A few weeks ago, I posted a vague message on facebook, asking friends and family to pray for us as we sought God's guidance in making a big decision.
As most family and friends know, we started the process to be foster parents about a year and a half ago. It was long, tedious and involved. We completed it and are officially certified. The agency we work with used to solely be a christian adoption agency and they are very new to foster care. As such, there has been very little activity for placement, compared to the onslaught we were expecting. And since we do have our two young daughters to consider, we've had some limitations on cases we were willing to take on. As a result, we haven't been matched yet.
In the meantime, I reached out to our caseworker about something God had put on my heart. Given my background, I've always had a heart for teen/young mothers. Having been the product of one, and having experienced it myself, I know the kind of information, or lack there of, that is out there. I know the stigma, I know the loneliness, I know the struggles. I was blessed beyond measure in having Jon for a partner. Our relationship certainly endured its own set of challenges and setbacks, but he was a devoted father and took up arms with me from the very first. Most girls in my situation don't have that. Many don't have any support system at all. I believe that God has shaped me and grown me the way that He has to be able to relate with and help these young women. That's where my heart is. He has given me some ideas, some images of how that may take form, but I don't know how it will begin or where it will go.
Anyway, as He continued to nudge my soul about this, I finally reached out and contacted our caseworker, asking what pregnancy care services they provide and if there is any need for what I have to offer: mentoring, possibly a stable home to get them on their feet. I was not expecting the enthusiasm I received.We talked at length about ideas and questions. I was told that there wasn't a great need, but that there had been times in the past where someone could have used what I wanted to provide. Right now, we would be prepared to take on one that was the right fit, so that was fine with us; we would wait on God's timing.
Several weeks later, I got a call that they had a potential match. We were kind of in shock. The way the conversation had gone, we were prepared to wait months, maybe even years. Jon and I talked about it and we prayed about it. We got as much information as we could and set up a meeting to meet with our caseworker and hammer out the details of how it would work. We reached out to friends and family for prayer. And we waited.
We met with our caseworker first, and talked over details for a long time. At the end of the meeting, we agreed to meet with this young woman over the next week and move forward. She had been staying at a maternity home ( I didn't know such things existed) and it was an emotional struggle for her. Things were moving fast; all we could do was pray and trust God.
A few days later, I got a call that she had left the maternity home and was en route to her native state. We certainly weren't expecting that any more than we had been expecting the initial call. But I wasn't discouraged; I understood.
So that is the result of the specific situation I asked for prayers on. If/when we get another call, you can probably expect a similar vague prayer request. On the whole, I'm happy with how things went. I'm glad we got more information on how we may go about this in the future and I'm happy with how we handled our concerns and uncertainties by leaning heavily on God. I trust His judgment in the outcome. I don't know all the ways He is going to use this very brief experience, but I do know one thing that has come from it: when I first heard about her and that she was staying in a maternity home, I started looking these places up. Lo' and behold, there was one actually within walking distance of where we used to live, and so only about 5 minutes away from where we are now, and it is a picture-match of one of the images God put on my heart. I couldn't believe it. What I want to do someday, what I want to create, already exists and it's in my backyard. I got so excited. And then I found out that they have a need for mentors. *cue explosions of insensibility going off in my spirit* As He so regularly does, God left me speechless. And with energy and excitement humming through my veins.
My loose plan is to spend the summer devoted to my girls, since I've wanted it so badly for so long and only got it one year, when Lily was 1. But when they go back to school in the Fall, and my mornings/afternoons are pretty wide open, I will be researching/pursuing this, God willing. I don't know how He is going to use me, only that He will and I'm so excited to start.
Thank you for your prayers!