Happy Saturday Everyone! What a GORGEOUS spring morning in Memphis! The trees are beginning to show their buds and, the dogwood trees are in full bloom….breath taking!
This week, I was approached by a young woman, as I was entering my son’s school to pick him up. She asked me about my experience as a foster parent to our now, adopted (YIPPEE!) two boys. While I was visiting with her, I noticed some very familiar things…..familiar because, 2 years ago, I was feeling the exact same way: fearful, trying to trust the system, and ridden with anxiety. You see, fostering children, with the hope and prayer to adopt the children, is a roller coaster ride! Before now, before my boys became “officially” ours at the courthouse, I think I was ‘holding my breath’, holding it for 2 1/2 years, while waiting and praying.
You see, I never planned to foster or be a foster mom. Our other three children were adopted at birth. The Bible tells us to “order our plans before the Lord”…..the Lord truly used these boys to change me, humble me like never before, and, shake me to the core.
Our situation came about because our boys were actually dropped off at a local adoption agency and, their mom could no longer care for them. We were asked to apply and meet the boys. Wow! Talk about a life changing decision! John and I met the boys one afternoon, almost 2 1/2 years ago. I took one look at the almost 3 year old boy and, looked deep into his gorgeous brown eyes, and, I knew right then. My heart melted and, so, the journey began. The social worker placed the boys in our home just 48 hours later.
John and I made the decision to take these boys into our hearts and, into our home. My ‘mama instincts’ took over and, ya’ll know I love to decorate and, these sweet angels had to have a “nursery”- no, they were not babies, but, that was the quickest room I ever put together! Thank goodness we have an amazing Pottery Barn outlet here! This store rarely disappoints.
The boys were scared that first night. They did not know us and, I remember like it was yesterday….my son Beck (now 5 years old) woke up very early that first morning. I woke up and, rushed to check on him and, he was not in his bed. Panic! My heart raced and, then I found him. The social worker had left the car seat right beside our front door, in the entry hall. Beck was sitting in the car seat (on the floor)- he had strapped himself in, and he had a far away look in his eyes. I could not stop the warm tears from flooding my face and, I held him for a very long time.
The entire first year with the boys was a very uncertain period. The boy’s birthmom decided she wanted to take them back. The social worker asked me to bring them to the agency to see her/visit with her, four different times. During those visits, I was numb. You see, my heart already very much felt like I was their mom. I learned that their mom did not have any way to support the boys and, she continually failed to follow the court orders to get on her feet. Watching her truly made me sad. There were times when I wanted to hug her, she was very young and her family was not there for her.
Prayer, prayer, prayer.
Nightmares about the boys being taken away.
The Bible tells us in Hosea 6:3, “His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
My anxiety began to change into peace. Little by little, my scared little boys started to sleep all night. They started to gain weight after they had been losing weight before joining our family. They were, and, continue to be, hands down, the best eaters. They are so much fun to cook for because they seem to like any thing I give them. I notice this often and, I smile.
The verse I cited from Hosea talks about the spring rain and nourishment. The Lord truly nourishes us through allowing life experiences that force us to place every ounce of trust in Him. He is a good and all knowing God. He will never leave us or turn His back on us.
We went to court after 16 months of the boys living with us. The judge ruled that the boys would be officially placed in our custody. The birthmom had not followed the court’s orders to support herself and show proof that she could keep the boys. I felt those sad feelings again that day. Sad for her. Sad for her poor choices. I felt glad for us. Glad for the gift of these two precious boys. Glad and honored that things were starting to look very, very positive toward adoption.
The foster system.
Our attorney filed a petition with the court. An adoption petition. We were due in court this past November. I was SO excited…..what was going to be the best Christmas present I had ever received. I called our family with the good news!
That court date came and went. The court needed a document from the state of Tennessee office. There was a delay. Court date cancelled.
The Lord gave me a peace. I am a marathon runner and, this “race” looked to me like it was coming to an end.
January 2013- we signed what would be the REAL and FINAL adoption petition, to be sent to the Shelby County Juvenile court.
March 18th seemed like it would never arrive! Thankfully, the week prior to the “Big Day”, was Spring Break and, I was distracted because we took our children to the beach in Florida.
Upon awaking on Monday, March 18th, I felt like I was floating. A weight, that I believe I had pressed way down into my subconcious, was lifted. This was really going to happen. Our attorney, Kevin Weaver, has been and is, one of the sweetest gifts the Lord has ever allowed in my life. Kevin has been with us, holding our hands, the past 9 years, as we have grown our family through the extreme gift of adoption. Kevin loves the Lord and, he loves his work. He is AMAZING, to say the very least! We met him at the court house at 9:00 a.m. We entered the judge’s chamber and, we swore before him that we would care for Beck Stephen Bryson and Boss Holt Bryson for their entire lives. We swore, under oath, that we would be their parents, forever.
Forever is what we have as Christians. We believe and know that we will be with the Lord forever.
These boys are our “forever boys”. I could not be more proud of how they have adjusted to their new home. Literally, each week, for the past 2 1/2 years, they have matured, grown physically and emotionally and, called us “Mommy and Daddy” from the start.
Amazing grace, how SWEET the sound, who saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but, now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. -John Newton
I do not deserve the many, many blessings that the Lord has given me, through adoption. Many days, I look at their five faces and, chill bumps race down my leg. How fortunate I am. My life is laced with God’s grace. I give all praise to Him!
Thank you for reading my story of being a foster mom. Happy Spring and, I hope you have a wonderful day!
Living With Flair,
Beach time! We LOVE time at the beach! Me and my sweet boys!
These boys are 3 months apart and, brothers as well as VERY best friends! They are always together and, even share a room, by choice. =) Boss is now 3 1/2 years old. He came to live with us when he was 13 months old. He may be the sweetest child on this earth!
Three brothers! They wrestle, play, roll around in the grass and, every single day is a “built in” play date of FUN! What JOY!