Our foster care journey begins....

Our Christmas was simply wonderful.  How was yours?   I have photos galore from all the merriment, but we still have one Christmas to go so I think I'll save them to share together.  We certainly ate like (gluten-free, sugar-free) kings and queens, and enjoyed the company of family.  Time felt slow, which is a rare treat.  As soon as Christmas day was over, we hit the ground running with home projects, paperwork, phone calls, and more to begin our foster care journey. 

Back on December 5th we attended our first informational meeting about foster care.  We left ready to start the journey but certain it wouldn't begin until February or March.  Boy, were we wrong!  Instead, we have our first training weekend coming up on January 7th and will be all trained, certified, and ready by the end of January. 

As someone commented on Facebook, "that was fast!"  Yes, indeed.  In fact, I'm feeling kind of bad sharing this on the blog first because so many of you dear souls I haven't even told in person!  But the blog is so very near and dear to my heart, I hope you'll understand using this as my method of communication.  We lucked out because Brett happened to already have a few days off this week.  That is certainly helping with all the prep there is to do before our training days.  I can't say enough kind words about all the people who volunteer their time with The Call here in Northwest Arkansas.  They really make things feel much more do-able and like help is always so near.  I am so, so appreciative! 

So currently we are readying our giant stack of paperwork, which is sort of similar to the process we already did at the adoption agency last year, but also sort of different.  We are definitely at square one. 

We are also readying our home for a home study, beginning to gather baby items, and praying.  Praying for our hearts, minds, and home to be a soft place to land and for the little one that joins us to feel so safe and loved. 

To answer a few questions I've received repeatedly....
The first-"How many children will you have?"  For right now, one.  Although the process has been made so much simpler by the wonderful Call people it is still quite a process and a tad overwhelming at times, if we're being totally honest.  So for now, we're going to take it one step at a time, one child at a time. 

And another big question-"What age will you have?"  We will most likely have a child in the age range from birth to two years old.  Before we ever started this process I must have told God "no" about foster care a dozen times or more.  I kept picturing a house full of teenagers with my two tiny gals and just couldn't feel at peace about it.  Then one day I bravely asked another foster mom-"Can we pick what ages we foster?"  She enthusiastically wrote back "yes!"  and that was that.  Is there a need for sibling groups and older kiddos?  Most definitely!  Can you still choose what works best for your family currently?  Yes.  

And last-"Will you adopt?"  My honest, tears in my eyes answer is, I sure hope so.  But please know that isn't our main goal in fostering.  What I mean is we aim to be the hands and feet of Jesus for these kiddos, whether they stay 3 weeks or a year.  No matter what they will be so very loved and safe in our home.  Will I hope they get to stay?  I'm sure I will.  But I know I'll also pray for their mama and daddy, I'll love them with every ounce of me while they're mine, and if someday down the road a sweet child needs a forever home we'll be right here waiting. 

So friends, this is what we've been up to and I sure do look forward to sharing our journey with you.  If you've texted or called, emailed or awaited a response and I haven't gotten back to you, I'm sincerely sorry and ask for generous amounts of grace during this busy time.  It will be a whirlwind few weeks and then my arms will get to hold a little one!