Our current reality is not the future we envisioned.
Yet it is good.
For Christ’s love compels us
(2 Cor. 5:14)
Bryce and I got married in 2009 and started building a secure life. We both had solid jobs, bought a house, got a dog, and spent lots of time serving at church.
Back when we were dating, we had discussed a mutual interest in adoption. As we learned more about the plight of foster children (essentially the United States’ plan for orphans), our hearts were drawn to adopt via the foster care system.
In 2011 we started working toward our foster license. In 2012 our first biological son was born and I left the workforce to stay home. Six months later, we welcomed our first short-term placement with the program Safe Families for Children (a Christian foster-prevention program).
One died for all, and therefore all died
(2 Cor. 5:14)
Over the next couple of years, thirteen children came through our home via the Safe Families ministry and state-run foster care. Sweet faces with rough stories. Placements ranged from overnight to two months. We got attached to a couple of the kids, struggled through a few hard weeks with others, I experienced crazy stress symptoms. We would pray, recoup a little bit, and jump into the next placement.
How can something that is so hard be so good?
Our second biological son was born at the end of 2013.
Those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him
(2 Cor. 5:15)
After a short break when our second son was born, we took seven more placements. One placement of three boys at one time was the longest, hardest week of my life. A couple of months later, we had a sweet little girl for a month—I wept when she was moved on suddenly.
In January 2015, we told our foster agency we were ready for a long-term foster placement with potential to adopt. Then we waited for seven months. We have learned over and over that no two foster stories are the same—heartrending, heartwarming, heart changing. And adoption is never a simple process, no matter how one goes about it.
Why do we do what we do?
First and foremost, we are compelled by love: His Great Love for us. We are humbled by God’s amazing adoption of us as His sons and daughters! This love moves us forward in obedience, through inconvenience, towards hope and a forever family for all of these precious children.
As we like to say: all of the heartache and struggle is worth it for the children’s sake. Our life has taken quite a few twists and turns in the last few years (and that’s a bit of an understatement).
Obviously, this story is to be continued . . .
To read more about Jana & Bryce's amazing family adventures with
Safe Families For Children and foster care, visit her blog.