Last September, we got a call asking us if we would consider being long term foster parents. Before that, we had fostered several babies, but always on a short term basis. We help a mother care center/adoption agency here in Taiwan. This center was started because of the extremely high abortion rates in Taiwan. The last statistic I heard was that 7 out of every 10 pregnancies here end in abortion. So, it has been our way of trying to put feet on to our faith. If you are interested, you can check them out here.
We really prayed about it and felt it was God opening a door. We said yes and less than a week later, a cute little 8 month old boy moved in. They had warned us that he was born premature at 31 weeks and that he could quite possibly have mental problems. He would sit in his sit and never interact with anyone at the nursery. Thus began a journey of being foster parents.
Here is Titus getting lots of attention at church.
When we started fostering, he was not yet matched with an adoptive family, The center had given him the nickname "Buddy". We quickly discovered that Buddy was not mentally handicapped, but starved for affection. The center has a nice facility and an excellent nanny to baby ratio. However, Buddy never cried and therefore, didn't get as much attention as other babies. He just needed to be loved. We took him back to the nursery a couple of weeks later to get some shots and everyone kept asking us what we had done to this baby. He was so different. (I'm not a preacher, but isn't that what God's love does to us?)
A couple of months later he was matched with a really awesome family from Canada and then began the wait. We quickly, or rather slowly discovered that governments do not move fast when processing adoption papers. And Taiwan drags it out as long as they can. From December until September, we waited on paperwork and court dates and decrees. During this time, we absolutely fell in love with this baby that we were entrusted with.
Many people, when they realized that we were fostering, ask questions. And maybe you have some of those same questions, so here is a Q and A.
Q: Do you hope to adopt?
A: We aren't opposed, but just haven't felt led to.
Q: Why didn't you adopt Buddy if he wasn't matched with a family?
A: We seriously prayed about it, but didn't feel that was what God had planned. Plus, knowing that families had been on the waiting list for a long time to adopt, meant that he was going to get matched.
Q:Do you want a third child?
A: Actually, I'm very satisfied with the two I have. It could happen one day, but no plans!
Q: Are you unable to have another child, so this fulfills a need in you?
A: If I wanted a third child, I do not anticipate any problems, so, no.
Q: Do you think it is sad that his mother gave him up?
A: Honestly, no. She gave him life and then made a decision that allowed him to be adopted by a family that really wants him. She opened the door for him to go from an unwanted pregnancy to an anticipated blessing.
Q: Wow! You must have had a lot of free time to decide to foster!
A: Um, not really! But you know the old saying, "If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person!"
Q:Will you foster again?
A: Short term, definitely. Long term, that's up to God!
Q: How will you ever give him up when his family comes? Won't it hurt too bad?
A: Yes, it hurt. But I've found that when you are walking down a road that God has prepared for you, he walks with you. So, we were sad to see him go, but at the same time, filled with an immense peace that could only come from God.
"Buddy" on his 1st birthday
We had Titus (the name given to him from his adoptive family) for a little over a year. Our greatest hope is that he will grow up to feel secure and with a desire to know and serve God. I know that he will not remember the time he spent with us, but hopefully, something was transferred in the spirit. He was always lifting his hands and clapping in church. Once, I was crying during prayer meeting and he climbed in my lap and wiped my tears away. I guess you could say that we hope we were a blessing to him in the year we took care of him. But, I'm pretty sure we were blessed the most just by getting a chance to know and love this awesome kid!
Titus left last week with his new family. After arriving back home, they shared a picture with me of Titus and his 3 siblings. It did my heart so good to see him laughing and smiling!