How God called the Martine family to a life-altering decision in one afternoon.
Welcome to Adoption + Foster Week at All Things New. Adoption is a picture of the gospel, and the church should be its foremost champion. November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and National Adoption Day is November 18. More than a dozen families between Summitview and our sister church in Greeley have experienced the incredible journey of adoption or fostering. Many of these families shared their stories with us, and we compiled these stories into a full-length publication, Heirs: A Celebration of Adoption and Foster Care, which will be available on Sunday, November 5 during our worship service. This week, we’ll be publishing excerpts from a handful of the stories that you’ll find in Heirs. We are all adopted, and that’s worth celebrating.
It all started when a few people from Summitview received an email from Larimer County Department of Human Services (DHS) asking if we knew anybody who could take in a young mom and her 16-month-old boy, Jax.
My husband and I didn’t do much about it at first but asked around to see if empty nesters or people with bigger homes than ours would be interested. After not finding anyone interested in hosting this family, we decided to call DHS to see what the story was.
We wanted to be the church and actively live out what we believe. We have hosted other people in our home, so it was not beyond our capacity to host this family. We found basic information from DHS about the mom and son but found out a lot more the following day from the caseworker. The mom had lost parental rights for two children through social services before and was in danger of losing the third. She was nice and respectful, but also homeless, low cognitive and pregnant with her fourth child. In order to maintain custody of her son, she needed mentorship and a chance to get on her feet. If she lived with us, we would automatically gain 50 percent custody, and if she left our home, we would become legal guardians of her son. We also found out the caseworker was going to court in three hours to remove the baby from the mom’s custody if housing was not secured.
We were not looking to do foster care. We were hoping to provide a safe place where the mom could grow, regain focus and care for her baby.
In those three hours, my husband, Ryan, and I independently sought counsel from trusted friends, including a pastor. We had the safety of our home and our own children to consider, as well as their feelings about having strangers in our home. In those three hours, trying to figure out how this could work and if the potential dangers were too significant in relationship to the potential good, I remember being overcome with emotion and not understanding why. I realize now, that the real, raw reality was that God was calling us to take this step of faith. In calling us into faith, God does not ask us to know how things will work or all the details, but he asks us to trust that he will be with us. I was overcome with emotion because God knew that this would rock our world and it would cause all of us to cling to him in ways we never have before.
Grab a copy of Heirs: A Celebration of Adoption and Foster Care on Sunday, November 5 to continue reading about the Martines’ story.