GUEST POST: My mother always wanted a big family; after all, the more the merrier. However, for some years, it was just my sister and me. While at the time, it may have seemed like God didn’t bless her with the big family that my mother wanted, I know now that God’s timing and plan was just different and better than our plan. Our family was meant for a path less taken—the adoption route.
In 2011, my parents looked to growing our household through multiple national and international adoption agencies. None of them seemed like a good fit for our family; either the costs were just too high or the waiting lists were just too long. We didn’t know what to do until eventually the thought of foster care was brought to mind.
Though foster care didn’t seem conventional or easy, my family started the process. For a while, my parents took classes on the weekends, and we did our home-study and interview. Once we were approved, our first foster kids were welcomed into our home.
Over the course of the next five years, we had close to 10 foster kids come stay with us. They were all different—some of them were siblings, some were young, some were older—but each one desired to know that they were worthy of life and love, just like all of us. They had each come from hard backgrounds and always seemed surprised at the love they experienced in our home. I remember one child specifically who, after coming through our door, was shocked that he would have his own room and his own bed. The prospect of sleeping by himself was something he had never thought possible.
My family learned that every foster kid usually comes with literally nothing but the shirt on their back. They walked through our front doors owning only what they had on their person; no extra clothes, toys, or books. Knowing that that was really hard for them, my family always had little toys and stuffed animals waiting on their beds for them on their first night. I remember putting out a Spiderman action figure the morning before one child came—but I didn’t know it would be my brother who would play with it.
My brother, Isaac came to our house and immediately clicked with us. I do remember for the first month or so that he followed me around the house, wanting to know everything that I was doing and everywhere I was going. He was the epitome of a little brother, and it became endearing over time.
It should be stated that initially my family did not know that Isaac would be adopted. This is important to understand because if someone wants to be a foster parent, they should not expect every child that they host will become a permanent member of their family, as the primary hope for a child in foster care is usually not adoption, but for the child to be reunited with his or her family of origin. Foster care is a temporary respite for many children, but can lead to permanent placement with an adoptive family for others. While this is true, I believe we innately knew my brother was supposed to be a part of our family, and he was in need of a permanent family. It was God, telling us quietly all along. Even from the very beginning, I was supposed to have a little brother, and his name would be Isaac. He would simply be a part of our lives later than we had expected.
In 2015, we were told my brother was to be placed for adoption, and my parents jumped at the chance. They sat my sister and me down, asking us, “Do you both feel comfortable about having another person in our family?” My sister and I knew the love my family had was strong and big enough to bring more people into it. We knew there were children in the world who didn’t know the love of family, and my sister and I loved Isaac. That’s why we said, “Of course! We would love Isaac to be a part of our family!”
Our family made all the legal and physical preparations, and on June 1st, 2016, we received word that Isaac had legally join our family. He was a Slayter in name for the first time, but I know he was always one in God’s plan. God had always meant him to be a part of our family and an answer to my mother’s prayers. My family wouldn’t be the same without Isaac; he completes the Slayter tribe.
Check out Noah’s interview with SFLAction HERE.
Noah Slayter attends Catholic University of America and is a member of the SFLA Cardinals for Life group. He is also a SFLA SCOTUS Squad Captain.
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