This blog post is written by a friend of Katelyn’s Fund….Tara Dekkers.
When asked to write about foster care and adoption, I honestly was not sure what to write about. After thinking about this for a long time I decided to write and give you a little insight into our families journey. I hope to give you a small glimpse into foster care and encourage you to reach out our family or to other foster families.
This next part is our personal story I wrote a couple of years ago for adoption awareness month. I should point out – I truly believe the goal of foster care should be reunification. As foster families we should walk along side of and support bio families and the reunification process.
Do we live in a very broke world that makes reunification not always possible? – Yes! And when that happens then adoption may be the best option.
**Samuel was adopted thru infant adoption**
“It was not long after bringing Samuel home that I knew our family would grow again thru adoption. We did not know exactly how – for awhile. We were scared about the cost of adoption, so thought we would look into adoption from foster care. We signed up for the classes in 2016. We had planned on just adopting and not fostering, but after the first couple classes we decided foster care was something we were interested in also. We had to take 10 weeks for classes and then had to complete another homestudy for the state. In May 2016 we were licensed for foster care/adoption thru the state of Iowa.
We took our first placement July 2016 a one year old girl and 2 year old boy. This placement lasted 6 weeks but taught us, that we needed to go into foster care with the hope that these children would return home to their family and we decided to continue to foster but also renew our private homestudy and signed up with FAC again. So in November 2016 we contacted FAC. (More on that part of our story another day).
We took our second placement August 2016, a 7 year old girl and 4 year old boy. This placement lasted until December. Foster Care is hard because often when they leave you hear very little about them again. All we can do is pray that their time with us, they felt safe and they know that God loves them.
After our foster placement left in December 2016 we decided to focus on the adoption and said we were temporarily closed to foster care.
In January we matched with an Expectant mother – after baby girl was born she decided to parent.
So during this time we were just waiting to be matched with an Expectant mom, we did get a call once in awhile for foster care but we just said we were closed at this time.
March 29, 2017 I got a call about a sibling group that needed a home and if we would be willing to take one of the boys. I told the worker we were closed to foster care. A couple hours later I got a call from another worker about the same children and would we consider, this time I asked some questions, she told me about some of them. I said maybe the two year old but really we wanted to stay closed at this time. That night I got another call from another worker and she asked if we would please take the two year old boy – I said I would talk to Dean about it and call her back. I talked to Dean and he said it was really up to me. I called her back thinking there is no way he will still need a home. ***in my time as a foster parent they had never called more than once about a child, younger children were (are) easier to place in a home, and we had said yes to alot of placements and often they were placed in another home closer to their home or had relationships with children.
So I called back thinking there was no way that they would not have found a home after looking most of the day. “This is Tara Dekkers returning your call about the two year old needing a home, are you still looking?” “Yes”
“Can you pick him up from the shelter tomorrow?”
My mind is saying no “Yes”
“Great, we will contact you tomorrow. Thanks”
So the next day, Dean went to shelter in Sioux City and went to pick him up. Some how along the way we did not get the two year old brother but a small 4 year old know as Alijah.
Most of the rest is Alijah’s story and I will not share his story.
On November 19, 2018 we officially welcomed Alijah into our home, family, and life. God had told me in a dream over 2years earlier that a 4 year old biracial boy would come into our home and at that time I had no idea but God did.”
We continue to foster and have learned each placement is so different than the next. We have fostered a teenager down to a newborn directly from the NICU. We believe God places each child into our home for a reason. We never know how long each child will stay but we make a commitment to love and support them and their families.
If you feel God leaning your heart towards foster care reach out to a current foster family or Lutheran Service of Iowa/Four Oaks. Even if you find out foster care is not right for your family, you can support foster families in so many ways, you can get licensed to help with respite, you can volunteer as a CASA, and help in so many ways.