Happy Friday, people! I am so excited to share Kimberly's story with you all. I think you will be moved by the incredible and very brave hearts of Kimberly and her husband. I pray that the Lord uses this story to bring comfort and inspire -- maybe convict one or many of us to really listen to what God might be calling us to in this season of waiting. To hear more from Kimberly, check out beautifularrows.wordpress.com.
When my husband and I talked about starting a family early on in our marriage, it never occurred to us that our story would be quite different than what most would consider “normal.” We certainly weren't expecting extreme hardships in order to grow our family. My husband and I married in November 2008, we had only been married about 6 months when we decided to stop preventing pregnancy, the birth control I was on was making me constantly sick and we knew it was best to stop taking it and just see what happens. Months went by, nothing to report but we were still hopeful. A few months turned into a year, then turned into two years.
We decided it was time to get checked out to see if anything was wrong. After several tests and lots of money, there wasn't anything “definite” on why we couldn't conceive. There were some concerns but nothing officially diagnosed. The next step recommended for us was IVF. After some prayer and talking we didn’t think that was the path The Lord had for us and felt like we needed to keep trying to get pregnant.
Every month that would go by and negative test after negative test, was heartbreaking. Friends and family announced their pregnancies left and right while my womb stayed empty. I was convinced having a family wasn't our calling. We were hurt and confused on why this was happening.
A couple more years went by and adoption started to be laid on our hearts. We had always wanted to adopt but we figured after we had 3 or 4 biological kids. As we were researching our options for adoption, foster care really jumped out at us. We decided to get some information on it and in January 2013 we were knee deep in trainings and paperwork. On March 25, 2013 we were officially licensed foster parents and just waiting for a placement. That time of waiting was the hardest thing, like the last 4 years hadn't been hard enough, waiting for a phone call for a child who needs a home is stressful to say the least. I was an emotional wreck the entire time, constantly checking my phone, having a panic attack every time it rang and it just being my mom calling to see if we heard anything. Thanks mom by the way. ;)
Thankfully we didn't have to wait long. 4 days later on March 29th we received a phone call for a 2 day old baby boy, whose case was deemed a “legal risk” case, basically meaning he could go towards adoption because of previous history of the parents, but the biological family has a chance at reunification. There is nothing more terrifying than knowing this precious child you love and care for as your own could leave at anytime if a suitable family member popped up or if his parents were able to work their case and be reunited. We knew this coming into foster care that it is always a possibility, reunification is always the primary goal, followed by biological family getting first dibs. We just had to pray for what was best for this child.
Long story short and to not go into details of the case for his protection, we were able to adopt our little guy 19 months later in October 2014. It was the best day ever and I was flooded with emotions.
Several months before our son's adoption we were informed that his biological mother was pregnant again, they would be removing the baby and asked if we'd be willing to care for this one as well. We of course said yes! How awesome would it be for our son to have a biological sibling with him. We were excited and prepared for our new arrival. On August 8, 2014 we welcomed a 2 day old baby girl, precious and identical in every way to her older brother. We were head over heels for this little girl. Life could not have been better.
Fast forward 4 weeks later, we received a call from our agency saying that Baby Girl would have to be returned to bio mom that day. There had been a court hearing and the judge ordered the baby to be returned. We could not believe what was happening. My husband was able to talk with a supervisor at CPS to see what was going on. There should have been no reason for her to return unexpectedly; her case hadn't been worked, it would be dangerous to send her back home.
We were informed that someone at the hearing didn't show up prepared and to make a point the judge decided to dismiss the case. That's it. Our newborn baby girl was being sent home and we couldn't do anything to stop it. As foster parents we have no legal right to fight for her, we just had to pray that she would be safe and protected or be returned immediately. We had a few hours to pack her stuff up and say goodbye, never knowing if she would return.
After dropping her off, we were broken and devastated. We decided to take a break from fostering and just focus on finalizing the adoption of our son. Our home would stay open only for the return of our baby girl. To say this was the darkest season for us is an understatement. We were completely devastated, I cried every day for months. It felt like we lost a child. The Lord had to really work in us to bring us out of that place of brokenness. We eventually decided to open our home up again for another child. We had believed that our little girl wouldn't be returning and the Lord was telling us to open our home for another.
Six months after baby girl was returned to family, we received a call from our agency, one we were not expecting. Our baby girl had come back into care and would be dropped off to us in an hour. She was coming home to us. We were overwhelmed with joy and sadness. We were elated that we would get to care for her again but saddened that her biological mom couldn't properly care for her. I had prayed for months that she would be the mom that I so desperately wanted to be for this child. Baby Girl had been through so much in those last 6 months, her life, a miracle to say the least. She desperately needed medical care and a nurturing home.
We have been blessed to nurture her back to health and she is a completely healthy, normal functioning, 13 month old baby girl. The Lord is so good. Her case isn't over yet, we have at least a year before we get to hopefully finalize her adoption. Things are in our favor for adoption, but in foster care you never know what to expect.
We have been incredibly blessed by these two children and it's been a huge joy to watch them be brother and sister with each other, there is nothing sweeter. The Lord is still working in my husband and I to bring healing to us for all that has occurred in the last 6 1⁄2 years. We still pray that we would be blessed with biological children but we have a heart for foster care and adoption and look forward to any other children that will be brought to our home.