Well, friends, it’s been a minute. I interrupt the craziness of this world to announce some news that we are just jumping with excitement to share with you!
Yes, it does have to do with the pitter patter of little feet….
…..or big feet.
In fact, whichever shoes fit will do!
Because there’s no bump, but we’re still pumped!!
Because we’re doing foster care!! We found out today that we’re officially licensed! It has been a long journey to get here, and it actually began while we were still in Kona, Hawaii. It began with me (Monica) first, after seeing some startling statistics on social media about foster care. Facts, such as 74% of sex trafficked victims were in the care of social services or foster care when they went missing. In 2012, Connecticut reported that 98% of child victims of sex trafficking were child welfare involved, and, unfortunately, there are similar statistics throughout the nation. Another statistic that I heard (Disclaimer: I don’t know exactly how true this is) is that only 3% of Christians are foster parents. Three percent!! In a statistic from 2016, there were 430,000 children in foster care in the US. At that time, there were 348,067 churches in the US. If even ONE family from each church took in ONE foster child, we could home the majority of these children. This is when my heart for fostering began.
For Jason, it began after one of the leaders of YWAM Kona spoke one evening about foster care/adoption and God’s heart for it. We, as children of God, are adopted into God’s family. Not just included in His family, but we actually become heirs of God (Romans 8:17), as in full first-born-son blessing and honor. Foster care and earthly adoption is such a beautiful representation of this. Jason’s heart was moved by this presentation, and the seed was planted in his heart for foster care.
We thought that once we got back to Missouri, we would both begin working right away and get our own home again, but it was a year before we were able to have our own home. I thought we would finally be able to pursue foster care at that point, however, COVID hit, and foster care trainings were put on hold. I had contacted Child Services in August, and the woman told me that there would be a training starting soon, the following week, in fact. She said that if we could hurry up and get fingerprinted and background checked, we could probably still get in the class. I was able to get fingerprinted, and Jason had an appointment to get fingerprinted the day before the class was supposed to start. Unfortunately, he had difficulty finding the fingerprinting office and was late. The worker told him he was too late and that he’d have to make another appointment. I was crushed, because I had though this was what God wanted us to do, and it seemed that the door kept being shut in our faces. I had already come to grips with the fact that I may never be able to birth our own child. But I was okay with that, because I trust God, and I knew there was always foster care/adoption. At that moment, however, God was asking me if He was enough. If I was never able to have any children in any capacity, would He still be enough? So I surrendered completely my dream of being a mother and placed it into God’s hands (even though it was always there).
The following day, I received a call from the woman at Family Services. I had misheard her, and the training actually didn’t start until the following week!! So Jason and I once again prayed about it and decided to pursue foster training further. Jason was able to get fingerprinted, and we began classes the following week, on our anniversary! We had several weeks of training, then some online training, then completed about 8,574,003 pages of paperwork! And now we are officially licensed!!
I want to address the foster situation a bit more in depth. The goal of foster care is ALWAYS reunification. Ideally, reunification with the parent(s), and if not, then with family members. Less than 1/3 of children foster care become available for adoption, on average. If this occurs, we would definitely be open to adoption. However, it is more likely that the child(ren) would not stay with us forever. The average length of stay for kids in Jefferson County is 23 months. So, if you’re doing the math, yes, we will likely get our hearts broken at least a couple of times, or maybe over and over as we get attached to children who then go back to their homes. Despite this possibility, I am looking forward to loving on these kids, no matter how much their trauma wants to push me away. Because showing them love, showing them they are worthy, worthy of love, worthy of affection, worthy of having a voice, a place in society, is God’s heart for them- for everyone! So I will take my chances with my fragile heart and do my best to love freely. Because, “and if you spend yourself in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:10-11. And that is a promise I can hold onto. So, here is one more cute photo to announce ‘Hallquist, Party of ??, Coming at Some Point’!!
Thanks for reading!! – Jason and Monica