Yesterday I got to witness something extraordinary. Three little humans were granted their forever home, and Mom and Dad expanded their family by 6 little feet.
Stacy and Josh always knew they wanted to adopt, and started pursuing foster adoption when they moved to Buffalo, KY a few years ago. They waited an agonizing year after they were certified and then got a call – 3 children needing a home that day. They scrambled to get everything together, and met three little faces they would get to call their own almost a year later. Stacy said,
It’s been a wild, exhausting, and wonderful adventure since that day. We are so thankful that God has given us these kids! Everyone says they’re blessed to have us, but we are so blessed to have them! It can’t be easy to be thrust into having an autistic brother, but you’d never know it from the way they love Jude. It melts my heart anew every day.
We were trained by and went through Sunrise Children’s Services for the first year. They are WONDERFUL. But we had to transfer to the state because we live in the middle of nowhere and had pretty narrow boundaries for the kids we could take because of Jude being non-verbal. Sunrise gets the referrals that the state can’t place, which are usually harder cases (though not necessarily so if you live in Jefferson County, because there are SO MANY kids there who need homes and the workers there won’t place kids outside of the county). Both of our social workers with the state (the kids have a worker and the parents have a worker) have been AMAZING. We were so blessed to have both of them.You get a say in the ages, genders, diagnoses, disabilities, and trauma histories of the kids that you will take. I don’t think people realize that about foster care. And yes, older children and children with more severe diagnoses, disabilities, and trauma histories desperately need families who will love them through those things, but if you don’t feel equipped or able to handle certain things, you can say so.
There are lots of good resources out there. The two that come to mind right away are Together in the Trenches and Empowered to Connect. If The Connected Child isn’t mandatory reading for someone’s foster or adoptive training, then they need to buy it and read it anyway. It is perspective-shifting and invaluable. Dr. Purvis’s other book, The Whole-Brain Child is phenomenal as well. If you are going to foster or adopt children of a different race or ethnic background than yourself, devour blogs and websites devoted to that race or culture. Educate yourself about what issues your kids may face as they grow up, and do your best to walk with them through them with wisdom and compassion as they come.