Becoming a foster parent takes a lot of courage, strength, and fortitude. Any foster parent knows this, as you have to deal with a lot of setbacks, paperwork, and delays. For one family, however, they persevered–and now they can call their foster children their daughters. For Jamie and her husband, they saw becoming foster parents as a calling.
The couple, who have two biological children, saw becoming foster parents as an opportunity to help others in need. Jamie told Babble why they made the choice:
“I was compelled by the stories of children, just like mine, living right across town from me who were hurt, starved, raped, ignored. I was compelled by the statistics that predict these kids’ futures: jail, pregnancy, homelessness, further abuse. I was compelled by admitting what is true: God created them, loves them, and values them.”
After the intense application and training process, their first call came on August 19, 2014, when they welcomed “B” (or “Big Sis”) into their home. Four months later, they welcomed “E” (or “Little Sis”) on December 23. Of course, Jamie knew that there was always a huge chance the two girls would be reunited with their biological families (as that is the goal in foster care), but time showed them otherwise in their case:
“As time went on and it became clear that their parents weren’t doing what they needed to do to be safe, stable parents, the conversation with the worker changed and adoption began to look like the best option for them. The goal was changed to termination of parental rights, at 15 months for ‘B’ and 12 months for ‘E,’ termination occurred, and the adoption day was set.”
Luckily, two years after welcoming the two girls into their home, Jamie and her husbamd were able to officially adopt “B” and “E” earlier this month–which she wrote about on her blog, Foster the Family. Jamie wrote an powerful letter about it:
“To my daughters on the day of your adoption,
I’ve called you by that label, that sacred name, ‘daughter,’ many times. But today is different.
Today there’s no prefix, no subtext, no ‘sort of but not really’ as there has always been before. You’re not my foster daughter, I don’t love you ‘like you’re my own.’ Today you are wholly, completely, for forever my daughter.”
Jamie went on to compare the moment the adoption was made official to the day she married their dad:
“I met him. Then I fell in love with him, knew I would spend the rest of my life with him. And then came the day to make it official. Papers were signed, names were changed, ceremonies were had, but I didn’t love him any more than I had the day before. He was the same. I was the same. Nothing had changed. But everything had. After that day, we belonged to each other, officially, forever.
Today is our day, my dear, when I take you as my daughter, when I vow to love you forever. Today is our day when nothing and when everything changes.”
The cutest part about this whole thing? Jamie is planning a “Frozen“-themed adoption party. How awesome is that? Their journey as foster parents isn’t over yet–six months ago, they took in a 2-week-old boy, who will soon move to his adoptive family.
The family plans on welcoming another foster child after he leaves. And to anyone considering going down the amazing journey that is foster care, Jamie wants you to know that while yes, it’s hard, it is so worth it.