As I write this, we are hours away from adopting our daughter out of the foster care system and into our family forever. We didn’t know this was going to be a possibility when we welcomed her into our home, but since her birth mom and other family members were unable to care for her at this time, she asked us…and we agreed.
After the proper paperwork was filed and the proper time has passed, we come to today with heavy hearts. We have been waiting for 2 years now for the right child to come along, and we know without a shadow of a doubt that this is her. With foster care, the goal is always to be a temporary family for these children, but since we were ready to and willing to adopt, we knew that this was the right time. We are honored that her mother made this brave decision knowing that we were open to adoption.
But we also understand the loss and the heartache she must be feeling. So we will celebrate this new beginning for our family…and mourn the loss of connection between a mother and child. We know it will be difficult, but we will seek to continue our relationship with her mother, leaning on God to direct us in how to love both a woman who’s child we will soon call our own.
As a man who has grown up with various father figures, some good and some not so good, I know the difference it has made in my life to have an older man to encourage me and to guide me. As a man, and now a father, I have crucial responsibility to raise my girls and/or boys so that they will know without a doubt that they have a father that always loves them here on earth, and a perfect Father in heaven that will never abandon them. But we, as a people, also have a responsibility stand in the gap for those who don’t have older men in their lives, and to help guide them through the treacherous waters of this life. Whether its foster care, mentoring, or coaching etc., we need to be ready to welcome in those children that need someone to walk this life with them.
I want people to know that the reward of foster care far outweighs the costs. It costs your time, privacy, comfort, and sometimes your money, that’s all true, but what you gain in return is more impactful than any of that. We have gained the ability to see the fruit of watching the restoration that takes place when you sacrifice your life to love without conditions. We have gained currency in smiles, laughs, and hugs. We get to witness healing take place, families being reunited, and hope being restored. Yes, the system is broken, but we can be families that help put the pieces back together, one child at a time.
It is so worth it!
Shaun Lafferty, Foster and almost adoptive Father