering about.

Did you try to get pregnant?  No, We have not tried to get pregnant.  In fact, we have purposely avoided it. 

Do you have fertility problems?  The honest answer is I don't know.  Since we have never tried to get pregnant (or even stopped avoiding getting pregnant), we just don't know.  I will say that fertility issues scare me.  I have no warning signs that I will have any issues, but the struggle I have seen others go through is enough to give me pause.

So why not at least try getting pregnant?  There are a few components to this question. 
  1. I have had a unique medical history that raises concern for my health while being pregnant.  In other words, the doctors are not concerned whether I can get pregnant but what will happen to my health once I am carrying a child.  These concerns have led doctors to tell me not to consider getting pregnant.  Now I am thankful to have a wonderful team of doctors that agree I could pursue pregnancy if I choose.  However, they do not know exactly how pregnancy will affect my health and the baby's health.  Things could go smoothly or things could get pretty crazy.  They just don't know until it happens.
  2. Kevin and I have always been very open to different ways to grow our family.  I remember numerous conversations about adoption when we were dating in our teens.  At that point we had no knowledge of any of the unique medical circumstances I would soon encounter.  But it was just something both of us were open to and always left on the table as an option to consider.
  3. So far it has never felt "right".  Both Kevin and I have started to get the "itch" to grow our family, but have always held off from trying to get pregnant because it didn't seem "right".  I know this seems weird.  Normally, if you want kids then you pull the goalie.  But for us, we wanted to explore other options before pulling the goalie just because that's the typical route.  And if you know either of us, we usually don't do things the typical way.  
Have you considered adoption?  Yes, we have.  And it is still an option that we may pursue in the future.  Please note that the verb used was "may" and not "will" since at this point we have no clue what the future is going to hold.  Adoption is an amazing thing, but again it didn't feel right for at least right now.  In addition, it is really expensive and the process is very long, which is saying something after my complaining about the longer foster parent licensing process! 

So why foster care?  The first response that comes to mind is "Why not?"  This is where we usually lose people because our decision to pursue foster care was made more with our hearts than with logical analysis.  Here are a few of the reasons that made this decision feel "right".
  • We can provide a safe and loving home to a child in need.
  • We will open our hearts to the child so that they can learn how to form meaningful relationships.
  • We are able to show the child what childhood should look like, despite the adult things they may have witnessed.
  • We will become attached to the child and hope to be a part of that child's life long past their stay at our home. (Note: This is highly encourage and practiced in our county.)
  • We will be heartbroken when the child leaves our home but our hearts will swell seeing a family reunited after all of the hard work they have done to get to that point.
  • We can give a family a second chance at a healthy and functional home life.

Is your heart singing?

Ours are.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I continue to be impressed by you. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Love, Marti