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Our Foster Care Journey: Part 4

Emily Saunders

 

It’s been 20 months since our foster boys came back to live with us.  I love to look back on the days when life seems impossible and really consider how far we’ve come.  My boys are all wild.  They are rough and loud and siblings are, well, siblings.

I’m pretty sure July and August of 2019 were the wildest months of my life.  We closed on our new house, got our foster boys back, completed a fast renovation, moved, sold our house, started new schools, new activities and new ALL the things.  You know that advice about only embracing one transition for your family at a time?  Yeah, that was out the window!

God sustained.  Over days and months we made progress.  Gratefully, our first court date (which also happened to be the first day of school) allowed the boys to stay with us.  Those first months were tumultuous with visits from DSS, visits with parents, lots of tears and more.  When we went back to court in November our social worker boldly asked that our primary plan be changed to adoption and not only the judge agree, she also ordered no contact with the children by the birth parents.

While this is a hard and sad situation, it truly was best for the boys.  Almost immediately, emotional and security issues improved along with relationships in our home.  We slowly but surely became a family.

I love to watch the relationships between all my boys grow and flourish as they’ve learned to be brothers.  Friends comment regularly that you would never guess these boys haven’t been together forever.  They love hard, fight hard, love hard and play hard.  They are a fierce foursome!

It’s amazing what healthy food, healthy relationships, and an abundance of love can do for children.  Watching God write a story of redemption is transformative and humbling.  Of course, each day is difficult.  Raising four boys is hard but God works biggest in the hard things.

Patience has been the most difficult part of this journey.  It’s a constant reminder that I am not in control and leads me to trust Him more each day.  The paperwork to terminate the birth parents’ rights was filed in April of 2020 and it took until the end of January 2021 to actually get to trial (after 3 reschedules and continuances plus SEVEN pretrials). 

There are days that feel weary.  It’s hard to stand in the gap for years.  A constant state of limbo is exhausting.  There is way more unknown than I ever imagined.  Things rarely go as expected.  But God is always working!

Back in November as I anticipated our court date (that didn’t happen) I was at a women’s business conference (check out she works His way) and in the middle of singing “The Blessing”, I was reminded that God was already in the courtroom.  He would not be surprised or overwhelmed and that things would work perfectly in His timing.  As court dates were cancelled or continued, I clung to that truth and you know what?  When court finally did happen, it WAS the right time.  My spirit was completely at peace and I could feel Him working.

This story isn’t over.  There is still much to happen as we wait and pray for permanency to be finalized this year.

The days and years to come bring much that’s unknown and we’re not finished this journey, but God is still working and He’s ever present!  He defines family and I’m so grateful for how He’s grown and blessed mine.



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