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My Perfect Match and How Fostering Fits

BeautifulYou know those moments in your life after you either struggle and struggle or wander and wander for months or years on end, only to look back to realize you suddenly understand the struggling or wandering? Those moments when it becomes crystal clear that you have a purpose? You have been making “the right” choices?

Beautiful and I have had so many of them in our 5 years of marriage already. On the eve of getting licensed for foster care (just one more inspection to go), we had another “moment.” I’ll start at the end and work my way backwards for some literary and storytelling flair.

We had returned from our first foster care support group at the church that hosted our MAPP class last spring – Lauren Dungy spoke about her and Tony’s adoption of 5 kids. It really, really felt real for the second time so far; the first time it felt real was signing papers and answering interview questions for our home study just two days earlier.

I asked Beautiful, “Do you see us being one of those “crazy couples” who have 11 foster kids [in a giant house that sounds like a 3-ring circus]?” In my mind, I’d been pondering this as a very real possibility for our gifts and convictions, but obviously not with this 3-bedroom townhome. “Yeah, I think we could be… but not with this house.” We went on to role-play a call with placement, “Will you take this sibling group of 5?” “We accept your placement if you buy us an 11-room mansion in Avila.” Avila is an, exclusive neighborhood in Tampa where the Dungys still have a house. That was a good laugh, but the seriousness of the original answer was there.

Our goal, by virtue of it being my most intense goal of our married years, was to be able to live off my income so we could start a family one way or another. I say “one way or another” because we hadn’t completely decided how because it doesn’t exactly happen by accident with CF. Our choices were IVF, private adoption, state adoption, fostering, or international adoption. We had decided that our financial goals and providing for us and for her if something happened to me didn’t line up with anything with a $5,000-$20,000 price tag on it any time soon.

When we started looking into the options that the state offers: fostering and adoption, we took the plunge and signed up for the 13-week class. The rest is history, as we had one of our “moments” eating dinner the day after the first class. We had both, individually come to the conviction that we needed to switch our course track from adoption to fostering.

We were being selfish

We listened to stories and experiences that first class that shed light on our own selfishness. Yes, we were being selfish in our first attendance. It was about us and our needs. We want a family that goes beyond us. That’s all fine and good, but what about those thousands of abused and neglected children in the country, the state, the county, and even our neighborhood? Who are we to choose one child like a puppy from the pet store? That was the creepy, uneasy feeling I had looking at photos of kids up for adoption. I couldn’t do that.

There are currently over 2,500 kids in the foster care system in our county (the large county that includes Tampa and stretches 1/3 of the way to Orlando) and about 400 foster care families. You do the math.

Being consistent

Beautiful is writing about this, but I want to touch on it, too. Thursday night was the first time we had foster care and adoption put to us this way. If you’re a Christian, think about it. If you’re pro-life, think about it. If human life is more sacred than convenience or inconvenience, think about it.

Being pro-life and a believer in the sanctity of life, we urge others to not have an abortion. Whatever the reason, we say that unborn life is precious. Okay, so who is going to take these non-aborted infants? Adoption and foster care is the logical fulfillment of the pro-life stance – who will “suffer the little children?”

There were over 7,000 abortions in our county last year alone. Next year, 50% of all births will be to single moms with a significant number of them entering the system at some point or permanently. Who is going to step up and care for these uncared for?

We are.

How pro-life are we? Society can’t support the dissuasion of an abortion without providing an alternative. That’s two-faced. There’s another word for it that has been used for all the ages and has been the cry of the Boomer and Buster generations. I encourage you if you’re an empty-nester or if you have extra room in your house or heart to consider that. These are our modern-day widows [single moms] and orphans [non-aborted, abused, and neglected] that so greatly concerned the church 2,000 years ago.

Back to the perfect match

I mentioned it in the title, and now we’re back far enough to reveal it. Beautiful and I were spared the later disappointment, shame, and other bag of emotions that come with infertility issues. It was already settled before we were even engaged that kids were not going to be a natural occurrence.

Some close to her were sad for her that she’d never experience being pregnant. She was fine with that. What she didn’t (and doesn’t) make readily known is that she never has had a desire to go through that. It doesn’t sound particularly enjoyable, especially in the later months, and we both cringe at the Bringing Home Baby show on TV when they show all of the pain and pushing.

I’ve got a unique, fearfully and wonderfully made woman who is perfectly matched with her desire to have a family with a lack of desire to actually be pregnant coupled with my inability to have much to do with getting her pregnant. It doesn’t get any better – any more perfect made for each other, almost as if I was created down to the specific gene she needed to have a family how she is comfortable with.

It’s times like this that having CF doesn’t seem so bad.

Comments

  1. Following your journey to fostering is just so amazing. And the way you talk about your wife, equally so.  Mike & I had a similar moment when looking into options for fostering/adopting here, I saw that there were some 4,000 children in the system that needed homes RIGHT HERE. Many of them in groups of 3 or 4 siblings.  Babies who need to be loved as much as anyone, and it became clear that there was no other choice for us. I love to see people who really live their beliefs.  And I’m so glad you choose to continue sharing your story with all of us.  

    • Thanks, Amy. Our friends’ support means so much since it’s such a different experience than most. Our local friends offered a shower recently and we opted for a licensing party to celebrate as a couple once we’re licensed. So cool! We’re going to register tomorrow – on Valentine’s Day.

  2. Megan Murray says:

    Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing so openly about your fostering journey. I think you two are doing such an important service to the world by taking in these children, providing a home for them, showing them true love, and being there when no one else has.  I give you both so much credit. 

    • Thanks, Megan. You truly sound like you’re made of the same stuff and your hubby doesn’t sound half bad, either. 😉 We’ll definitely have to get together the next time you’re at your sister’s. Beautiful just told me she lives where we broke down on our road trip.

      Small world!

  3. Markmannhome says:

    God Bless you on your journey into foster parenting and possible adoption someday.   Your pro-life message is strong in action.  I am so glad you chose this insead of in-vitro which is inherently eugenic.   I am a little sensitive about that since hundreds if not thousands of us cystics are aborted every year. In vitro they throw out the ones like us from the dish, freeze or trash the rest and implant the “perfect baby one with blue eyes”.  

    Thanks for going the pro-life serventhood way and again God Bless!

    Mark

  4. I just discovered your blog, and just had to mention how much I loved this post! Eloquently and beautifully written, and I admire you guys so much for what you are preparing to do. I’m also blessed with one of those perfect matches… right down to the fact that he’s such a deep sleeper that he never wakes up when I’m coughing! 😉

    • Thank you kindly, Cindy, and welcome to the community. Beautiful wishes she was a deep sleeper like me – it’s me who doesn’t wake up to my own coughing.