3.4.12- Ben and I hear from the Lord that we are to become foster parents.
3.15.12- We tour Hope and Home and fill out the initial application.
3.29.12- Begin our training/classes
4.7.12- Last of our mountain of paperwork is turned in.
4.26.12- Last day of classes
6.12.12- 1st home study
6.19.12- 2nd home study
6.20.12- 3rd home study (facility check)
7.2.12- Looked over our home study (interpretive hour)
7.19.12- First call. Respite (short term-4 days) for an 8 month old baby girl, A. So fun!
7.24.12- Second call. 5 month little girl. Had to turn down due to pending chickenpox in our home. :(
7.30.12- Another call for respite care for a 4 year old little girl. Come on, chickenpox!!
8.3.12- Our first placement! 6 day old little boy! (And it's official: no chickenpox.)
8.4.12- Respite care for a 2 year old girl and a 5 year old boy. Crazy weekend with 4 kids!
8.24.12- Little guy leaves us. We're asked to take either a 1 month old or a 2 month old. Had to say no since Ben is out of town. Thankfully, they're both in great homes now!
9.4.12- Second placement. 3 month old little guy and his 14 month old sister. Having 3 children under 2 1/2 is hard! We are told this will be a long-term placement by the social worker.
9.10.12- Wow. The judge decided the 2 littles should return home right away...as long as their mother moves out of the home. Enter rant about how the system is bio-parent-centered, not child-centered here.
9.28-10.12.12- A total of 10 nights respite care for an 8 month old little guy. We had many, many challenging nights. Was a potential placement, but he ended up going with a foster family who could better met his medical needs.
10.26.12- We were picked to be the foster family for a 6 week old baby girl. She's currently still in the NICU, but hoping she'll be home with us soon.
11.1.12- She's home!
4.12.13- Respite for a 5 year old girl.
11.8.13- Clementine was born! This puts us on a mandatory 6 month break from foster care.
12.31.13- After living with us for 14 months, sweet baby girl went to live with her bio-mom. We are heartbroken, as it looked like we would be adopting for most of her time with us. However, we sincerely hope nothing but the best for her mama and for her.
4.5.14- We met up with the baby girl and her mama today. They seem to be doing really good! It was so good to see them. She kept running between Ben, Alice, and I, laughing hysterically. Bio-mom thanks us often for taking care of her little girl. :sigh: This is a hard, but rewarding calling.
8.15.14- Respite care for a 13 year old girl. Teens are different than babies! She was super sweet, but it was an emotionally trying weekend.
9.30.14- Respite care for a 3 month old baby boy. Went well, but having 2 babies is hard!
11.16.14- Though we really struggled with the decision, we are now officially back open. Both Ben and I were wanting to pull the plug on foster care. Then, God spoke loud and clear that we are to continue doing it. So, we are now officially back open for a placement.
11.21.14- Respite care for a 16 year old girl. She was really sweet, too.
12.31.14- We saw the Little One a lot for awhile throughout the year. Her mama is/was struggling. Then, she completely cut us off. No more communication. That has been very hard. We miss her like crazy, but trust God is watching over her. We know there is another case open, but at this time, she is still at home.
1.2.15- Today we accepted the call for a 4 day old baby girl. We're calling her Eve.
10.1.15- Sweet little Eve went to live with her mama. Praying for them both!
12.27.15- I received an email from the Little One's mama! I was SHOCKED! She thanked us, again, for taking care of S. Said they are doing well and even included pictures. I cried. I'm so thankful for the update.
12.31.15- Ben and I spend each New Year's Eve talking about the year we are ending and make goals for the coming year. We decided that we would not renew our foster care license. We are officially closing this chapter for now.
1.8.16- Psych! We say yes to 2 little brothers, ages 17 months and 6 months. (I know.) As I write this (2/9), I can honestly say this is the hardest placement we've had. Not hard because there are 4, but hard because the toddler is struggling. Minimal communication skills with big emotions. He's often up 4-5 times a night. The baby, on the other hand, is the easiest baby ever. We are a spectacle. We draw attention everywhere we go, which isn't my favorite thing. It sounds like they'll be going to live with family soon, or "soon", in foster care talk. It could be this afternoon. It could be months. Well, it cannot be months, because...
2.4.16- We submit the official paperwork to suspend our foster care license at the end of the month. We are both at peace with this decision. This past month has been very confirming that our season with foster care needs to come to an end. It has also been very confirming that foster care feels so incredibly lonely. When things are hard, people stop asking how things are going. Finding a sitter for some time away is almost impossible. I feel like we have very little support. The people who understand us, have full homes and the stresses of foster care themselves. Our sweet friends have small children and stresses of their own. So, we're closing this chapter and looking forward to the next one God has in store for us. I'm looking for tangible ways to be a support to other foster mamas. We are desperate. We need Jesus and coffee.
2.14.16- The boys go to live with their Godparents. It was a bittersweet call!
2. 19-21.16- We do respite for a precious little 2 year old girl, A. Clementine loved having a little buddy all weekend.
2.29.16- This is our last official day as foster parents. Phew! What a wild, but rewarding ride! Thank you, Jesus, for getting us into all of this and for carrying us through. Now, we sleep. :)
Total count: We've cared for 16 sweet kiddos in our home.