Hailey and I become friends when I started volunteering at Life House Care Center, where she worked at the time. She’s taken our family pictures and brought her dog to be a guest at Rachel’s second birthday puppy party. We connect easily and she’s been an encouragement to me as she lives out her faith.
One way Hailey and her husband, Jordan, are living our their faith is as foster parents. May is Foster Care Awareness Month, so please welcome her to #PorchStories today as she shares about her journey into foster care.
When Kristin asked me to write something for her blog about foster care, I immediately said “yes.” Of course, I want to talk and advocate for foster care, but where do I even start and what part do I talk about? There are so many entities and emotions wrapped up in foster care that it is hard to pick just one thing to talk about. However, after contemplating it all I decided to go with something I wrote the night before our first placement came.
I wanted to be Jonah. I wanted to run from what God was telling me to do. You see, the thing is, God has a way of calling us out of our comfort zone. That day I felt like He was calling me an eternity away from my comfort zone.
We had finally received our “yes” to being foster parents. We went to the classes, we did the online training, we filled out all the paperwork, and then we were certified. We had two little rooms set up in our home. One was a nursery and one was a little more adaptable for different age groups. Both were gender neutral and ready to accept whatever may come.
In my head, it would be one maybe two (a sibling set). Young kids/babies, most definitely, because that sounded easier to me. I knew what to do with little kids. I knew how to change a diaper. I could picture all the cute little outfits. I had already stocked up on several items that we would need for small children. We had said our age range was 0-7 years, but we might go a little older if we felt it was a good fit. Honestly, I wasn’t planning on much older until later in the process. Maybe after our first couple of placements. Maybe after we have our own biological children.
But often times our plans are not God’s plans. My husband called me while I was at work this one particular day. I didn’t answer because I was in a class with students. Then he texted “need to talk” and then “foster kids.” You see, they did this thing where they didn’t call me and instead called my husband knowing that this sounded more up his ally. They didn’t call about a little baby or two young siblings. They called about two middle school kids.
At this point, I am RUNNING and trying not to puke. I gave my first instinct of an answer: “No!!!” Yes, I would love to help these kids and I hate they are in this situation, but this just isn’t ideal. Needless to say, that answer didn’t work.
With much deliberation (tears, talking to mentors, communicating with our caseworker), we said “yes.” Even after we had accepted the placement, I still felt like running. My fleshly side was still telling me that running was a good idea. I had no idea what I was going to do with middle school kids. They are old enough to be my siblings. I am super awkward when it comes to this age.
But these were all thoughts straight from the devil. God was revealing Himself in this situation when I took the time to stop and listen to Him. My support team was still there, even though it wasn’t the way I planned it.
The thing is, this is what I signed up for. I said yes to God when He asked me to be a foster mom. I agreed to this journey.
I have to be open to the journey, not just open to what I want.
I have ugly cried my eyes out at times, but God is taking a mess filled with sinful thoughts and actions and turning it into something beautiful. I am relying on Him, and that’s how this is supposed to be.
Hailey Roach lives happily in Hazel, Ky., where she’s married to the preacher, has a house and heart graced with the presence of foster kids, and has a little farm filled with fun critters.