None of these fears, however, have been sufficient enough to take away my excitement for what is to come. Since our agency closed... Yep, you read me right. They just up and closed their doors weeks after accepting our application and first payment. We had a few emotions about that. Disheartened to lose so much money right out of the gate. Disappointed in our decision to use this agency. And confusion about where we go and what we do next.
I don't know why I am always surprised that things seem to happen just at the right time... As if they are acts of God. (Duh.) The week before our agency closed we studied the topic of trusting God in Bible Study Fellowship. Particularly Abraham's trust in God when He changes the "plans" on him. 2 weeks before our agency closed I received an inquiry for my first newborn adoption session. After talking with mom about adoption, the door was opened in my mind to a domestic foster-adoption and I remember thinking, "I might want to do this at some point in my life."
So when I got the call that our agency had closed, I was not really surprised. But more amazed at how God had "set me up" to receive that news. I graciously accepted a change in plans because I could not help but think of Abraham's willingness in times of what must have been mass confusion. And my mind immediately went to fostering to adopt because of the conversations I had with a sweet new adopting mommy. The amazing thing is, Josh mentioned it first. "What about fostering to adopt?" I never thought I would hear those words from him because just a year before, we had sworn off the risky option of fostering. It was obvious that both of our hearts had been changed on the topic and the fear was then replaced with total excitement for our new direction.
We will be fostering to adopt. We'll be completing our home study in a couple of months and our education by the end of the summer! Everything is moving much faster than with international and we will be certified to accept placements by the fall.
In the meantime life has been busy in the Peterson house. Allie celebrated her first birthday on January 12th with friends and family. I cannot believe she is already one. She has since started walking and is now all over the house! I love to hear her bare feet on the wood. She says "Uh-Oh" "ba--" (ball) and "do-" (dog), night night, bye bye, Mama, and Dada. We are ever so proud of her little accomplishments.
One more note. Fostering to adopt is nearly free. The state practically pays you to do it. We have received such generous donations from people in the last 2 years for our international adoption that we do not feel it is right to keep it. We will be donating every bit of it to Heartland Children's Home in Boerne in the name of the Boerne (and beyond) families who have opened their hearts to support the orphan. Thanks everyone!!!
Nikki, Josh and Allie P.