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Living big…my next chapter

Over the last few months I have written this post countless times in my head.  I’ve gotten discouraged and erased all the words from the post in my mind.   I’ve had moments of inspiration when I’ve sat down and through tears written out words that make me feel incredibly vulnerable.  I’ve had moments of complete and utter panic because I am not sure what people will say or think of my decision.

As a little girl I dreamed about two things…becoming a teacher and becoming a mom.  On October 31, 2005 I walked into a classroom in Philadelphia and made the first dream come true.  It was hands down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.  And something I am incredibly proud of accomplishing.  There were tears.  There were days when I wanted to throw my hands in the air and quit. There was complete and utter joy and I learned that regardless of where I am in life, I am wired to have some component of teaching be a part of my life.

If you had asked ten-year old Julie how my second dream was going to come true I would have shared this sequence of events with you…

  • Meet Mr. Wonderful in college
  • Get married between the ages of 22 and 25
  • Have 3 or 4 babies between the ages of 27 and 35

Clearly, reality has not matched my well thought out plans!  I have struggled with what comes next when your plans don’t match reality, so I made a commitment in 2014 to live intentionally and figure out what’s next.  And as I sought to live life intentionally, my life has been turned upside down and inside out.  I read books about living on the edge of yikes (wise words from Bob Goff), creating a life filled with big moments, and walking in faith (What Happens When Women Walk in Faith).   And after months of prayer, thinking, processing and seeking out wisdom from people close to me, I have realized what God has in store for me next.

I have decided to adopt via concurrent planning through my county. Chris Powell Comfort Zone quote

So what does that mean?

In simplest terms, it means that I will first become licensed to do foster care and then licensed to adopt.  Once I am licensed, I will receive a foster-care placement where the intent is to adopt.

In a little more detail it means that…

-I’ve already spent 30+ hours in parenting training and will be going through another 30+ hours in the next few months

-I don’t know exactly when I will receive a placement…it could be only a few months after I am licensed and it could be a couple of years

-I don’t know the details of the child(ren) I will receive as a placement.  During the process I provide details on the age, gender, etc of my preference but I won’t know until I receive a phone call from my social worker

-This is not a quick and easy process…but then again, I don’t think any road to being a parent can be considered easy! Women Walk in Faith quote

I know that this is not going to be an easy journey and yet I am very confident that this is what God has next for me in life and I would encourage you to reflect on what living big means for you.

And if you are an adoptive or foster parent (or any kind of parent!) feel free to comment below or get in touch and share your parenting experiences, tips, and advice!

48 Comments

  • Lisa

    I can not wait to see how this unfolds for you. We are waiting a few years before beginning this journey but will be right there with you come 2017! Nice to know I will have someone to get advice from. Wish you guys the best.

  • Farrah

    Congratulations on your big announcement! I have always been in awe of foster parents and am so inspired by your adoption pursuit! May you be matched with your future child(ren) very soon. I know they are eagerly waiting to fall in love with you!

  • Patrice

    Julie, I am so excited for you! I can’t wait for updates!!! Congratulations! Hold on tight, I have a feeling this is going to happen fast!

  • Kaisha

    A little bundle of joy and a huge blessing from God will be the happiest news ever! You are going to be an awesome mom! #can’t wait

  • Toni Lutz

    Congrats Julie you will be an amazing mom and coming from someone who is adopted you are truly going to change the kids life forever and be a true blessing to them.

  • Trisha

    So excited for you! This is going to be a huge step of faith, and I know children will find much needed love in your house, and your arms!

  • Cyndie M

    Congrats on your new lifes’ journey. You have traveled a journey that lead you to what you are to do. It’s always a wonderful thing. So happy for you.

  • Amy Payton

    Julie! That is awesome! I love that! I have a sweet friend Cheri Kay Session that adopted two kids from Haiti when she was about your age–she said yes to God and WOW–has her life changed! I will be praying for you and can’t wait to see the little one God needs you to love on!!!

  • Heather

    Julie:
    I am beyond happy for you. The best thing that has ever happened in my life has becoming a mom. I to had the same plan for my life the “Happily Ever After” plan that has yet to happen. I commend you on such a fabulous journey that you are on and I am eager to hear about all the stops that you make along the way to YOUR Happily Ever After.

  • Madaline

    What an amazing journey you are about to take!!! My best friend and her husband received their foster children on January 1, 2013 and they were their babies (all paperwork complete) officially one year later! It was so amazing…

  • MB

    This is amazing! Raising and caring for children is really a special thing. I’ve always thought adoption would be a wonderful thing to do. Best of luck to you in this new, exciting and challenging chapter in your life.

  • Kelly

    Julie, this is so exciting! I wish you all the best and happiness in the world as you continue on this journey. I have a close friend whose parents were foster parents for years and years, then one little boy came along when he was just 2 weeks old and after fostering him for 3 years, they adopted him. It was such an emotional journey, but to think he has such a loving family now made is all worth while in the end. Becoming a foster/adoptive mom takes someone special, it’s such a selfless act and you will be amazing!

  • Erin Morris

    This is so exciting!! I’m happy for you!
    I’m excited to hear/read about your journey in the process.
    Congrats on reaching this big decision!!

  • Savvy

    I am so excited for you. My co-worker’s son and daughter-in-law are foster parents with the goal of eventually adopting. Their first foster child was a beautiful baby girl. The entire family fell in love with her and they planned to adopt. Then she was moved. Apparently she had an older brother. The social services system does everything they can to keep families together. The little girl was transferred to the family who was fostering the brother. My co-worker’s son and DIL were heartbroken. They are now fostering a baby boy. They have discovered he also has a sibling. They are frustrated that this keeps happening because they specifically requested they want a baby who is eligible for adoption. I haven’t had an update lately. I will ask tomorrow to see if there is one. I guess that is why it is called foster care instead of adoption.

    I also know a couple who lost a son in an accident and have since adopted two children – not through foster care, but adoption. It was a long heartbreaking struggle where once they paid several thousand dollars and there was no baby – it was a scam. And another where the mom changed her mind and kept the baby. Both children they adopted were crack babies. One has quite a few health problems. They knew what they were getting into before the adoption though and were prepared financially and mentally to get him the physical therapy and medical treatment he needed.

  • Kels @ Blonder Side of LIfe

    How exciting!! I’m obviously behind on this announcement but I’m so excited for you! Both of my younger siblings are adopted and came from “bad” homes so I know what a blessing adoption is. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world! Good luck!!! 😀

  • Savvy

    Okay. I touched base with my co-worker about his son’s foster baby today. On Friday there is a meeting to see if the baby’s mother wants to sign away her rights. They are on pins and needles. It turns out the baby doesn’t have a sibling, the mother does. This aunt has been paying some of the baby’s expenses, but doesn’t want to raise the baby herself. She is putting up a stink though about the mom giving up the child. She doesn’t want her to. If I learn anything else I will let you know.

  • Mike

    Wow Julie!!!! So sorry it took me so long to make time to read this post. You are one brave young lady of faith. Praying for you my friend…and the blessed little lives you will be touching and impacting for His kingdom. 🙂

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