Saturday, October 5, 2013

Finding solid ground


Troy and I have talked about adopting from the very beginning of our relationship.  In the beginning it was more on the to-do list of dreams for the future.  “I would love to adopt someday.”  In our minds “someday” was way down the road.  Over the years “someday” got closer and closer.  I had no doubt that adoption was the right choice for us, but I just wasn’t ready yet.  Troy was becoming less patient with each passing year, but I still couldn’t say yes.  For years I prayed for God to instill in me the desire to become a mom.  I wasn’t getting there on my own and I needed his help.  I still felt like we needed more time.  I didn’t know what we needed more time for, because it wasn’t like we were doing anything, or had plans to do anything in the future that would require us to put off becoming parents.  I just knew that I could not say yes, I could not become a parent yet. 

Pressure – so much pressure.  Troy was so patient and understanding, but I could see how much it hurt him every time I told him “not yet”.  Family, friends, complete strangers – all asking when we were going to start our family.  Me, crying myself to sleep over and over again because I wasn’t living up the expectations everyone had for me.  Please God, fill my heart with the need to be a parent. 

I had a huge dream of going on a mission trip someday and I knew if it was going to happen it would need to be before we became parents.  Then my dream came true and I went to Jamaica and loved every minute of it!  I kept praying that this was what I had been waiting for and now I would finally be able to say yes.  I think Troy was secretly praying the same thing.  After I returned we sent off for an adoption packet from the state, but I couldn’t bring myself to fill it out and send it back.  I still couldn’t say yes.  Lord, please, it’s been years….are you going to help me out here?  What are the plans you have for me?  

Last year on my birthday (August) I prayed.  "Lord, where do you need me?  What do you want me to do?  I truly believe that if I was meant to have kids right now you would have given them to me, but you haven't, and that's ok.  But where do you need me?  What are you plans for me?  What do you need me to do?  I'm putting this next year in your hands.  Guide me to where you need me most.  I am lost and need you to show me the way."

I had spent years on shaky ground -  not knowing what to do, or where I belonged.  

This past April some kids who are like family to us were temporarily placed into foster care.  They were safe, living with family, but a light bulb went off and we (ok, me) knew that our time was finally here.  We didn’t know what our future held or if those kids would ever end up in our home, but I knew God was finally telling me it was time.  We called the state to find out what we needed to do so we could adopt kids - any kids.  We had not really discussed being foster parents before, but we prayed about it and decided that we would do whatever God needed us to do for kids in need.  I was nervous, but I was moving forward with faith that I was traveling the path God had laid out for me. 


"When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand on, or you will be taught to fly."

In June we had our first meeting with a social worker and were told that due to some changes happening within the organization we would not be able to start our 9 weeks of mandatory classes until October.  That meant that by the time all the paperwork was done the earliest we would be seeing any kids in our home was January 2014. 

A few weeks later I sat on the couch next to Troy and cried.  I couldn’t do this.  We had just wrapped up a camp where we had spent a significant amount of time working with kids and it went terribly, horribly wrong.  I felt like it was a test and I had failed…miserably.  I was still nervous about the thought of becoming foster parents – how would we ever be able to meet the many needs of those kids?  I sat on the couch, crying and praying, telling God I needed to know what to do next.  I was lost and I wanted to quit.  I asked him to please give me a sign – reassure me that it was ok to quit, or tell me to keep pushing forward.  Right then my phone dinged – I had a new voicemail.  (Why didn’t my phone ever ring?  It didn’t show a missed call.)  I wiped away my tears and punched in the number to check my new messages.   It was from our caseworker.

“Hi, Misty.  I just found an opening for you to take your classes in another county starting in 3 weeks.  Instead of 9 weeks of Tuesday evening classes you will be taking 2 classes a week, back to back on Saturdays, getting done in half the time”

We were mentally prepared to start classes in October.  Now our last class would be August third.  God not only gave me an (immediate) answer – he told me to go and do it now  - right now!  God had a specific plan for us, and he didn’t have time for me to sit around questioning him.



Over the next month I felt like I had a direct line to God.  Every single time I asked for his help he responded immediately. 

“God, are sure this is what you want me to do?”  He responded with a free bed. 

“God, are you sure I’m the right person for this?  Do you have me mixed up with someone else?”  He sent me some more beds -  bunk beds.

“God, I’m feeling overwhelmed.  Are we still doing this?”  Misty, I’m sending you kids and they will need a dresser.  Someone will deliver it later today. 

“God, today is the first day of class and I’m scared.  What if we walk in and realize we’re not like everyone else?  What if it’s obvious we don’t belong?”  We walked into class and saw familiar faces – friends who were also wanting to become foster parents.  We belonged….



 Class day was my favorite day of the week and I was sad when the classes ended.  

I could go on and on with examples of ways God reassured me and kept nudging me forward.  I started to get real comfortable on the path I was on.  I was excited and I felt like I had found my calling in life.   This is what I was meant to do – I was going to be a foster mom!
Those kids I mentioned earlier? Once again they needed a place to stay, this time for longer, and not as foster kids. My heart was torn because I felt like I needed (and wanted) to be there for those kids, but at the same time God had very much led (drugged, pushed, pulled) me down the path to become a foster parent. These kids were not foster kids. What was I supposed to do? Are these the kids he had in mind for me? He did a lot of work to make sure I became a foster parent – why would he put these kids in front of me? They were not foster kids. This was not the plan I had made with God.

We needed to make a decision pretty quick and I did a lot of praying in that short amount of time. I knew what the right decision was, but I needed God’s reassurance. I needed to know I was not abandoning the plan he had for me.  
 Our home just grew by three!


I know now the reason we ended up taking those classes in a different county, at the double the speed, 3 months ahead of schedule.  The knowledge we gained, the resources we obtained, and the people we met in those classes were all part of our preparation for these kids.  This is where God was leading me.  The kids moved into our house the day after our last class.  We completed our classes Tuesday night and moved the kids in Wednesday morning.  Talk about God's timing!  They have been in our home now for 8 weeks and I don’t know what the future holds, but if they were to leave tomorrow I would still say it was worth it. 

It was worth all the years of telling my husband “not yet”, because I know that God needed us to wait because he needed us in this place at this time. When my birthday came around this year the kids had been living with us for 3 weeks and as I reflected on the past year of my life I knew that it was no accident I was celebrating my birthday with these three. 

And I thanked God - for the many answered prayers, for the guidance, and for the wonderful path he laid out for me.  What an amazing life I am so lucky to be living!  Every day, no matter how hard it has been (or how tired I am), I am thankful that God made us wait so that we could be right here in this moment.  Each day is a gift.  

I don't know what the future holds.  I don't know how long we will be blessed with these kids, or if we will ever have more kids in our home, but I know we're not alone.  God has a plan and he will lead us to where he needs us most.  

Although this is the story of how we became parents for the first time, it is about so much more.  This is about me doing the work God has called me to do and having faith he will see me through.  I am standing on solid ground.  

Jesus, you're my firm foundation
I know I can stand secure.
Jesus you're my firm foundation. 
I put my hope in your holy word, 
I put my hope in your holy word.

I have a living hope.
I have a future.
God has a plan for me.
Of this I"m sure, of this I'm sure.

Jesus, you're my firm foundation.
I know I can I can stand secure.
Jesus, you're my firm foundation.
I put my hope in your holy word, 
I put my hope in your holy word.  

You're word is faithful.
Mighty in power.
God will deliver me.
Of this I'm sure, of this I'm sure.  

Jesus, you're my firm foundation.
I know I can stand secure.
Jesus, you're my firm foundation.
I put my hope in your holy word.
I put my hope in your holy word.  



2 comments:

  1. Misty I'm the one who is so blessed that you and Troy were there for my great grandchildren when they really needed a stable home and someone in their life to guide them. I'm so thankful you were both there. I had wished I was the one to be able to care for them but with my health there was no way. May god always bless you both for being the good parents that you are.

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