The decision to become foster parents and bring children into your home — fully knowing they may be leaving you within months, or even days — is not one to be made lightly. But for Jamie and her husband, the calling came on a spiritual level, and it was one they couldn’t refuse.
The couple, who already had two biological children, saw becoming foster parents as an opportunity to serve, and it was through their faith in God, and each other, that they decided to dive into this scary, yet exciting new journey. Jamie tells Babble:
“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.”
So the couple handed in their application, took the foster parenting training classes, and went through the home study process. After everything was approved, the couple then just waited to hear from a social worker.
The first call came on August 19, 2014, when they welcomed “B” (or “Big Sis”) into their home, and then just four months later, they welcomed “E” (or “Little Sis”) on December 23.
Since the ultimate goal of foster care is always to reunite the children with their biological parents, Jamie knew there was a chance they would have to say goodbye to their two foster daughters. But as Jamie tells us, that wasn’t how their story would go:
“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.”
So just two years after welcoming the two girls into their home, Jamie and her family were able to officially adopt “B” and “E” earlier this month on December 1.
She begins the letter:
“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 goes on to write that since the first moment her girls were dropped off at her home, there was no doubt that they were loved, and that they were her daughters. But now on their adoption day, she finds herself feeling the same types of emotions she did on 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,” she writes. “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.”
While the two girls are still too young to fully understand what is happening, Jamie says that they’re mostly just really excited about their Frozen-themed adoption party.
And this isn’t the end of Jamie and her family’s foster journey: They picked up a 2-week-old boy from the hospital about six months ago, and soon he’ll move to his adoptive family. While Jamie admits she loves him as her own son, and that she’ll miss him terribly, there’s an especially happy ending to this story.
“My best friend babysits my kids, fell in love with him, and when the division started looking for an adoptive family, she stepped up! She lives two minutes away and we see each other a couple of times a week. I’ll get to be a part of his life forever!”
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.
h/t: PopSugar Moms