About two years ago, my husband, Pete, and I found ourselves at a cross road. Two years before that, we had prayed for God to give us more children only to come to the conclusion that God wanted us to pursue adoption.
We began looking into adoption agencies and comparing costs, programs, grants, etc. We were very surprised and saddened at the cost of a private, domestic adoption, but we knew if God called us to do this then he would make a way.
We paid out-of-pocket for a home study to be done and signed with an agency. We both felt a tug on our heart for those who were deemed “harder to place.” We began saving and fundraising the remaining $28,000 we owed to our agency to be able to actually have our profile shown to prospective birth mothers.
For two years, we felt as if we were spinning our wheels. We worked, saved and never seemed to get any closer to our goal. We still believed God wanted us to adopt but our whole family was very discouraged.
A friend of mine said, in passing, she wished we were able to adopt children from CPS. She knew someone who was doing it and they seemed to be moving much faster than we were. I immediately shut down that line of thinking. ‘Oh, no!’ I thought, ‘I have heard so many horror stories and I could NEVER foster! My responsibility is to the son I have, I could never make him say goodbye to a new sibling. How cruel!’
However, God wouldn’t let me rest. He kept bringing the conversation back to my mind. I began to feel like God wanted us adopt through foster care. I started praying that if this was truly God’s will, he would turn Pete’s heart that way without me pushing him.
One day on the way to church, Pete announced, out the blue, he thought we should go to a Buckner information meeting and find out more about adopting through CPS.
That was all I needed. We were at the soonest Buckner meeting we could find. We sat through the meeting, intent on soaking up every single bit of information we could.
When we climbed in our car that night, I was excited and sad, too. I knew what God wanted. It wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted a private adoption with “no strings attached.” A baby we could wrap up right after birth and call ours and only ours and never share with anyone else. Instead, God told me to foster to adopt.
I looked at Pete and said, “Well, what do you think?” He knew this was God’s will. I was very unsure but I knew that if God brought us to it, he would make a way.
After the information meeting in February, we began immediately to fulfill all the requirements to become a licensed foster home. We had been waiting for two years and were not going to wait any longer.
It was a whirlwind of paperwork and appointments but we were officially a licensed foster home by the end of July, the same day we received our beautiful first placements. They were twins, a boy and a girl, 2 years old. We knew they would only be with us a short time but our hearts (and home) were so full! We loved every minute we shared with those precious little rascals.
When the time came to say goodbye, the pain of losing them was acute. They still hold my heart, but I know this was all a part of God’s plan for our family. I learned so much about his love through that pain.
Life didn’t slow down any and before our twins were gone we had two more placements. The first, a beautiful newborn straight from the hospital who we were only allowed to hold for 10 days before she was placed with family, and the other, a bright-eyed, very loud, 6-month-old Asa. Asa was our first little forever gift from God through all of this rollercoaster. I cannot imagine life without this little boy. He has the most gorgeous smile and contagious laugh.
With the loss of our twins, we opened our home to an unstoppable brother and sister duo, Rebecca and Ryker. We had only been licensed for two months and already we had six placements.
‘Oh God, how can I continue to do this?’ I cried. But God, in all his wisdom, knew exactly what we needed and on Sept. 11, we adopted Rebecca with her million-dollar smile, gorgeous eyes and sweet spirit, and Ryker with his super cute sly grin and mischievousness into our little circus forever.
I am so very thankful for Buckner through all of this. God led us to an agency which pointed us to him at every turn. I can’t imagine embarking on this crazy journey without the love and support we found there.
I look at all four of my beautiful children and a lot runs through my mind:
‘Wow, this is hard!’
‘How could they be so beautiful?’
‘What pain and challenges because of their past have we not yet faced?’
‘Why did God bless us so richly? I am certainly not worthy!’
I am reminded constantly that this was God’s plan and it was worth every tear we cried, every court date, family visit, doctor appointment, training, every inconvenience (and there are tons!) and every bump along the way. Fostering is HARD. Adopting is HARD, but there was never anything else for us to do. God called us here, and he made a way.
Leah and Pete Thompson are adoptive parents in Longview, Texas. They have one birth son, Landon, three children adopted through Buckner Children and Family Services.
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