I have to apologize for my six month hiatus in letting my site go dark with absolutely no explanation. Brian and I have been really busy due to a huge decision that we made in the fall and it hasn't been quite time to share it yet until now.
While it doesn't make a lot of sense on the surface, we really feel like we are supposed to become foster parents. I know, we already have three little boys, live in a three bedroom house and I have fibromyalgia. And oh yeah, I just turned 30 years old. Definitely not your typical foster parent profile. But, I can't get away from it and I know that if I don't do it, I'm going to regret it. Sometimes God calls us to do things that don't make outward sense because that is where He works best. God doesn't work in the ways that we expect and I always think back to one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis, "Safe?... Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good." Truth is, I'm scared to death because I have no real idea about what we are about to step into, no idea when that call will come and who that precious child is that is about to appear on my doorstop. But, God is good and if this is what He wants for our family, we are going to do it.
It has been a really long process that started in the fall. We've had months of training, doctor's physicals, interviews, and even a fire inspection. There were several home visits with social workers and in true Payne family ironic style, the day before our first home visit with our social worker, Luke decided to climb on the shopping cart while we were looking for a lockable medicine case (another requirement) and pulled down the whole thing... with Jackson in it. Jackson bumped his head, got a bloody nose and had a huge lump and black eye for the social worker. If that wasn't enough, Luke also decided that afternoon, he needed to turn on the ceiling fan and then climb into the top bunk of his bunk bed which resulted in a ceiling fan blade shaped bruise across his forehead. Luckily, our social worker has a sense of humor. Never mind that we hadn't had so much as a paper cut for weeks, but seriously, this is how my boys like to roll!
Our paperwork is now in the hands of the state and we should be officially approved next month and we'll get our paper license in July and so we can expect to get a placement in August. I am so incredibly thankful for all the support we've gotten from friends and family as we embark on this new adventure in faithfulness.
There have been a lot of questions people have asked me about what we are doing and so I'll attempt to answer them here. We do have control over who we will take; we are planning on taking in someone Luke's age or younger since we think Ethan needs to stay the oldest and we don't care what race our new child is. We will take either a boy or a girl and are definitely open to adopting him or her should they become legally free. I WILL get attached to our new precious child and it is going to be heart-wrenching to have to give them up should that be the case. I've had a lot of people tell me that they wouldn't be able to do foster care because they would get attached and there is unfortunately an assumption that we shouldn't get attached because of the pain that it will cause. The problem with that is it means that I'm withholding love and that is the best part of me; I am who I am today because of love given to my by family, friends, mentors and God. That is something I can't deny anybody let alone a precious child I have been entrusted with, biologically mine or not. Sure it will hurt and it is scary and not the safe thing to do, but He's good and I am trusting that He is big enough to handle it. It is just my job to be faithful with what I've been given.
We feel so incredibly blessed with everything that we've been given and want to share it with someone who truly needs it. I have been totally humbled by our kids' response to our decision to do foster care: they have been on the same page with Brian and me and are so excited to meet their new brother or sister. We would really appreciate your prayers as we do this for wisdom, energy for me, patience for all of us and most importantly, prayer for our new child. While we might not have them long, the truth is that none of us really knows how long we have together so we want to make the most of the time that we are given and make as big of an impact as possible. Thanks!
Please come check out more on this topic on my new site, Uncommon Grace!