Right before my 37th birthday we received a phone call concerning a birth mother who wanted to create an adoption plan for her child. When Mike and I received that phone call from our social worker we immediately said yes and went through the necessary steps to present us as a family to the birth mother. Part of the fostering and adoption process means jumping into situations with complete blind faith and hoping things will work out in the end. You’ll have a million and one questions in the process, but you have to lead with your heart and not your mind when receiving phone calls. It was the first call we received where we wanted to dive right in, fully knowing our hearts could be broken in the process. It was a Thursday morning when we received this particular call. We went about the rest of our work day and anxiously waited the time when we could see one another again after saying yes to this phone call. The sunset was UNREAL that evening. I had to take a few moments to sit on our front porch and watch the sky light up. Watching the changing sky, I knew in that moment that no matter what we would be ok. That whatever the outcome of this phone call was, Mike and I would be ok.
That evening we had to write a letter to the birth mom explaining how we thought our family would provide the best future for her child. Mike and I agreed to each write our own letters and then we would merge the two into one letter. I quickly poured my heart out into a Word document, gathered photos of our house and our lives together and hit save. I decided to go grocery shopping to distract myself while Mike wrote his version of the letter. I spent about an hour out of the house and came back to Mike sitting in the dark staring blankly at his laptop. “Beej, this letter is really hard to write. I’ve been working on this for an hour and only have like three sentences written.” I sat down and told him I wanted to read what I wrote. I read him the letter I had composed. He listened while I read and after that he closed his laptop and said we had to use my version of the letter because mine was way better than his three sentences.
Needless to say we had a good laugh in that moment which was very much needed that Thursday evening. Mike is great at jumping into situations, helping people and figuring out things on the fly. He’s also much better at asking relevant questions when it comes to getting calls from social workers concerning fostering situations. I’m better at planning for the future, making sure we have all of the resources we need to succeed, and at putting my thoughts and emotions into words. It’s true what they say, opposites attract and Mike and I are very much opposites in many different aspects of our lives. We submitted the letter to our social worker that evening with an excitement in hearts that we could potentially be meeting our first foster child any day.
For privacy reasons, we can’t detail accounts of phone calls we receive, and as it turns out this particular situation didn’t work out for our family. And well, that’s life. I cried a lot for several days after we learned that the birth mother chose a different path for her child. We were ready to welcome that child into our home and lives. We had a hope and excitement in our hearts that we had never experienced before. Part of our letter detailed how important it was for us to keep the birth mother’s adoption plan as part of her child’s story. We wanted this child to know that they were always loved and know who their mother was. Part of this child’s identity would always rest in the birth mother. Part of the fostering and adoption training we received taught us how important it was to acknowledge and recognize every part of a foster or adopted child’s story. That it was important to have a child know their past with biological family or parents, or even from the beginning letting a child know they are adopted and being open to exploring their identity.
Since hitting publish on our first blog posts, I’ve had so many people reach out to me to tell me they admire how we are sharing our journey. That, they too were fostered or adopted. That they love their foster parents or adopted parents and never questioned the love they had from those families. It’s incredible how many people I don’t talk to on our regular basis that reached out to me personally. I was touched to say the least. Our hope with this blog is raise awareness and share information about fostering and adoption. We hope to help connect families considering starting their families by fostering and adoption to the appropriate resources to start that journey. We plan to continue to dive deep into the resource family community and provide support to newly placed foster children and families. More so, we hope to help everyone understand that above all, every child or adult’s story matters.