“You couldn’t have any more of your own?”
By far the number one assumption we have come across when people find out we are foster parents: Infertility. Oh the comments, questions, and prodding that complete strangers and others who by definition are essentially strangers have asked. For some reason, people somehow find it acceptable to bust out some really bizarre lines of questioning. Or maybe they just don’t even consider the kinds of things they are asking about when they casually inquire about my fertility.
Now, I’m not shy. That may or may not shock you. Depends on how many conversations you have had with me. I am the tell-it-like-it-is girl. You ask, I’m very likely to give you a straight-up, honest answer. That applies to most everything. So don’t ask me what I think of your hair, clothes, the weather, etc. unless you’re ready for a very genuine, truthful response. Occasionally I’ll sensor myself, depending on how well I know you/you know me and the circumstances, but generally speaking, you’re getting truth, harsh or not, from this girl.
So go ahead – ask about my fertility…. but only if you REALLY want to know. (I’m assuming most of you do not).
What you really are trying to find out when you ask such personal questions, I think, is why in the world we would choose this fostering thing for our family if we could “just make our own babies” instead.
Well, here we go…. the WHY:
- In 2011, over 400,000 (that’s FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND) children were in the foster care system nation-wide.
Read that number again. Did it take your breath away like it did mine?
- In Texas, 30 THOUSAND.
- In the county I live in, 4,700.
I’ll do that math for you…. In the state of Texas, Houston accounts for almost 16% of all foster care cases. More than any other county, BY FAR.
So, there you go. The why. Those are the numbers that broke my heart in pieces and kept me up at night. Those are the numbers that we are up against as the church. That we should be up against anyway. Those are the stats that we should be fighting like hell to change!
A few long conversations with Randy, and I knew that we had to do this. It was not ever an option for us. God was making the need VERY CLEAR and doing anything besides fostering would have been wrong. For us, that includes “making our own babies”.
When we realized the need, there was no more waiting. We had to move our feet and DO SOMETHING! Randy and I knew that there was no way around this one, no getting out. So, in true Becca-style, we went for it. All in. Head first. Like I said, I’m a straight-forward, all or nothing girl. That is exactly how we responded to these numbers. All or nothing, man.
Will we “make more babies” in the future – maybe. Will we foster more kids in the future – maybe. Will we adopt via other avenues in the future – maybe. See, right now were working on raising a house of 3 toddler boys. Thats hard work, y’all. Note my FB post from last night as example #1:
Fact: 60 solid minutes of wailing, crying, whining, moaning, tantruming, coughing, and many other -ings.
Fact: we are now singing hymns in bed and hugging it out.
Mommy to 3 toddlers ain’t always pretty but it sure is worth it.
Other fact: #1 requested song from my 3 year old- Because He Lives.
Google those lyrics and see if your spirit isn’t calmed by that truth.
See what I mean? We are working on shepherding these 3 and hanging out in a holding pattern until we get the next all-clear. Then we move. We follow the next path where it may lead and trust that whatever that looks like (pregnancy, fostering, adoption) is not ours to decide, but HIS.
That’s the why. That’s the plan. No plan. Just follow.
And, so, the other question we frequently get – how many kids will we have total?
What do YOU think the answer to that is?
WE HAVE NO IDEA.
but HE does.
*It’s National Foster Care Awareness Month and I just want to ask you something: Have you considered these numbers? Have you allowed them to rest on your heart and mind until you feel the weight they carry? Each one a precious child who needs a safe place to sleep tonight.
Can I ask something else?
WHY IN THE WORLD ARE YOU STILL STANDING STILL? Go. Do. Move your feet and get in the game, y’all. There are kids waiting. There is a Savior, waiting for HIS children to obey and rescue THESE children.
And now, what? Check out THIS page on the OCN site for ideas on ways you can get in the game and DO SOMETHING!