Massive amounts of paperwork had been completed by the time we wrapped up our MAPP class in mid-December. It felt good to be done, and our excitement was mounting as we waited for our state license as a foster home to be granted. We were told to expect our license in about six weeks.
However, February came and went, and we still had not received our license. Frustration began to build. There was a sense of urgency within me, because I felt like "our children" were out there somewhere in the foster care system. They needed us. At times I would kneel by my bed and pray, begging God to protect them until they could come home.
At last in mid-March we received our license. Immediately, we began receiving numerous phone calls asking us to take teenagers. It nearly broke my heart each time I said, "No, we cannot take them as a placement." We had empty beds waiting to be filled. But we had stipulated that we would not take a placement older then age eight due to the dynamics involved with our children by birth. Finally, I called our caseworker and told her they needed to stop calling unless they had a placement that fit our guidelines. So the phone was quiet, and we were waiting again.
The beginning of May we received a phone call to place a couple girls that had just been removed from their home. One was a little older then what we had stipulated. However, this was their second removal from the home which meant that eventually parental rights would probably be severed. Les was not home, and I knew I couldn't accept a placement without his consent. I asked how much time I had to give an answer, and they said they needed an immediate placement. I impatiently waited for Les to come home. When he arrived a couple hours later, I presented him with the details about the placement. It didn't exactly fit, but we wondered if it was what God wanted. We decided to ask the kids what they thought. We called the children together and told them. Immediately Ryan, our oldest child, fell apart. He started to cry. Finally he choked out, "It's just not right!" Ryan normally is an easy going personality. We were surprised. We tried to calm him and find out exactly what he was thinking. While we were doing this the time passed for us to be able to call and confirm that we would take the placement.
At first I was frustrated by the lost opportunity, but then we realized that it was probably God's way of showing us that this wasn't the right placement. All through the process of getting a license Ryan, Kayt, Alex, and Cory had faithfully prayed that "God would send us the right kids for our family. " I had to trust him to work in His time and His way. At least now we had our license which meant "our children" were that much closer to coming home. Perhaps they were waiting just around the corner.