How Our Foster Care Journey Changed Our Family Forever

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After almost a year of classes, home studies and lots of paper work we were finally certified to be a foster family. It was February 12th, a Friday afternoon at 3:30 PM when I got the call.

I immediately said yes, called Brian, and then all of our friends and family to share the exciting news. Brian and I arrived at the hospital that evening to the most beautiful baby girl.

She was 7 days old and 4 lbs 4oz. She was perfect and we were immediately in love. We knew baby girl was going to have a rough start. The nurses called her Gracie while we waited for her to be named. Brian said he thought she looked like a Savannah.

Because she was having trouble feeding and some other medical needs she had to be moved to a new hospital. I was able to visit with her everyday. I would hold her on my chest and we would listen to lullabies together. Even though it was difficult to get babysitting, be away from home, those times with her and I in the hospital were some of the most peaceful, precious moments I’ve ever had.

After a slow and steady weight gain and lots of training, sweet baby girl was finally able to come home.

I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. I felt scared because she was so tiny and fragile and not mine. I was shocked by how easily I loved her as if I had grown her in my belly and birthed her myself.

The first FIM (Family Involvement Meeting) I was going to meet her mother! The woman who birthed her. I was so desperate for her to feel my love. I wanted her to know I was on her team, that I was there to help, that her baby was safe and being loved.

She was a sweet girl with lots of struggles. I showed her pictures and hugged her when the meeting was over. She expressed that she just didn’t feel like she could take care of baby girl. My heart was broken for her.

I was sitting in the hospital when the social workers walked into the room. The only thing we had discussed was that because her birth mom was not able to name her that her social worker would.

So have you decided on a name? I asked them. She said Savannah Grace! I was speechless. Brian had named her! I should have known then this was a sign she would be ours.

Birth mom did not come to court and her lawyer told the judge that she definitely wanted to put Savannah up for adoption. I was shocked when our social worker pulled us aside and asked if we would consider being an adoptive resource for her.

We spent the next few weeks praying hard, asking for lots of advice and seeing many signs from God. Brian, from the beginning, felt that she should be ours. But I was scared and overwhelmed. Could I handle 6 kids?

What if she had issues when she was older because of what she had been through? How could we be offered this baby when so many couples were struggling with infertility?

One night as we sat with friends I asked them what we should do. They said yes and that was it for me. My fear moved to the side and I wanted her more then words could express.

It was a Wednesday morning when I got a text from the social worker. Birth mom wants to TPR (terminate Parental Rights) can you meet today at 2:30 PM?

“Ummm yes!”

After discussing the terms of our open adoption and signing lots of papers it was done. The next step would be making her officially ours and legally changing her name. I felt like I was in shock, in a dream.

Exactly ten months after this precious child was born into the complete opposite situation that any child should be born into, she legally became our number six.

It is true that we “rescued” her, but it’s even more true that she rescued us.

She brings our family together in the most beautiful way, in a way I could never have imagined. She is a gift, every child is a gift. Adoption is wonderfully profound and I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.

-Joanna

Save the Storks
Save the Storks
Save the Storks exists to partner with pregnancy resource centers and give abortion-vulnerable women a choice that will change their lives forever. We partner with pregnancy resource centers all over the nation, providing them with powerful tools and training to more effectively connect with those women in their communities. With the support of people like you, we have built over 50 Stork Buses that reach women near abortion clinics, on college campuses, in rural areas and inner cities. And here’s a statistic you’ll want to share with friends and family: four out of five women who board a Stork Bus, see their baby on the ultrasound and hear the heartbeat, choose life.