This might be a long post, I apologize in advance. Some of these are just my thoughts I need to document for me, some are in response to questions I've gotten over the last couple months.
We've been back from Guate 2 and 1/2 years now. In that time, pretty much every option of increasing our family has been on the table. Fertility stuff, international and domestic adoption, even embryo adoption. And to be honest, we've really enjoyed our time with Eliot, knowing he won't always be an only child.
We'd actually never really considered the foster care system. Not that there was ever anything wrong with it, in fact, we've known several families that have done it. But for whatever reason, it was never on our radar.
Then we moved to the city. And planted a church. A church dedicated to restoring the city.
Then we met Emily. Emily runs an agency dedicated to helping/educating/training families wanting to foster or adopt. Not only does she run the agency, but she has four beautiful girls adopted from the foster system. We met for lunch one day. It must have been some powerful pizza cuz some serious light bulbs started going off.
As I processed the idea, I had a few things I had to come to grips with if we were to go forward with this. First of all, we would be taking a risk, maybe risk after risk, of falling in love with a little one, only to have something happen. The birth family is a major player. We're not used to that. We would have to hold lightly, not tightly to the idea of adding to our forever family until further notice even though we'd have a little one in our home.
Secondly, this journey isn't and CAN'T BE about me and my needs to be a mom. I could easily argue that a main motivation in Eliot's adoption was ME. This process is different. The focus needs to be on what's best for this particular child, and that may be chillin' with us for months while their birth family figures a few things out.
We have to trust that each child will be in our home for the exact amount of time they're supposed to be and while they're here, we will love on them as if they were going to stay.
And to be honest even further, we started the journey down the fertility road. Minimally, understand, but we opened the can. We (I) didn't even make it two rounds. I couldn't justify the time, energy and money. I turn about 7 kinds of ugly once you start adding stuff to my system. And the worst part? The constant wondering if it's a 100% waste of time. It didn't make sense.
Similar to fertility, there's no guarantee in fostering. Essentially, we could be spinning our wheels. The difference? In the meantime, we're using our time, money and energy to love on kids whose worlds have been turned upside down, hopefully adding some stability and protection, and doing a little bit more to restore the city.
We know this route isn't for everyone but secretly I'm hoping that by being open with you, that it'll sneak onto your radar. We've already heard some alarming statistics and the need for more families. And some of you out there have more to give. You're not done.
If you have questions or just want to hear more about it, please ask. It's my new favorite thing to talk about besides Tenley on Wings of Love.