Beth’s Foster To Adoption Journey
The path through adoption varies from parent to parent. Today, Beth shares her foster to adoption journey with us.
1. When did you start your adoption journey? (Did you foster to adopt? Have you always wanted to adopt?)
Our adoption journey first started in October 2016. We fostered to adopt through our County DPSS and were all approved in June of 2017. In June of 2018, we got the call and officially adopted him May 2019.
I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I was married previously and we never conceived a child (though we tried). After a couple of relationships, I met my now husband who has two teenage stepdaughters and had a vasectomy. I told him from the start I wanted a child. We, mostly me, kept going back and forth on reversal or adoption. I knew I didn’t want to do IVF.
After months and months, lots of tears and a lot of praying, I spoke with a lady from church who adopted two boys (they had no birth children of their own). She really helped me to see that adoption was what I wanted to do. So, if someone told me that I would become a mother through adoption I would have said you’re crazy. Well, I have learned I am the crazy one because God had a plan for me and a plan for this little guy, and I would do it all over again.
2. What is your adoption date?
May 14, 2019
3. Please share your adoption experience with us.
It was scary at first. To think you can start to foster a child, grow attached and they could be taken away to go back to their birth parents. We asked for a low risk of this happening.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle a child going back to their birth parents.
Our first step in foster to adopt through the County was to attend an orientation where they basically let you know what the process is all about. There are scary stories but we knew we wanted to keep moving forward. Then came the classes, home inspections, fingerprinting, etc. We did everything we needed to do as soon as possible. Knowing the process would be lengthy, we wanted to complete everything quickly.
3.5. The approval
We finally got approved to foster. Now came the hardest part…waiting for the call. It was May 25, 2018, and I was laying in the living room with our dog who just had double knee surgery a few weeks prior. I saw our social worker calling and for a split second, I thought, it was “THE CALL!” But then thought no I doubt it. But it was! I heard those magical words “WE HAVE A MATCH.” I jumped up and ran outside to get my husband. I began to cry and told him we got the call.
We listened to everything she was telling us about the little guy and his birth parents and we knew we wanted him. After we got off the phone I wanted to go to my parents’ house and tell them. In typically guy fashion my husband says, “can I finish washing the car.” (LOL) Of course, I said no.
AJ came into our lives on June 4, 2018, at almost 3 months old. From the moment AJ came into our lives he has been such an amazing and wonderful gift. I always tell people I could not have created a more perfect child myself. Truly, he is a gift from God.
4. What is the best experience you’ve had through this process?
All my fears and doubts about the adoption process have been erased. I wish I was a little younger and I would adopt more children. It is such a blessing to know you are making a difference in this child’s life.
One of the things I thought about in wanting a child was, “do I really want to bring a child into this crazy world?” Then I realized there are so many children already in this crazy world who just need a family to love and care for them.
5. How has your life changed since you started this journey?
My life has changed as any other parent’s life would. However, my eyes have been completely open to the wonderful world of adoption. It’s scary and there is so much unknown. But they are just kids who got a sucky start at life. What an amazing gift we can give to them just by loving them.
I kind of feel like adopted parents are almost stronger than parents who have a biological child. We have to walk down a long dimly lit road in hopes to get to the end of the tunnel. You don’t know when or how it’s going to happen you just simply wait and pray.
Through this process, I felt there needs to be more “foster/adoption” focused resources. For example, when you are starting a baby registry, you have no idea when the child is coming. The registry asks you for a due date. It would be nice if you could check an adoption button and aren’t asked questions like, “your registry is getting old,” or “did you know this is still open.”
I have an app on my phone, it’s like an online baby book. It sends you questions every day, except all the questions are based on if the child is a birth child. Such as, “who does the child look like,” and “does he take after the Mom or Dad.” It would be nice if things were more adoption orientated too. I guess I have a desire to do more or create more for the foster/adoption community.
6. Any advice you’d like to share with people choosing to adopt?
It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s unknown but in the end, it is worth it all. Don’t give up. Your child is out there…I promise.
Follow your heart and what you want. Whether it’s race, gender, medical needs or not. This is the child you want, not what society says you should do, or what your family or friends think you should do. Your heart is directing you and no one else’s.
To anyone who does not have biological children, know this…you are not any less of a woman or man for not having a biological child. Birthing child does not make you a mom. What makes you a mom is your heart. Your heart to love this child when no one else would or could. That makes you a parent and honestly, I think it makes us better parents. I struggled with not feeling like a real woman because I didn’t birth a child of my own. The lady at church let me know this…I am just as much a mom as anyone else.
Thank you so much, Beth, for sharing your story with us. Your family is so lucky to have AJ and AJ is lucky to have you all.
Learn more about how you can help children in foster care. Please click here https://www.togetherwerise.org/how-we-help/