Here is a short back story on our journey into the unknown world of kinship foster care and adoption from my perspective.
Once upon a time, in December of 2014, a baby boy was about to be born and due to unfortunate circumstances, he would have been taken straight into the foster care system. Months before he was to be born and after much prayer, seeking the Lord’s will through God’s Word and counsel, we felt led to raising our hand and volunteer to take on this precious newborn. Of course, this was such uncharted territory and we did not know what to expect but on December 8, 2014, we brought home a precious 4-day old newborn from the hospital.
We very quickly were thrust into the hard and difficult reality of bringing a child you did not birth into your home. There are so many entities involved and this can be quite overwhelming. There are the biological parents, with their views, needs, and wants; biological grandparents along with other family members who want to be involved in some capacity; there are social workers and judges you have to answer to. There are your own children, who now, even more, need extra love and reassurance that you have not forgotten about them. There are your own personal needs which you willingly place on the back burner. And of course, in the midst of all these new changes and challenges, there is a more demanding and needy newborn baby who needs to be loved and cared for. So what then? Well, you go through the motions; the day to day life, praying, trying to keep your head above water, and your eyes on the Lord. Most days, though difficult and demanding, you do pretty good; children are fed and tended to, the house is somewhat clean, and if you get a shower, well then that‘s a great day! But then there are those dark very difficult days when you say, “What was I thinking!?!” Why voluntarily add so much more physical, emotional, and mental stress upon oneself and start all over again? Well, some days I myself don’t know why because in those hard days, I will admit, that the tears blur out the truth. BUT the truth is that GOD spoke clearly! I myself need constant reminding of this very real fact!
Fast forward to the summer of 2016. Many frustrations, much adapting, and life moving forward. Baby boy was now 18 months old and a big brother! But sadly his baby sister found herself in the foster care system which her big brother was kept from having to experience. The phone call, which I knew might be coming but still shook me, “Can you take this baby girl and unite these siblings?” My heart immediately cried out “YES!” but my mind kept asking, “How?
What now? For how long?” The inner conflict was obvious considering all that had already taken place. But how could I leave his baby sister with strangers? Again, much prayer and counsel but still with some hesitation we agreed to open our home to this precious baby girl with more unknown happenings ahead of us. Again, unknown territory but all in the hands of God. My faith has been tested. Shamefully I have had many moments of buckling under it all, wanting to quit. But am truly thankful to GOD that He sees me and knows my frame and yet He loves me still and continues to pick me up!
In baby sister’s situation things were much more different now because she was in foster care! That meant she had social workers evaluating and monitoring her case/care, frequent court hearings, and a team of people making and taking care of decisions on her behalf which eventually included termination of parental rights. And after just shy of 2 years we officially adopted baby sister on June 15, 2018!
But her adoption fees were covered by the county, since she was in the foster care system adding some financial relief.
Okay, so this wasn’t a very short backstory! But I share all of this because we have had three and a half years with our little guy whom we love as our own. We are a family! He is my son and I am his mom. Our children have a little brother. Children’s Services never had to be involved because we were there to step in and care for him and later became his legal guardians. We are still under the probate court as his legal guardians. But none the less, like a looming cloud, is the possibility that termination of guardianship could happen should mom request it and a judge approves it. Would a judge uproot a three-year-old from the only home and family he has known full time since birth? I hope not. I pray not.
So we would like to petition the court to legally adopt our little boy as our own.
Again in his case, our little guy thankfully never had to spend one night in foster care and we became his legal guardians. He does not have a social worker or team of county representatives willing to cover the costs. (Believe me I’ve asked every social worker I’ve been in contact with for help!) Which means all that it will entail (time, money, etc.) to process and petition will be our responsibility alone. But adoption is expensive!
In closing, this is where we ask for your much needed and appreciated financial support. I was told that it is best to have the funds in place before proceeding. My goal is to file the adoption papers as soon as possible, prayerfully before the end of 2018.
Thank you in advance for your time, consideration, prayers, support, and for allowing me to be transparent in sharing a bit of my heart with you!
Denise Salazar and Family
To God Be The Glory!
Hebrews 11:6, 8