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A New Chapter…Fostering!

2016 November 8
by Folgate
Welcome Sweet Baby Boy! We have BIG news…our family is becoming a FOSTER family. A safe haven for children who have been traumatized, a place they can be loved and feel loved, and a place that these children can call home for however long they are with us. We are equal parts thrilled and scared for the journey the Lord has called us too, and we are excited to share this journey with our family and friends.   Erik and I have always felt the desire to expand our family, however, when we discovered Ashlyn’s chromosomal abnormality (I will be writing all about this in the near future), and the fact that I was indeed a carrier, we felt God may be calling us to another path to accomplish this. We looked into IVF with egg donation and domestic adoption, and while I would love to be pregnant again (I know…I am weird) and experience all of those joys, I kept feeling the Lord tug on my heart and shift me in another direction. Approximately a year ago, I felt a strong sense that the Lord wanted us to explore the potential of fostering as a family, but Erik and I weren’t quite on the same page. Of course, this was understandable, as the fostering world can be quite daunting and scary. But still, the Lord was persistent in His desire, and after MANY discussions, we agreed to take the foster care classes known as PRIDE, to explore this more deeply and to discern whether this was where the Lord was really leading us.   We signed up for the fostering classes in April 2016, which last for eight weeks. In the midst of this (during the second class actually), we received the news that many of you are already aware of, that our five-year-old nephew had passed. This news is and continues to devastate our family, and I often think that we are going to wake from this nightmare and this was all a bad dream. During this time, we made the decision to continue with the classes, and we completed these at the end of May 2016. We spent the summer filled with family and traveling, grieving, and finding a new normal. During that time, we had also been working on completing the remaining items regarding the home study and all the required pre-requisites.   We are currently at the juncture where we are awaiting or finalization of licensing, which should take place at the end of the month. Amidst all that has been going on lately in the world of a working family with a kindergartner and pre-kindergartner, a mama who just went back to work four shifts per month in the children’s ER, school volunteering, and work traveling for the hubs, I recently realized that the end of the month is merely DAYS away. This means that we will potentially be licensed and ready to accept a child into our home during the first week of November (cue the screams)!   As far as the details go, it could be hours, days, weeks, or months before we have our first placement. We have opted to accept children in the 0-12 months old age range, and we are open to both male and female. We feel strongly about keeping birth order, which is why our age range is younger than Ashlyn. We want our children to feel like they are a BIG part of this, and that they get to be the older siblings and help make decisions, as best they can at 4 and 5 years old of course.   Unfortunately, during the EIGHT three-hour long classes, there was NOT one that dealt with the everyday procedures of receiving that first call, to visitation, to doctor’s visits, and so on and so forth. For a mama who is OCD and LOVES to plan, this makes me incredibly nervous. But I am trusting in the Lord and His incredible plan to bring us on this journey, and I know He will never leave our side. He has called us to an amazing opportunity that may leave us feeling scared, excited, and unequipped, but will allow us to humbly serve Him and LOVE His children. I have a strong feeling that we are going to be brought to our knees in prayer many times during this process, and for that, we ask for your prayers as well.   We do not feel we are saints or super-parents for making the decision to become foster parents, we feel that we are fulfilling a calling. A calling that many others can and will do, and who will likely be far better at this than us. We would love for each and every one of you reading this to stand beside us during this process, to be our cheerleaders, to be ears to listen, and to be hands to help. You all are a gift in our lives, and for that we are thankful!   Addendum:  I initially wrote this post on 10/27/16, our license was finalized on 10/31/16, and we received our first sweet foster baby on 11/7/16. We are so excited for this journey to begin. And while we do not know how long he will be in our care for, we trust the Lord has big plans, and we will provide him a safe home and will love him fiercely during his time with our family.
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