"Holly,Yesterday during your final walk through you indicated that you want to foster children between the ages of 0-12 months. Licensing standards state that a home can not have more two children ages 2 and under including biological children. Under these circumstances, you will have to foster children that are 3 years and older until your twins turn 3 years old. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me."
We read the licensing standards during our training in September and asked about this issue specifically, but were assured that because the need for foster parents is so great, we would still be able to foster infants in our home. We do not feel lead to care for foster children over the age of 3 years at this time which means we will not be foster parents until this time next year when the twins turn 3.
Interestingly enough, these licensing standards do not apply to adoption. We can still adopt a child younger than 3 years old if we are matched with one. We should receive a letter from an adoption specialist in the next three weeks stating that our home is officially open for adoption. The odds of adopting a child twelve months of age and younger through the state are pretty slim, but we are not without hope that there is a child waiting to join our family. My job as a perspective adoptive mother is to wait patiently and gently and consistently remind the adoption unit that our home is open and we'd like to adopt a very young African American child. There are more details, but I will not bore you all with them. Suffice it to say, plans have changed. Now begins the wait. :)
Over the past two days, I have felt deep disappointment. My expectations have not been met. I've been tempted to give up hope. We have a little crib all set up for foster babies complete with periwinkle crib sheets, new pacis and three different sizes of diapers. I even bought a couple of baby outfits that I just could not resist. In my worst moment yesterday, I told Justin to take down the crib and put it in the attic. I didn't want to look at it. I didn't want to be reminded to hope. I am so glad God's mercies are new every morning, because today I am hopeful. My sweet sister reminded me this morning to continue to hope and pray boldly. Plans have changed. The system is not perfect, but that doesn't mean we should tuck tail and run. I have said from the beginning that I cannot let my fear of hurt and disappointment keep me from caring for the orphans in our community. Granted, we may wait an entire year with no baby and begin this time next year in the same place we are now. But, you know, the Lord may have a child for us in the coming months as well. He knows if there is a little one who needs us. He knows. He knows. He loves us. He loves us. He loves us.
I have seen over the past few days that others are bewildered by my disappointment. Why would a mother with three precious children have a desire for yet another child? Why would someone who gets pregnant with no complications desire to adopt or care for foster children? Why would a busy and sometimes very frazzled young mother desire to take another child? Why would I want to do this when I don't have to? Here's why:
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! Psalm 127:3,4,5a
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14