How do we know foster and adoption works?
Could it be when the children of foster/adopt homes, grow up and then choose adoption or foster care for their own families?
After all, kindness, compassion, caring, and service, evidenced in our children, is the fruit, the ripple effect of parents loving and doing the hard things, so others in need might be loved and cared for.
This next family sharing today, are pillars in their community. But please know, they are real people, just like you and me, simply making the choice daily to use their lives to bless many, both as a foster and adopting family.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to hear first hand, from a woman who grew up as a bio daughter, in a very large foster and adopt family. Then, read of her husband’s first-hand account of receiving and adopting their very first son.
A Dad’s Letter To His First Son
You would think that being raised with over 100 foster kids, when I myself was called with a placement for “just 3-5 days”, I would have known that the suggestion of 3-5 days means absolutely nothing.
Nonetheless, while working full-time and in graduate school, I readily accepted placement.
My husband and I had just completed the licensing steps for weekend and emergency foster-placements. “We weren’t ready for full-time kids yet.” That wasn’t in the oh-so-carefully mapped out timeline for our life.
Isn’t it a joy, though, when God looks down at our man-made plans and completely derails them for His ultimate good!
My husband and I thoroughly discussed foster care while dating, that was one of those nonnegotiables for me and, boy am I glad he was on board!
While on vacation for our one-year anniversary, we got the call that our private agency submitted the paperwork for our license to the state. “It can take a long time to finish processing,” she warned us.
Less than a month later, we received the call that is forever etched in my mind! My husband has written a birth story for each of our 5 kids, here is our eldest’s “birth story”:
May 19th, 2005
Daddy was feverishly working to complete a deadline at his downtown Seattle architecture firm. The project: a mixed-use redevelopment, a grand vision intended to awe and inspire. What Daddy didn’t know was that something far more magnificent and exciting was occurring a few miles north at the University of Washington Hospital…
When Daddy finished at work, he took the bus to the train station — ordinarily he would have walked, but he was running late — hopped on the train and headed home to meet your beautiful mother.
Daddy and Mommy lived in Everett, in a historic Donovan home, around the corner from your Great-Grandma Russell. We purchased this house in November, 2004. The home had a lot of character, typical of the period, complete with a front stoop about 5 steps high which was perfect for sitting on.
Prior to that, we had been living in a different home that Mommy and Daddy had remodeled together, but it was a bit undersized for children, to say the least. Thus, we wanted a home large enough to share with children some day.
Concurrently, we were completing our foster-parent license. Mommy was a Child Protective Services Social Worker with the State of Washington and pursuing a graduate degree in social work.
May 24th, 2005
Mommy receives a call in the afternoon from our foster-parent licensing agent. While we had completed our license requirements, we hadn’t actually received written notification that we were officially licensed.
God knew what He was doing. A little boy was born in Seattle five days earlier and needed a loving home. Our license had been approved!
Mommy called Daddy — who were both very excited and feeling pretty lucky that we got the call for a baby boy — and then made arrangements to pick you up at the hospital the following morning.
May 25th, 2005
Mommy installed the car seat (she’s a stickler for proper car seat installation; after all, safety is key!) She gathered a few items and drove from Everett to the UW hospital.
Upon arrival, she was greeted with smiles and was introduced to you. Mommy was delighted to finally see you!
The nursery staff at the hospital talked of how cheerful you have been during your stay with them, and how they would vie over who would have the privilege of holding or feeding you. The nurses took very good care of you, and they were sad to see you go; but they had happy hearts because they knew you were coming to be with us and that we would love and take care of you.
Mommy listened to the nurses stories about you for a while and enjoyed looking at you and talking to you. When it was time to go home, Mommy put you carefully in your new car seat and made sure that you were safely secured. You and Mommy went to the store to pick up a few things and then she brought you to our house.
Daddy was at work, and was eager to get home. He took an early train because he was blissfully anxious to meet his new little boy!
Arriving at the train station, Daddy hopped in his car and made a stop at the local grocery store to pick up some flowers for Mommy and a big blue balloon announcing “It’s a Boy!” Daddy then drove home to finally meet you.
As he approached the intersection of 15th Street and Lombard Avenue, Daddy could see Mommy sitting on the front stoop of our house. It was a pleasant sunny evening.
Mommy was wearing sunglasses and a big smile. And in her arms, she was holding this tiny bundle of blue. Daddy parked his car and gathered up the balloon and flowers and came over to where you and Mommy were.
Initially, you were asleep as you lay in Mommy’s arms. Daddy reached down to pick you up — you were so light, weighing 7lbs 3oz. at birth. You opened your eyes briefly — handsome and mysterious dark eyes, complimenting the dark skiff of soft hair on your head.
Yep, it is safe to say that Mommy and Daddy were in love with you already! One look, one touch… that’s all it took.
You were the perfect baby… content and happy.
Various neighbors came over to say hello. Everyone talked of your little smile and ebony eyes. Granna and Uncle Andrew stopped by that evening to meet you.
For gifts to welcome you to the family, Granna brought a little rattle and a medium blue blanket with a bear decorating one corner. Andrew chose a fresh, red apple, humorously incognizant of you not having any teeth! Andrew asked about when you and he could play outside together. They were both very pleased to meet you.
May 19th, 2006
The sun is high and bright in the clear, light blue sky. Mommy and Daddy are excited and have been awaiting this day for what seems like an eternity. Mommy is deciding on a special outfit for you to wear (she chose a linen overall set, befitting of your easy-going personality) and Daddy is trying to perfect the knot in his necktie.
Nearly a year has passed since Mommy and Daddy were first blessed by you joining our family.
In that time you’ve sat through a graduate school class with Mommy when Daddy’s train was delayed. You took your first ferry ride to Friday Harbor and your first plane trip to West Virginia to meet your Granny and Granddad Stevens.
Together we’ve stayed in the “said-to-be-haunted” Manressa Castle in Port Townsend. You were introduced to the annual Family Camp in Canby, OR. And you survived (and contributed to in your own way) another tradition of sorts in our family: a major home renovation.
You’ve grown some teeth now and you enjoy trying new foods that Mommy makes for you, and you like most everything (but not butternut squash, gauging by your attempts to remove it from your tongue with your tiny hands). Your skiff of dark hair on your head has long given way to a practically invisible layer of blonde fuzz.
You love when Mommy sings to you. You and Daddy enjoy your weekend routine of taking long naps together.
You have touched so many peoples’ lives over the last twelve months; you have made so many friends with your charisma and charm — even at such a young age, your likeable personality is evident. Your smile is contagiously irresistible. Everyone comments on how nice and pleasant you are, what fun you are and perhaps most often, how cute you are!
The time has come to get in the car to drive to Seattle. Daddy, Mommy and you have an appointment with a judge that we don’t want to miss.
Traffic cooperates with the caravan of people eager to see this day come to fruition. In addition to the three of us, many others are in attendance: Granna and Papa and many of your uncles and aunties, Great Grandma Russell, Great Grandpa Cookie and Great Grandma Griffin and your foster siblings A and C.
The judge talked with Daddy and Mommy about what a blessing and responsibility you were. Reminiscing about what you’ve meant to us over the last year, we conversed with the judge about you, your personality, your likes and dislikes and how we were overjoyed that this day had finally arrived.
With tears of delight in our eyes and those of others in the courtroom, we humbly adopted you as our son. You were now officially a Stevens!
The day was made even more special as this was your first birthday as well.
After hugs and pictures galore, we headed home for a grand celebration of your birth and adoption! The cake and decorations were ready and guests (family and friends from all around) came to commemorate this special occasion with you.
After what seemed like hours of gift-opening, a long time to be sure, you nearly fell asleep in your birthday cake!
Everyone left our home that night with gladness in their hearts. As the evening came to an end, Mommy and Daddy had inerasable smiles on their faces, the sort that comes from within.
We reminisced together about you, our gift from God. We all got ready for bed, Mommy picked out your pajamas and Daddy read you a story.
We went to sleep that night, for the first time, as the Stevens Family.
Aden Michael, we love you!
Thank you Steven’s family for sharing your beautiful story!
In reading through this letter, what were your first thoughts? Mine? How our Good Father, adores US….just like the dad in this story.
After all, doesn’t God count every moment, delight over every smile, bring us good gifts, and rejoice when we are finally adopted as His children?
Isn’t it something worth recounting and celebrating, when we take on His name and character, living as highly favored, specifically chosen, children of The King?
As I read, I look back and see no doubt or hesitation in the authors words. (Although concerns and questions aren’t inherently evil). What I do read is how this dad wants nothing more than to love and care for the child God placed specifically in His family.
The moment of his child’s adoption….just like ours as children of God….is a special occassion, something worth celebarting, and rejoicing in!
And what if we got this? I mean, really got this? The idea that God doesn’t give life into us just to us, but that the heart of a real Father is to nurture, care for, delight in and rejoice over every single detail of our lives?
After all, doesn’t it say, He dances over us? Calls us by name? Knows the count of every single hair on our head?
Would every aspect of how we lived be different? Would we stand taller, live bolder, really hold close and precious the truth that we are God’s treasured and chosen children….
Just like baby Michael in the above story?
Before you leave, will you please stop and think about what it means to live adopted into His Kingdom….once separate and needy, now chosen and specifically destined to be called dearly loved son or daughter?
And let’s dispell the lie right now….You are not too far gone, too broken, too left out or imperfect that God won’t call you, doesn’t want to welcome you, or won’t use you.
He wants you and calls you,“Beautiful”!
Have you accepted this gift of sonship?
It is a season friends, where orphans come home, they know their identity, and we start living as children of the One who died on the cross to reconcile us.
Considering Fostering or Adoption?
If you or your family are considering fostering and adopting, you will find additional information in the menu above entitled foster/adopt. There you’ll find pages like, “Why Adopt?”, “26 Practical Ways To Be Involved In Orphan Ministry“, and “Questions & Answers About Fostering“.
This month is National Adoption Month. As a result, I have asked people from my real-life community to share their own personal stories at Rich Faith Rising. If you have misssed any previous adoption stories, you can find them here.
Keep checking back for more stories until the very end of November. Thanks for subscribing, following on social media, and being a part of this journey!
We can’t change the world, but we can be the world for one child in need.
Latest posts by Jen Avellaneda (see all)
- Neglect to Wanted, Fear to Freedom, Forgotten to Loved – A Story of International Adoption - November 30, 2017
- Adoption Stories Guaranteed To Move You #UNITE Linky - November 28, 2017
- Adoption Stories: A Dad’s Letter to His First Son - November 22, 2017