Praying for Peace: Adam & Katie’s Story
What was it like when Baby Girl first arrived?
Exciting chaos! We received the call from our case worker at 2:30 on Tuesday afternoon and she arrived at 6 pm. With Baby Girl on the couch, we filled out a bunch of placement forms and reviewed the hospital discharge instructions. Then, after months of training, preparation and waiting, I (Katie) found myself sitting on the coach, staring at Baby Girl and a bag filled with formula, bottles and diapers. The enormity of what we were doing hit. I was happy to hold Baby Girl in my arms and terrified I would do something wrong.
Baby girl is just working at taking those first steps. What are you working at as new foster parents?
We’ve learned so much! One big thing is like all first-time parents, we’re learning to work together as parents, to be on the same page and communicate with each other about parenting Baby Girl. The second big thing, unique to being foster parents, is how to navigate the system and try to understand how things look from many differing points of view. How does foster care look for Baby Girl, for her birth parents, her caseworker, her Guardian ad Litem? I (Katie) was writing a summary of a typical day in Baby Girl’s life, all the things we’d work hard to create for Baby Girl like her schedule, what soothes her, what she likes and dislikes. The summary was created to help mom get to know Baby Girl. I know that’s important but I struggled with mom getting to take advantage of all our learning as parents. Adam reminded me to look at this from mom’s point of view and how she must feel only interacting with her daughter a few hours each week.
What has surprised you most on this journey?
How big the emotions are! I (Katie) never knew I could get so angry. It’s not all lap time and cupcakes in foster care. It’s tough on kids and foster parents to live with all the uncertainty, the waiting, having people who hardly know Baby Girl in charge of making such big decisions about her life. I (Adam) have been overwhelmed by how much love I have for Baby Girl and how deep and strong that love runs. My greatest fear in preparing to be a foster dad was that I wouldn’t be able to love a foster child. I’m having to navigate the truth that I love Baby Girl with all my heart, while supporting visits with family members, parent visits, court dates and reunification. Sometimes I (Adam) stop and think about what Baby Girl’s first year would have been like without our love. The enormity of what we’re doing hits again. God is using us for something big. He’s given us a love for Baby Girl like we’ve never known. It’s His love and we get to share it with Baby Girl.
How can churches support kids in foster care as well as foster and adoptive families like you?
We’re thankful to be part of a church where foster care and adoption are part of the culture. We considered foster care and adoption through foster care after we heard in a church service about the need for foster parents. A few months later, we the church announcements included information about Project 1.27’s faith-based training and we signed up. We’ve just started leaving Baby Girl in the nursery and we appreciate that when we share we’re her foster daughter, it’s comforting to know the volunteers understand. We connect with other foster and adoptive parents at church and are part of the Foster Adoptive Family Care Group that meets twice a month. When we’re struggling, we know our church is right there with us.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Foster care is easily the hardest thing we’ve ever done. After 12 years of marriage, of it being just the two of us, our lives have been opened to other people in so many ways. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but also the best. Fostering has brought us closer as a couple, brought us into a caring community, grown our faith. Of course, doubt creeps in sometimes, especially thinking about Baby Girl leaving. Could we do this again? The answer is YES! We will do it again, no matter what the outcome with Baby Girl. We’ve seen God more than at any other time in our lives. This is what He’s called us to do.
How can we pray for you and other foster parents?
Peace. If there’s one thing everyone involved with foster care – the kids, the birth families, the case workers, the GALs, the therapists – its peace. There is so much heartache, so much pain, so many tough decisions, so many unknowns. We need the peace that comes from knowing God is with us no matter what. God is with Baby Girl no matter what. We want others to see God’s peace in our lives.