Of the 250,000 who enter the US foster system each year, 104,000 are waiting to be adopted. That number is tiny compared to other countries, but for the kids in foster care, it's enormous. There is a desperate need in our own backyard, and it doesn't take passports and weeks out of the country to provide unconditional love to a child who is without it. I have a custody arrangement with my sweet J, and leaving the country for weeks just isn't an easy feat to accomplish. It's part patriotism and part knowing how logistically difficult it would be for me to be out of the country. Domestic adoption just "fit" our life, and we saw the real need for foster adoptions. Amos and I feel God leading us to "help out at home."
It's virtually FREE to adopt from foster care. Fingerprinting, home studies, lawyer fees. They're all covered. Of course, there will be expenses that come as with any addition to a family, but the typical fees associated with adoption are taken care of by the state. You don't even have to adopt within your state for costs to be covered. We could adopt a child from here or one from Alaska. The paperwork would be greater, but the cost wouldn't change. While this isn't really a reason that we chose to follow this path, it sure is a nice perk and allows us to stay on track with our Dave Ramsey plans as well as giving us the ability to prepare our home for a new addition.
I'm honestly not familiar with the post-adoptive resources available in other types of adoption, but we're continually amazed at how much support is given to families post-adoption in foster care adoptions. Families have access to free counseling, medical coverage for the adopted child(ren) until age 18, a huge library of resources, and a list of other services that I haven't verified yet. I wasn't sure what I thought about all this "help" in the context of our family. I'm not thrilled about having three bio kids on our family insurance and adopted kids on a different one. I personally would like as little difference as possible between our three and any new ones that we are blessed with. But we are largely ignorant at this point, and opinions are likely to change along the way. As our social worker pointed out earlier this week, if it means getting a child into a loving family, the state is willing to spend some of the money that they would have spent on the kids anyway. That does make sense to me.
The most important reason we're pursuing foster adoption is because God has called us to do so! I believe with all my heart that our lives will only feel complete if we rest in Jesus and do our best to follow God's will in our lives.
"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you!"