On February 2nd, 2016, my husband, Beau, and I attended a three-hour orientation at a child placing agency. It was the first of a total 28 hours required training in two weeks. Then we had web-based training and stacks of paperwork to submit. We had to be fingerprinted and get TB tests. We quickly became used to new people visiting our home and asking personal questions.
In April, we got a phone call. There was a two-year-old boy in need of a home – and he had a seven-year-old sister – currently in a separate home – who they would eventually like to place with him. It sounds silly, but I knew immediately that I loved them. Beau and I began praying for them at night. We didn’t even know their names yet, but before bed I would tell Beau that we needed to pray for our babies.
It turned out the boy, Kaden, had some medical issues. Beau and I had to complete some observation hours and change our certification from “basic” to “moderate” care. Luckily, that meant we got to visit Kaden and attend his doctor appointments. On May 27th, Kaden moved in with us.
Then we began visiting his sister, Delaney. We took her transition a little more slowly, since she was old enough to understand more of what was going on. On July 15th, Delaney moved in with us.
I remember being told we would have to foster for several months before adopting – and thinking it sounded like such a long time – but it flew by. On December 28th, we signed Adoptive Placement papers.
On February 23rd, we went to court, and a judge declared us a forever family – just over a year after Beau and I began our journey as foster-to-adopt parents. It was, without a doubt, the most difficult year of my life – but it was also the best. We learned so much. We met some incredible people. We saw God move. There are thousands of foster children in Texas alone. But now, there are two fewer kids in the foster care system.