My Family

Written on March 15, 2011 – 11:42 am | by dave |

My family is by no means, ordinary. In fact, the children we have are not even our own flesh but they are still our children. Intrigued? Read below to see how God gave me such a unique family and how this path He brought me down has taught me so much about what real love is all about.

As a married young adult, I find that one of the biggest aspects of life outside of career is a family. In fact, many people today should be more concerned with their family than their career. It saddens me daily to see how many young families have incorrect priorities. It’s believed in most parts of the USA that the man does the work and the wife stays at home with the kids and that once the father gets home, the kids need to leave him alone. I cannot accept this because I was raised in one such household where my father worked so often that he was gone more than he was there. As I aged, I began to see how much of a marked impact this had on my siblings and I – worst of all was watching what my father’s absence did to my sister.

With all these things in mind, I committed to myself and to my wife that I would be there for my children much more than my father ever was for me. As my marriage began to prosper, my wife and I were elated about about the concept of having kids. We had been successful in our careers thus far, I had managed to quit smoking, and we really felt that it was the right time to have kids. We both loved working with the kids at our church and they really seemed to be drawn to us. We were lauded by parents at the church for our devotion and our ability to teach. Yet for some reason, my wife seemed unable to bear children. We went to a doctor and found that due to a health issue known as PCOS, she was declared infertile. Despite this fact, we continued to pray and even went through the painful world of fertility treatments. Three years after we tried to have children of our own, we had come up empty handed. Needless to say, we were spiritually devastated and struggled to stay positive.

I recall one night that I walked out on the back porch of my house to see snow begin falling on the city. I was overcome with the beauty of it all but I felt myself burst to tears and I cried out to God “Why can you produce such beauty but cause me so much pain?” I began to beg God for children, I felt such a huge void in my life and Tiff felt the same way. Anxiously, I prayed daily for some guidance and read my Bible daily seeking some form of hope. I finally felt that God gave me something simple, I read that Christians are called to show love for the widows and the orphans and that many children were orphans due to the enemy’s clutches. He finally moved my heart to consider the world of fostering children. When I first asked Tiff to consider this, her answer was a strong “NO!” – she felt that foster kids would be too hard for her to give them up if she had to.   Who could blame her? Moreover, both of us felt like these kids might be really bad kids as the general public leads us to believe. Disheartened, I went back to my study and my prayers, I asked God to move on Tiff’s heart if it was really His will that we do this, I certainly could not move it on my own.

After a month or two of more dead ends in having our own children, Tiff finally broke down. She told me that she was in deep pain because she felt like God didn’t want her to be a mommy and that was something she had wanted her whole life (look at the toys little girls play with. 🙂 ). I comforted her and told her that I felt God wanted her to be a mommy, but a mommy who had a much more noble calling than most mommies. After a bit more discussion, I convinced her to TRY fostering. She relented and we began the process to open our home as a foster home. To tell you all of the details would prove very long indeed and might not be all that exciting so suffice to say, this process was a long and grueling process that took at least 6 months and mountains of paperwork.

Once we were finally an open home, the waiting continued. Weeks went by without hearing anything from our worker. Tiff prayed aloud that God had not brought her a child even this way but she heard Him say “I will bring you a child in my time, not yours.” We stopped our sadness and just prayed for God’s grace to provide us with the child promised. Finally, after three or four months of waiting, our worker called us and told us that she had a 3 1/2 year old fiery redhead girl that needed a home and asked if we wanted to take her. She had no physical sickness but was a physical trauma victim which made her a bit difficult at times but that was the worst of it. We agreed to take her and on Sept. 28, 2008, Madyson moved in with us and turned our lives upside down.

Since Tiff and I had no previous experience parenting, we through ourselves at the mercy of Madyson’s counselors. They were amazing and provided us countless books on parenting and dealing with adoptive children, dealing with trauma victims, and so on. We also followed their advice at every corner. Sure – we have been spit on, kicked, hit, clawed, bitten, and spent many nights thinking we were totally insane for choosing to do this. But our hearts remained strong and Madyson blossomed because of it. On August 3, 2009, we adopted Madyson into our family forever. Our families and friends have been an amazing anchor in all of this and thanks to the counselors, we met up with several other families who were dealing with the exact same stuff we were dealing with. Once you become a foster parent, you find other foster parents and can make amazing friends who understand exactly what you are going through.

It has been over 2 years since we took Madyson in and she is now a fully capable Kindergartner who is about to move on to First grade. She has graduated from the trauma counseling program (even though we still get to go to the focus group). She loves us with everything she has in her and we love her the same. She knows that we will care for her and can keep her safe when the waters get rough. Sure, there are still bad nights but what child doesn’t give their parents bad nights sometimes? God used this special child to show us the meaning behind unconditional love, the love He has for all His children. We may not always like Him, we might even yell at Him and spit on Him and fight Him, but he loves us the same and if we are willing to relax and trust Him, He will get us through any storm.

We still have not had children from Tiff’s womb but we keep trying to and her PCOS has gone away. If God chooses to bless us with a child from birth then we will be glad to take them. But He recently brought us another challenge – a newborn baby boy to foster. We picked him up from the hospital a week after he was born, he had stayed there because no families had opened their home to him until we did. Even though he still sees his birth parents, it is obvious that he sees us as his parents because we have been constantly there for him in the 1 1/2 months of his very short little life. Will God let us keep him? Maybe he will and maybe he won’t. But for right now, we are his family and if God provided us a way to keep him, we would do so without a second thought. If we lose him, I can promise that we will feel the pain and loss of someone who loses a child but we can’t let that fear and uncertainty keep us from loving him… what if Jesus decided he wasn’t willing to die for us on the cross because he didn’t think we would continue to believe him? I cannot imagine such a bleak and desolate outlook.

My family is what you would call “Mixed” and we are even making ourselves available to take up to two or three more children from the DHS system. These kids are not bad seeds, they are children who, through no fault of their own, are in circumstances many of us could never imagine in our own lives. They have had to see more pain, separation, suffering and fear than ANY of us sleepy happy people. God adopted us even though we may not be the best children in the world’s eyes. I encourage ANYONE who wants to consider fostering to do so. God will bless you with more than you can imagine if you just learn to trust Him.