Lynda is an Adoption STAR adoptive mom in the Western New York area. Currently she and her family are a foster family in the county they live in and are also pursuing an International Adoption.
“Three years ago, we began the foster program in hopes of walking out with a child we could adopt. Our cousins in Ohio went through the foster program, were matched with one family, and walked out adopting 3 children in that family. We loved their experience and hoped to have the same story. Little did we know then what we know now, 3 years and 8 foster children later.
We don’t know what the outcome will be for the baby with us now, just as we couldn’t predict with the ones before her. What we do know is that we are enjoying the reward of a relationship with her now. This on-going relationship with the family is a new arrangement to us, so we are going through some growing pains as we learn how to make it work. It is stretching us as a family, but it is also growing us in some beautiful ways.
As a foster family you learn just how much risk, attachment, personal advocating, and personal sacrificing you are willing to experience for children who may never be yours, but will own a piece of your heart. It is quite an emotional process, and comes with lots of frustrations, concerns, emotions, and risks for you, the foster family. And from our experience, this system and these dedicated social workers certainly deserve medals for their heroic and brave measures to change the futures of these children.
While these last 3 years have not taken us closer to our long-term goal: that of walking out with another permanent family member, but they have certainly taught our family valuable lessons. Some of the lessons we’ve learned are as follows: more compassion; more humility; more flexibility; more awareness that without God’s grace, we are able to fall to levels beyond what we can imagine; with God’s grace, we are able to experience a deeper level of joy that goes beyond the circumstances we are in; more teachable moments as a family because of the situations that have brought the children to our house; what it’s like for our family to serve as a team; more humor, especially in light of showing up to places with a different child each time. We’ve also learned more appreciation for all our family and friends who have helped us meet needs we’ve had with the different children in our home, etc.
As we continue along this journey we will continue to acknowledge the ways it’s brought positive growth in our family and so importantly impacted the life of the child who was part of us for a short time. While, it hasn’t brought us to our initial goal, it has brought us so much more than we could have imagined.
For now, we are in the habit of saying, “Yep, we run a boarding house now. Every week we have new tenants and new vacancies. So, in case you need a room someday, you know who to call.”
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