Our Continuing Journey to Foster Parenting


IMG_4319Last month I shared about whether we are done having children and about the surprise that wasn’t meant to be…. I mentioned that we were considering growing our family though adoption or becoming foster parents.

After much prayer/asking God for specific direction AND lengthy discussions with my hubby, we feel God has clearly shown us that we are to become foster parents. (The clincher was a sermon our pastor preached on using the talents we have been given. We had always said that maybe someday we would adopt, and then it kind of hit us: that “someday” is today!)

I wanted to share a bit about our continuing journey… what I have been thinking about and my answers to a few of the questions friends have asked me….

Would we adopt from foster care?

We would love the opportunity to adopt a child out of the foster care system who needs a loving family, though we are well aware that we are likely to have a child in our home who will go back to his/her biological family. The majority of children in foster care are reunited with their families, with only about 30% being permanently removed from their homes due to a termination of parental rights. But despite the odds, we are hopeful that God has a very special child out there for us who is just waiting to be adopted into our family.

Why did we choose foster care instead of adoption through an agency?

To be honest, it mostly came down to time and money. Adopting locally or internationally is expensive, period. When we talk to friends who have adopted or are going through the process, they all tell us not to let money stand in the way… not to let that deter us from what we feel called to do.

The other real deterrent in looking at overseas adoption is visiting the home country. We don’t have the ability to leave without kiddos for 1-2 weeks multiple times.

Really, the bottom line is that God called us to foster care and not to adopting through an agency. If God had called us to adopt through an agency, I believe without a shadow of a doubt He would have removed the barriers I listed above.

Would we pick a girl?

A friend asked me this; and, honestly, I have thought a lot about it, too. (We have two boys now.) Knowing that we can’t really “pick” the children we foster, it is a bit easier for us to leave this in God’s hands. Lately, I feel like God has given me a heart for boys. When we sit in our “usual” spot at church we often sit near families with boys a few years ahead of mine, and I just love to watch them grow. I know a lot of adoption books and people talk about what happens to orphaned girls who aren’t adopted (domestically and overseas); and, well… it isn’t pretty. But you know, what if we could also think about adopting boys and giving them the opportunity to become men who don’t misuse girls in those ways?

So really, if I could pick, I don’t know if I would choose a boy or a girl. I am glad to trust God’s plan.

What if DHS decides the child can go back to Mom or Dad?

Yep, that would totally suck. I don’t think there are other words for that. We know that is a reality. I have worked long enough in the social work system to see things happen that I don’t agree with. The DHS system is a flawed, man-made system, but that doesn’t give me a pass from helping families and children who are broken and hurting. God calls us to live in a broken world and to serve others in a broken system. If a child is in our home but a brief time and s/he sees Jesus, then it is all worth it, right? If I am able to love that child’s family and to show Jesus to a broken family, then it is all worth it, right?

But won’t we get attached to the children? And what if they go back to a situation we don’t think is right? Of course, we will get attached, and my heart will be broken when they leave. But as a dear friend told me, if you don’t get attached and love them then you aren’t doing your job. Most of the families in the system live in situations you and I can’t even imagine (Well, I have been witnessed a few first hand….).  But it is not my place to judge. My job is to love the children who come into our home.

Want to know more about foster parenting and what the process involves?

The first thing we did was to fill out an inquiry online at Iowa Kids Net. You must attend an informational meeting, which is a great way to ask questions and to learn more. Then, if you proceed with the process, you attend the 10-week foster parenting classes. Along the way there are things like fingerprints, background checks, paperwork, and probably more paperwork!

Have you ever thought about adopting or becoming a foster parent? Or have you adopted a child already? Do you have questions about the process of fostering or adopting? Please ask! If I don’t know the answer I will find out for you!

I hope to share updates of our journey along the way, so stayed tuned!


  1. Great post, Jodi and definitely all the questions I would have asked you, especially about having a child return to their parents (which might not be a good situation). You must be a very strong women to have the peace about it you do. I don’t think I would be able to do it but am so grateful there are sweet strong women like yourselve out there for those children who need love.

    • Thank you for your comments…I would not classify myself as strong or any stronger than any other woman especially moms! The only way I could even think about doing this is by leaning on Jesus daily!

  2. What a beautiful thing for you to choose to foster. We have had some friends a couple relatives foster in the past. Our friends started in the fostering system by being week-long relief for foster parents. They currently are taking a break for the time being because they ended up adopting a brother and a sister through fostering. We have one relative that is still doing it and enjoys being able to be there for the foster kids and being an ongoing positive adult figure in their lives. Another relative is currently taking a break from fostering because they became so attached to their last foster child and it was hard for them to allow them to go back with their parents. I wish you the best and God bless!

  3. First of all Val I love the name of your blog! I took at peak at it and it super cute. My hubby grew up in North central Iowa. I really do think fostering is something that you need a break to re-group. Our classes don’t start until February and the other day it hit me – just enjoy this period of quiet (well as quiet as it can be with two boys right). Thanks so much for your kind comment!


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