Angels in Our Family0
Growing and Blessed Through Angels Foster Care
Grayson and I had been trying to have children for years and after draining our savings accounts and multiple failed in-vitro attempts, we thought it was time to pursue other options. But, what are the other options? That is the question that plagued us for months.
Do we use an adoption agency? If so, which one? Do we go to another country to adopt? That seems like a pretty popular choice. Where do you start? After meeting with other adoptive parents we started to become more educated on the alternatives. We hired a private attorney who works with birth moms that want to give their child up for adoption, in hopes to find a healthy, happy, blond-haired, blue- eyed (ok…so blond hair and blue eyes were not imperative) child who we could adopt. Our name was on the list. All we had to do was wait.
Then, I got a letter in the mail from Angels Foster Care, a local non-profit that I had contacted months ago in my furious attempt to find out about adoption. Grayson and I had dismissed the idea of working with Angels when we found out these children were “foster children” coming from rough backgrounds. I read the letter that said they had placed 30-some babies in foster homes that year but had to turn away 40+ because they didn’t have enough homes. It broke my heart. I left the letter on the countertop for a few days and tried to dismiss it, but couldn’t. I talked to Grayson and he said “no way.”
After some strong conviction and some bribery I convinced him to go to the training session with me, with the understanding that we had to commit to nothing. We got in the car after the training session and he looked at me and said, “We have to do this.” What we found out at that session was that all over our small community of Santa Barbara there are babies – babies, not 16-year-old kids, but babies — living in shelters with no mom or dad. These are precious, innocent children that were dealt a raw deal and they needed someone to love and care for them. The idea that there were babies waiting in shelters with no parents while we were waiting at home for this “perfect” baby to adopt was almost appalling to our consciousness.
We committed to becoming Angels foster parents, and three months later we picked up our baby boy. He was 3 ½ months old, with a full head of dark hair, and the most precious smile you had ever seen. He is now 3 1/2 years old and a precocious preschooler who loves to sing, read, play musical instruments, kick the soccer ball and hang out with his brother. Yes, he has a little brother! When Gray was 18 months old we received a call that he had a two-month-old biological brother that was just detained by social services and they wanted to know if we would take him. We quickly responded “yes” and overnight we went from a family of three to a family of four. The boys are now two and three years old and like all preschool children – are a beautiful, crazy, happy handful!
Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara makes the county foster program a success. Meichelle, the program director, and Jennifer and Stacy, our social workers, love these children like they are their own! They care what happens to them. They know their names. They know our family and are always there for us. They are willing to take as much time as needed to answer questions, no matter how many times you ask! Being a foster parent is tough but Angels makes the process so much easier.
If you are anything like me, when you hear the words “foster child,” only negative images flood your mind. You think that foster parents are either saints that don’t live in reality or they are crazy! I know I did. But I promise you this… we are not saints and we are not crazy. We are blessed because of Angels and our Angels boys.
[AUTHOR: The Bryant Family]