My eyes wait for You and You give me food in due season. You open Your hand and satisfy me with favor. Psalm 145:15-16
He whispered to my heart that He wanted my family to care for orphans. Sometimes I wonder if I didn’t have a habit of spending time in His word if I would have missed that call. That assignment. He speaks to us all the time. But we have to be listening. The idea of fostering or adopting kids was exciting to me. The more I thought about it the more excited I became. The more excited I became the more I prayed that God would bring it to pass. But still, nothing happened. Not for a long time.
When we first started to sense that God was calling us to foster care the timing couldn’t have been worse. My husband was in the midst of a lengthy interview process with a possible employer that would require a move out of state. A year later, He finally got the job and then headed off to train for seven months in Georgia, leaving me and the kids behind.
Once he graduated, we ended up house hunting in Gilbert, Arizona. I was praying for God to help us find a home that was bigger than what we needed so we had the room for these foster kids that I had envisioned in my mind. Kids that I had never met, but still, they held my heart. I told the realtor of my hearts desire, that I wanted to foster children so I needed a large space. The problem was that our budget wasn’t a big house budget, it was a small house budget. We had taken a pay cut so that my husband could have a career that he felt passionate about. A career in law enforcement.
Our move was in the middle of the big housing crisis. Investors were buying up homes like hotcakes, making all cash offers that we couldn’t compete with. We made offers, good offers, above asking price on nine different homes but we were out bid on every single one.
Eventually, our realtor convinced us to look at a few houses that were slightly out of our price range. And that’s when we found the house that was just right for our family and our future children. A 3,000 square foot home nestled at the end of a culdesac, beautiful trees giving abundant amounts of shade right outside the front window, and a loft. Best of all, it was perfectly located. It had a park at the end of the street. Trendy restaurants and artsy coffee shops were within walking distance. And a farmers market on Saturday mornings was right down the road. Perfection. I could envision our life there, getting up early to go on family bike rides to the farmers market. And of course, I’d grab a latte made with coconut milk while we were there. We’d listen to live music and watch the kids dance and run through the fountains that shot up from the splash pad.
It sounded like heaven to me.
But life doesn’t usually unfold quite like the perfect picture we have in our minds.
Shortly after we settled into our new home I signed us up for foster classes. We were going to finally get the ball rolling in the right direction.
Until one morning, right before our classes were supposed to start, our youngest of the three children, Hailey, woke up sick. Through a series of ongoing symptoms we discovered that she had been born with a birth defect and would need to have surgery. Since it was a genetic condition and runs in families we had our other two children screened as well and sure enough, our five year old son, Ben, had it too. They both needed surgery. Two children under the age of six needed to have surgery at the same time. We were still new to town. No family locally. Only very new friendships starting to form. With that, I felt alone. The thought of them having to go through surgery was daunting to me. The surgeries ended up being difficult. Much worse than I was anticipating. Hailey’s operation was a standard procedure. Not pleasant but there were no complications.
Ben’s was a different story. When the doctor operated on Ben he accidentally made a mistake that created a blockage in his little body. The blockage endangered and damaged his one and only kidney that he was born with. Ben ended up going through a series of five different procedures to try to fix the problem that the doctor accidentally created. The whole ordeal was stressful for all of us and took many months to resolve.
Needless to say, the thought of fostering was put on the back burner. Our kids needed us. Our hands were full. We were just trying to keep our heads above water caring for our own.
So we continued to wait.