At the age of 6, I told my mother I was going to adopt a child. That seed of an idea stayed with me through meeting, dating, and marrying my husband Tony. As we began to realize that getting pregnant was not going to happen easily, we instead decided to adopt a child first. We chose to adopt from foster care, not because we were Christians (we weren’t), not because we were really wanting to do a great thing. It was free. That was about it.
We were given a child in 1998. She was 6 weeks old and had been abandoned at birth. Six months later, due to many unforeseen circumstances, our adoption fell through. She was returned to a mother who had been in foster care herself. Not long later, the child came back into care with permanent physical scars. We were scarred as well. But our scarring came in the form of God breaking our hearts for these least and lost foster children!
In 1999 we adopted our oldest daughter Gabby, a precocious 15 month old. She had been in foster care due to severe neglect. In the back of our minds, we kept “planning” to adopt again. A sibling set of 2 or 3. But the plans kept being pushed out. The timing never seemed right, until God made plans for us.
In 2009 He brought a social worker into our lives for a brief season, and through that association we found out about Will, Lydia, and Madi. The children were born to a very young mom who was a foster child herself. Both parents fell into drug use after losing a child, and the three children came to us in April of 2010.
We fell in love with our children, but our love was born out of their tragedy. The reality for our children is loss. Loss of those who were supposed to love them best and protect them. Loss of security and trust. How does a 5 year old who has lived with 7 different families trust that we will always be there? Food issues, fear, torn loyalties, lack of self-worth. This is the life our children came from.
This is the life for the 408,000 children in foster care in America right now. Fifteen thousand of them are in Georgia. Many children remain in their birth homes due to lack of foster families with whom to place them— most of them not knowing there is a God who loves them and a Savior who died for THEM! Our children were so thirsty to know this God who knew them before the foundations of the earth. To know this God who found them so valuable that he sent his Son to die on a cross so they could be with Him in heaven one day. To be loved no matter what.
After the promise686 attorney helped us complete our adoption, we began asking how we could do more. How we could help? Now, instead of being unwanted, my children are light and salt. How many others are waiting for someone to share Christ with them? We are not all called to adopt or foster. But we are called to have faith and act. What is it God is calling you do?