...... is great in the sight of God.
Last night I came across a face book post that inspired me to write this blog post. As you know, international adoptions are expensive. I have given you an idea in a previous post why they cost so much. I know some people wonder why we have to travel so far and pay so much when there is a need right here in our own backyard. I know this because I was one of those people. Early on in our marriage I always thought that if we adopted it would be from another country like Mexico or China. I never thought to adopt domestically until I met 3 beautiful little girls who were in foster care.
One of my customers at the bank was a foster parent. On several occasions she would bring in the children who she was fostering and would introduce them to me. She would tell me a little bit about their situation, I'd hand them a lollipop and they would leave. I was always touched by the good work she was doing but never thought twice about it. Well one day in Sept. of 2009 she came in with these 3 sisters ages 1, 2 and 3. Beautiful, beautiful! They were 3 of 10 children who were taken from their alcoholic mother. They had allowed the 3 to stay together while the others were scattered around the valley. I instantly fell in love and something pricked my heart. I wanted to help and truthfully I wanted to adopt all 3 of them. I came home that night and had told my husband that I wanted to adopt 3 little girls who I had just met. Realistically I knew that I couldn't take 3 on at one time but it opened my heart to the possibility of becoming foster parents. I immediately saw that there was a need in our own backyard and that I didn't need to travel far to help. That same night I got onto the foster care website. I requested information and within weeks we were doing our training to become foster parents, all 32 hours of it. Mark's support was amazing even though he was a bit reluctant.
We had decided that we would do foster care to help and not to adopt. Within a month we got our license and knew it was a waiting game. There was no guarantee that we would get a placement especially since we had picked the age range of 0-2. Our youngest was 1 at the time and I didn't want to displace my children. We were told that since we were not doing foster care to adopt the chances of us getting a baby were slim because those who are looking to adopt usually get called first. I knew in my heart that if it was meant to be then it would be and if not then that was OK too. After all we already had 3 children who kept us busy. Well a year went by and we had never received a call. We had no contact at all from the foster care organization. Then in Nov. of 2010 we got a call to take a baby boy. A few days later we picked him up from the hospital and brought him home. We immediately fell in love and our children embraced and accepted him as their baby brother. After many, many up and downs we received the news that we could adopt him and we did in April of this year. So what started as an effort to help with no intention to adopt, we adopted our 4th. It was meant to be! I truly believe that we were led to do foster care because he was meant to be our son.
We continued to keep our foster license current even though my husband was done having children. He will tell you that at 3 he was done. 4 was a push and now 5 is his max. Even after 4, I still felt in my heart that there was one more. Then I was introduced to Mia and Reece's Rainbow and I knew that this is how number 5 would come. Susan is the icing on the cake! So after all of this I am finally getting to the reason why I am even writing this post. If there is such a need in our own backyard, then why adopt overseas? Adopting through the foster care system didn't cost us a penny. Adopting Susan from Eastern Europe is going to cost approx. $30K. So why? We have committed to Susan in Eastern Europe because my heart saw international adoptions, in particular special needs adoptions, in a different light. What put it in perspective for me was this. In the US, foster care is our orphanage system. There are many many children who need families in the US, even Utah but at least they are in homes and not in orphanages. They may not always have committed adopted families but they are well taken care of for the most part and loved. Children in foster care have social workers and people calling on their behalf asking foster families to take them in. If one family says no then another family is called and eventually they will find them a home. In these Eastern Europe and other countries no one is calling on their behalf. They just sit and wait until a family comes forward and is calling on them. They wait until a family commits to them. I am grateful that my husband and I said yes to taking in our son but I know that if we didn't someone else would have.
Susan, our daughter who is waiting may not have been so lucky. If we didn't commit she may have been one of those kids who waits and waits and then gets transferred to an adult mental institution.
I only say this to maybe help others understand why we're doing what we're doing when it costs so much. It is silly that it costs so much and I wish it were different and easier but until it changes we have to keep advocating for these kids so it will be known that they are worth the blood, sweat and tears. It doesn't mean that children in the US are less important because they are very important and there still is a need, but children like Susan don't have anyone advocating for them so we have to. Hope this helps put it in perspective for you as it did for me. All children are precious in His sight. Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God! God Bless!