Earlier this year, my wife suggested that we pursue becoming foster parents. This was something we had discussed from time to time and planned to do sometime in the future. Well, for her, the future was now. While I also shared her desire to be involved in foster parenting, there was part of me that was somewhat reluctant. After all, we had almost raised our kids. We only had one more at home, and she would be a high school senior. I was looking forward to having time with my wife – time we did not really have much of in years past.
As we pursued getting approved to be foster parents, I filled out the paperwork, but admittedly was not as excited as my wife and daughter were. This past summer, we had our foster training. The crew in Bozeman did an amazing job in that training session, and as I listened to the plight of these kids in the foster system, my heart began to change. As I heard about their feelings of abandonment and grief at being separated from their parents, God kindled a desire in my heart to be part of the solution.
A few weeks ago, after a couple months of waiting for background checks to go through, a state social worker did a home visit with us. At that time, she informed us that she did not have anyone to place in our home at that time. My wife and daughter really wanted to have a baby as our first placement, and there were no babies available at the time. As a result, after the visit we resigned ourselves to wait patiently until there was a need.
Two days later I received a call on my cell phone at the office. It was Family Services. They had a 5 month old baby boy that needed a placement. Were we interested? I told her to call my wife, but yes, we would probably be very interested. When Miriam got the call, she packed up the car with a car seat and hustled down to Family Services where she met baby “D.”
I came home from the office later that day. I walked into the house. Miriam was giving baby “D” a bottle. When he saw me, he stopped drinking and gave me a big smile. When I saw that smile, he had me. I was smitten. Immediately I felt I would do anything for this little guy. I felt we were so blessed to provide a stable home environment for this little one until a permanent placement could be arranged.
We don’t know how long we will have baby “D”. It could be another month, it would be longer than that. His case is working his way through the court system. It has been an adjustment to have a baby around again, since our youngest is 17 years old. We wish he would do a little better job of sleeping through the night. But otherwise, he is a joy and a delight.
I pray for this little guy every day. I pray that God would bless him and keep him. I pray that one day, he would hear and accept the gospel and grow up to serve the Lord. I realize that he will probably not remember us. That’s okay. I just hope we can provide a place of stability and love until he can be placed in a home where he will be nurtured, cared for and raised in a safe environment.
For those considering foster care, I encourage you to take the leap. Yes, there are tough times. (Talk to us on a day when we are suffering from sleep deprivation, especially my wife.) Yes, it will be tough to part with little baby “D” when his permanent placement comes through. But the need is so great. There are many children out there who need a stable loving foster family, whether for a week or a year. With God’s help, you can provide that.