In the fall of 2006, my husband and I attended the Baptist Child & Family Services foster to adopt training program. The training brought a level of awareness to how little I knew about children, granted assurance that resources were available to learn what was needed and provided support while on the journey.
As our training sessions came to a close, we felt ready to open our home, hearts and lives to children in need. We had it all figured out; two or three siblings, under the age of 4. Never did we imagine that we would get a call from BCFS a few days before our training was over asking us to receive four siblings. I thought it would be years before we would have the opportunity to receive any child into our home. I called my husband who said, “We should think about it. We’ll talk after work.”
God always finds a way to speak to us, and I heard him loud and clear. My husband and I needed to learn what we were equipped to handle. I knew that I was not prepared to go from zero to four overnight and serve the children well. We said no.
That evening I prayed, asking if I had missed His desire for me. The peace I felt was over-whelming and settled any doubts. God had other plans for us, but needed us to come together and really know what we could manage. I have always known that God would place children in my life, though I didn’t know how or when. He’s always spoken to my heart and confirmed that my desire to be a mom would come to fruition.
It was two days later that we received another call from BCFS about a brother and sister that had been in foster care for a year and a half. A sweet, soft-spoken, five-year old girl and her animated and often temper tantrum-throwing two-year old brother were introduced to us over a weekend of “respite care.” We said yes to them moving into our home as our foster-children, and five months later the adoption was complete.
That was three years ago, just two weeks before Thanksgiving. Now ages eight and five, we’ve experienced a lot of things that I never gave much thought to during our training: homework, swimming lessons, birthday parties, time-outs, cooking kid friendly meals, behavior charts, dance classes, shopping for kids who grow overnight, soccer games, boo-boos, etc. Every moment is worth every effort.
What am I most thankful for? The community of people who helped this broken woman find her way back to God. Laughter and giggles, hugs and kisses, story time and evening prayers, learning how to talk to a child about the world we live in and about how we can serve those around us. I am thankful for “teaching moments,” when things aren’t going picture perfect. It’s often in those moments I learn so much about how I chose to live my life.
I am thankful for a life that has bloomed!
BCFS Adoptive Parent, Maricela Hune