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Like many couples, Zach and Sarah had always considered adoption a possibility “in the future.” They began discussing it while dating and felt the world needed more families willing to adopt. And, like many families we meet, they felt ready to discuss adoption after having two children.
So, they contacted PCHAS and started the process of training and paperwork. Zach and Sarah received approval to adopt from the agency in the spring of 2019. They said, “We just naïvely planned to adopt a little kid.” But as they waited, they experienced first-hand what they heard in their classes: the children needing placement were older and often sibling groups. Zach and Sarah talked it over, prayed, and pivoted to focus on fostering first. They opened their child profile to older children.
They hadn’t thought about fostering before, but not because of the uncertainty or loss; they just didn’t know as much about it. But they were learning many new things and adjusting their mindsets. For example, Zach is an only child, so it took time for him to embrace the idea of a much larger family. Yet, he says, “It’s not as scary as I imagined!”
As the family began to welcome children, they learned even more. The most significant change in mindset, Zach says, is that “I’m not getting a kid. I’m giving my family to a child for however long they need it.” And that change has made a world of difference. Zach and Sarah discussed some eye-opening experiences with the foster care system. It is complicated, to say the least. In reality, foster parents do most of the work, but they aren’t the ones speaking in court and making decisions. Both acknowledge it would be easy to become bitter about “the system.” Instead, they focus on their role and choose to make the best of it, reminding themselves, “This kid is the one in need… not me.”
By keeping the main thing the main thing, Sarah and Zach are close to the action as they connect with children and share their family. The result is seeing changes in children in a very short time. “It’s incredibly sad but remarkable to see how consistent, regular parenting makes such a big difference. You realize how neglected they were,” says Sarah.
Zach and Sarah have great advice for families who are thinking about fostering:
The family’s shifted mindset positioned them to serve. To date, they’ve loved four different children through foster care. Sarah can see how God has placed their family in children’s lives at a specific time for a specific reason. The family is encouraged to continue helping because they know they can help change a child’s life who needs it.
Are you interested in being family for children who need one? Connect With Us or Join an Online Info Session to learn more.