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I Guess Two Is Not Enough For God, Or For Us...

Within the next 45 days Z will be moving into our home and become a regular part of our lives. Yesterday we sat down, all four of us, and discussed our family purpose, otherwise known as a mission statement.

It started out innocent enough but then I realized that this may be the most important conversation we would have with our two big boys. T is going to be 12 this weekend and Z is 9. They are both at stages where they don't really want to share anything with anyone, and, due to their circumstances they aren't especially interested in sharing us. Nathan and I have known from the beginning that we would want many kids and as God developed our relationship and our love for His plans for us, we knew that our kids would be those who were waiting, without homes, for a loving family. Trying to convey our passion for this calling to two boys advancing quickly toward puberty is not an easy thing. Despite an extremely frustrating and challenging year, as we approach the permanence of Z, we feel like we are not yet complete. We feel God calling us to fill this house with children. The need is real and the need is now. We can't waste time. We have made most decisions based on the comfort of our children. They don't move in until they are ready. We don't finalize adoptions until they are ready. And, most of all, we won't add more children until they are ready. Z is ready. T is ready. Strange, I know, but T has spent many months preparing for Z's arrival and he is becoming more and more confident in his spot here in our family. Z is a walking family man. He wants lots of brothers and sisters and he doesn't have a jealous bone in his body when it comes to love being passed around. These kids, although they have their reservations, are ready for us to be as great a family as we can be. So, we've decided to take a change of course. We've decided to become foster parents. Here's the thing, I've been adamant that I wouldn't be a foster parent since the beginning of this journey. I have often felt that it would be far too hard for me to give kids back. I've been thinking about this frequently lately. I've told T many times that if I could, I would go back to the day he was born and help his mother figure out how to love him and care for him. My mother instinct for this little guy tells me to do what is best for him regardless of how it may hurt me. I know in my heart that the best thing for my sons would be to have the love and care of the women who gave birth to them. They would have avoided all of this pain and the abuses and the fear that they have endured. If I could change all of that for them, I would. It occurred to me recently that the idealistic goal of foster care is to help the birth family learn to best care for their children and then reintegrate them into being a healthy family. Being a foster mom could allow me the opportunity to see that amazing work of God's redeeming power happen before my eyes. I could have a part in the story of a family healing and children having what they were always meant to have, a family without abuse. For this reason, and so many others, we are going to pursue this foster parenting journey, jumping in with both feet, as we always do. I have no idea of what is to come or how this path will change us but I know we're going to trust the Lord and follow his path. As we sat around our white board, brainstorming our family mission statement, we traveled this journey of love with our kids. We talked about what is important and what isn't. We talked about the mission God has given Nathan and I and how that mission extends to them because we are a family. Together, as a wonderfully made family creation of God, we decided on our family purpose: To Love Kids Without Homes.