Dem Baybays

So we’ve been in the foster care game for a while.

Thanks Ron, but I don’t live like that. I don’t think what we do is special, I just think we do what he has called us to do. Our ministry really works on two levels. We head up the CALL in Faulkner and Conway Counties, and help recruit, equip and support families that decide to join us on the journey of foster care and adoption. Crystal and I really work to just help others navigate these deep waters, and connect them with others on the same road.

We are all about community.

Community is what we’re all about. Our families last longer and do more, because of community. That’s what made carrying on so tough.

We live our lives in front of quite a few people. When we lost Addi, we weren’t alone. I am so grateful for that…now. Everyone that surrounded us, donated or provided a meal, thank you. Sincerely.

Grieving is hard, really, really hard. For a while, I told Crystal that I had no desire to carry on administering the CALL. It just felt empty, because I felt empty. Crystal knew how therapeutic it would be to get back to some normalcy. It took me much longer to come around, but I am glad to be back working.

The truly hard part though, was going back to fostering.

Fostering and adoption has never been a backup for us. It’s never been Plan B. When we started this whole thing, we had no idea we’d have any fertility issues at all. We didn’t find that out until years later. All we knew is that there was a little boy who was meant to be our son. God has used us to impact the lives of 20 children. Let me repeat that.

20 Children.

The significance of that number is not lost on me. Nor is the sorrow that I was needed in the first place. My family has found joy in the midst of all of these storms. We love what we do.

All of a sudden though — I had felt the joy of a biological child, and I want to know that joy in its fullness. I was afraid that from this point forward I would think everything else was second best. Both of us agreed that we needed time, and peace to be able to heal, so we said that our home was unavailable.

We turned down a couple of placements. Including a newborn. I couldn’t bring myself to the thought of having a newborn in the house that wasn’t Addi.

One of our best friends, Kelly, has joined us in this crazy life we live. Most nights we are hanging out, either full family hangouts, or just doing a little front porch sitting. Either way, we see each other most days. Kelly really works well with older kids, which is far from our specialty. Kelly had a younger kid earlier on in her life fostering, and she ended up needing a place to stay again. This time her 2 month old baby sister was with her. Kelly welcomed them with open arms and was doing great, but as a single mom and with multiple teens in the house it was just too much. Crystal asked me if we could take the 2, and without much consideration at all, I agreed.

God always eases my spirit when its something we’re supposed to do. Just a week or so earlier I teared up when Crystal asked me to take a baby. Now just a short while later, I’m solid.

God delivered.

These kids are amazing. They fit perfectly into our family, they are super easy kids and make me smile daily. God gave exactly what my heart needed. They in no way are a reaplacement for Addi, and never will be. I don’t want them to be. I want to enjoy them in exactly the fullness of how God created them. I miss Addi every day, but I must say I absolutely love dem baybays.