From Fostering to Forever - continued
What did you find to be most helpful in managing your hopes, expectations, and fears during these long seasons of "unknown?"
Ty: Honestly, the most hope we’ve found has been through our community of loyal family and friends, as well as the promises found in Psalm 27, particularly.
Kristen: God used the Book of Isaiah in the Bible to call us into foster care, so when a little boy named “Isaiah” arrived in our home, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were doing what God had called us to do. I clung to this during our initial fostering experience, knowing no matter what the outcome, we were where God wanted us.
Practically speaking, meals from our Care Community were so helpful, especially as we adjusted to each new baby. Our family and neighbors stepped in many times to babysit for appointments and court dates. Friends helped out by carpooling our big kids to school. And I know it was the prayers of our friends and family that helped me persevere and remain calm during HIGHLY stressful days of court!
My grandfather, who faithfully prayed for each child every single day, was actually in town, and with me, the day we got the call that our birth mom had agreed for us to adopt Millie. It was an amazing gift for us and for him!
As you navigate the needs of children who've experienced early chapters of trauma, and continue an on-going walk with their birth mother, do you have concerns?
Ty and Kristen: We know our children have special needs, but to most of the world these needs are invisible. We can, if we allow ourselves, worry about others understanding our children, if they will be treated kindly, about being able to regulate their emotions, if they will function well in society... So, one of our greatest desires is for teachers and therapists to understand and practice TBRI. (Trust Based Relational Intervention)
As for our birth mother? She is their first mom. She always will be, and we’re thankful to have a sweet relationship with her that is only growing stronger. We’re looking forward to what the Lord will continue to do with this special relationship.
What encouragement would you offer foster and adoptive families in the midst of their own “unknown” chapters?
You will see the goodness of the Lord.
Ty and Kristen: And, you will grow in ways you never knew you needed to. God will faithfully pour out grace upon grace over you. True rest is found in trusting Him. Also, it’s OK to take a break. If you are given the opportunity–take it!
What are the Bryants especially celebrating this Christmas?
Ty and Kristen: Our entire family is experiencing such a sigh of relief, with settled hearts, now that the adoptions have each been finalized. We are celebrating that we stayed in foster care for these 7 years and not missed 3 of the greatest blessings of our lives. We are celebrating the hope we can offer to our children’s biological mother and thankful for an on-going relationship, trusting that in some fashion, she will know Jesus loves and longs to embrace her. We’re celebrating a God who has shown up for us all–ALWAYS–and who will walk with us through the rest of this story!