I’m nesting again. Only, I’m not pregnant…..but we are expecting a child/children.
When I was in the 6th grade, my parents opened up their home and took in 3 of our relatives for a short time. I’ve always admired that my mom willingly took on three more children (pre-teens/teens at that!) when she already had 3 pre-teen/teens to raise. I shared my bedroom and my parent’s attention. And while I’m sure we all fought…often…I have really fond memories from that year.
Fast forward to about five years ago when I started working at a private foster care agency in their admissions department….where I also met my husband. For 2 ½ years I spent every day calling foster homes in search of placement for children that were brand new to custody or just in need of a new foster home. It was always a mixture of somber and wonderful feelings all at the same time. Here I was working to locate placements for children out of their home---and at the same time talking with some wonderful foster families who willingly took extra children into their home.
My husband and I have known that foster care and (possibly) adoption would be a part of our future families...before we were even a family. For my husband, he would have been ready the day after we said "I do," but while I wanted to do this---I needed to make the choice to do this. I always would say things like "someday we want to do foster care/adopt/help kids in need...when our kids are older/out of the home/less need...when we have more money/a bigger home/a larger car/a set schedule"
A new job has allowed for a little extra money in the budget, but the other “when we_______’s” are still there. So why now? Because I believe that Jesus was serious when He told us to love our neighbors, care for orphans (even temporary ones), to love others….and all that stuff on mercy/justice/and grace…..you get the idea. We have an extra bedroom and space in both our home and heart to do this. And while we could wait for a bigger home/more money/when our kids are older….I think we’d be missing the point. I think we’re all called to care about children in foster care & orphans….this is the way we feel led to “answer” this call in our lives.
We are about halfway through our training and we anticipate receiving our license as early as mid-September! In the meantime, we are “nesting”. We are purging our closets (& our hearts), praying, anticipating needs, stalking every thrift store in a 30- mile radius to find really nice furniture & misc supplies and purchasing loads of school supplies at cheap prices….in the event we take in a child in October and all of a sudden notebooks that were .17 in July are about $100 more than that. We are preparing our home to pass an inspection…which means fixing that silly handrail on the steps that lead to our garage, locking up all of our medicines and cleaning supplies & finding a way to store our ammunition separate from our guns. (kidding, no guns in this home!!)
Some people I’m sure think we are a little crazy…I feel a little crazy! But I know without a shadow of a doubt that I would rather be dubbed “crazy” than “complacent.”
Please don’t get the wrong idea about these children! They are not damaged….they are fearfully and wonderfully made. And while some of them may be coming from the terrible situations you hear on the news---I’d say many of them just need a temporary place to stay while their parents receive some support to get things back on track. We want to be that temporary place of shelter….and that support that encourages both sides. Also, please know that we don’t consider ourselves special…quite the opposite actually. We merely feel like we are taking a step of obedience.
I share this with all of you because we would love it if you would pray with us, for us & for the potential children and families we will have the privilege of working with. I’d also like to share some of our “anticipated needs” in the event that you might have a “friend of a friend of a friend who is trying to sell her kitchen table”----I’ve been camping out at consignment stores like it’s my job and have managed to take care of some of these items---but it can’t hurt to spread the word!
Our needed wishlist:
-our most pressing need is for a minivan. Our car can hold maybe one more person? But certainly not if that person is needing to occupy a carseat. Our SUV is paid off and we have been on the hunt for a reasonably priced minivan that can get us all from point a to point b…reliably.
-twin beds, dressers (you know, the type of furniture you would need if a child 0-18 came to live with you) We have the usual baby items---and an extra crib at our disposal.
-sheet sets & bedding items (those spiderman sheets your son is no longer interested in? maybe we might have use for them!)
-clothing (this is one obviously can’t be worked with ahead of time)
-a kitchen table (ours currently seats 3, we are on the hunt for a table that will seat at least 6)
-books, games, puzzles (items that span various age ranges)
-advice. I KNOW there will be points where we have a child and I’m all of a sudden “oh my stars, what on earth do teenagers like to read/eat/watch?” or “I all of a sudden have a child who is totally into twilight---someone give me cliff notes, stat!” be prepared J