It was sometime in the fall of 2011, in the family room of the Incredible Pizza in Tulsa. The room with “I Love Lucy” memorabilia and cozy booths.
My boyfriend Byron sat across from me.
It was a new relationship. And as such, we hadn’t yet talked about serious things: marriage, finances, children. As I picked at my pizza, a little boy walked by the table. He was dark-skinned and so, so cute. I noticed my boyfriend watch him for a moment before he smiled. “I want to adopt someday,” he said.
That’s when I knew.
Fast forward—six years later. Sometime in the summer of 2017, in the small room of an old building in Oklahoma City. The room with pens, snacks, and foster parenting handbooks.
It was a new journey. And as such, we had no idea what to expect. When training ended, we collected our heaps of paperwork and peeled the nametags from our shirts. I looked at Byron—my husband now—and I smiled. “This is really happening,” I said.
That’s when we knew.
We were ready to be foster parents.
Before we started dating, both Byron and I wanted to adopt. So when the calendar recently became filled with doctors’ appointments, tests, and diagnoses beyond our control, we felt pushed even further toward expanding our family in nontraditional ways.
We started looking into adoption.
Folks, adoption is expensive. It’s complicated and risky, and we’re just not ready for that. So, we looked into fostering. We spoke to friends who foster, learned that fostering can sometimes lead to adoption, and discovered that Oklahoma has a true need for more foster parents.
With all of this adding up, I’d never before felt so led to do something. I remember thinking: “This must be what people mean when they say they feel ‘called by God.'”
So, we answered the call.
Friends, we know it won’t be easy. We know some of you will disagree with our choice. And, we know there will be pain.
We will welcome babies into our lives and guide them through vulnerability and growth. Then, we will say goodbye. We will feed, clothe, and embrace children who stay in our home for a year, a month, a day.
Please know we’re not naïve to the depth of pain we’ll feel. We know the system will break us, and we know there will be annoyances beyond our control.
But, when you’re called, you’re called.
And these babies can’t help themselves. Someone needs to be there.
Byron can be that someone. He is a fixer. He’s a doer. A giver. He’s going to give these children what they need, when they need it. He’s going to meet them where they are, and provide them with security and structure. He’s going to be there when no one else is.
I can be that someone. I know what you’re thinking—I am sensitive. I love without relent, cry at the drop of a hat, and am fine-tuned to read people’s emotions. My heart hurts easily, and my belly fills with a fiery rage at injustices against children.
But, I argue that it takes that fire, that passion, and that emotional vulnerability to do this.
And together, we have so much love to give. It would be a shame to let it waste.
So friends, we ask for your support. You don’t have to agree with our choice. You don’t even have to like it. But, please trust us. We know what we’re doing, and we know this is our path.