Family Feature Friday: Caitlin Fitch

This is the first post of an exciting regular feature I’ll be doing here at Redeeming the Days Blog. On Fridays, I’ll be featuring a foster, adoptive, or support family. There are so many families who are following God’s calling in adoptive and foster care, and I am so thankful for them. I hope that these posts can be a bright light for all of us that the body of Christ is not only still there, but we are active in glorifying God in the area of orphan care.

Feature Family Friday:  Get a glimpse into the life of a real family fostering, Fridays at Redeeming the Days.

Feature Family Friday: Get a glimpse into the life of a real family fostering, Fridays at Redeeming the Days.

For my first post, I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to interview my good friend, Caitlin Fitch. I met Caitlin in our CALL training back in September of 2014. Of course, the first day, everyone is just kind of checking out everyone else…well…that’s what I was doing anyway. When I saw Caitlin, I was really confused. She was young, beautiful, and by herself. I didn’t know what she was doing there, but I knew that I wanted to find out. Over the course of the training, I realized that Caitlin was a single young lady there because she has a serious love for Jesus and a passion for hurting children. She was training to be a single foster parent.

Caitlin is one of those people who walks into a room and lights it up. Her humor and kindness is unmistakable. You know that it is Jesus shining through her. I am so excited to get to feature her journey today, and I hope that you will enjoy reading about this courageous young woman!

Feature Family Friday:  Get a real life glimpse into the life of a foster family...Fridays on Redeeming the Days.

Feature Family Friday: Get a real life glimpse into the life of a foster family…Fridays on Redeeming the Days.

Caitlin lives with her “fur baby” Tate in Central Arkansas. When I asked her if she was foster only, adopt only, or foster-to-adopt, she replied,

“Foster, completely willing to adopt. Despite the lies Satan tries to tell me…that no one will ever want to marry me if I adopt. All that is a load of bunk, God has a plan. A bigger plan. And I’m ready for it!”

{Can you see why I love this lady?}

  • When and why did you make the decision to foster?

“You know, I always knew adoption was in my future. I was raised in a home that had a huge heart for orphan care. Last March, I went to Peru on a mission trip and the Lord stirred my heart up all over again. When I got home, I asked the question ‘Why can I not do this? What do I have to wait on?’ and just clear as day, I heard God say, ‘When have I ever asked you to have all your stuff together before you follow me?’ and just like that I signed up for the informational meeting.”

  • How many placements have you had in your home so far?

“Two, a 3 year old boy from February 26th-March 17th, and two girls now from April 1st-current.”

  • What has been the hardest part about fostering? “I feel like that is such a hard question to answer. I would say the emotional toll and grieving you do on behalf of these kids has to be the hardest-everything from the losses in their life, the relationship between you and DHS and how much more you want people to care for your kid, the looks you get from people, all of it…it’s just hard emotionally.”
  • What has been the best/most rewarding part about fostering?
  • “I spent a week in the hospital at the beginning of July with my foster baby. During that week her sibling had to be away from me and stay with several different foster homes. The day my friend brought her home to me I watched out the window for her and when I saw her get out of the car, I opened the front door…she started running towards me…crying and screaming, ‘Mommy!! Mommy!! Mommy!!’ It was just too much for my heart to handle. Knowing I am something to this little bug is worth everything.”

When I asked Caitlin what advice she would give to others considering fostering or adoption, she had some great nuggets of truth. She said that when you are considering this big step, you have to identify and put aside every selfish thought. You have to put aside the fears of getting attached, loving them, and letting them go, and you have to listen to the tiny voice in your heart that says that it is all going to be okay. I think that is great advice. When you are thinking about adopting or fostering, there will be one million voices in your mind telling you NOT to do it. But the only voice that matters is God’s. What does HE want you to do? Do you trust HIM to take care of everything else?

Although single foster parenting might not be something that you’ve heard of before, it’s actually something that is very much needed. Many foster children enter the system due to abuse, most of the time, at the hands of a live-in male in the home. Because of single foster moms like Caitlin, these children are given time to heal and learn to trust again.

I have been watching Caitlin care for her “babies” now since February, and I’m so blessed by her heart. She has had a couple of stays in the hospital now with sick kiddos, and she treats them no differently than I treat mine. She stays by their side, worries about them, holds their little hands, kisses their cheek, and wipes their tears. And then, sometimes, she hands them back to Mom and Dad. And then, she trusts God in a whole different way.

This is the process that foster parents everywhere go through. It’s recklessly loving a child, investing all you have in them, crying for them and with them, and then sometimes, giving them up and trusting in God’s plan for them. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Would you join me in praying for Caitlin right now?

Father, I thank you so much for Caitlin.

Thank you for her heart, for her passion for hurting children.

Thank you for calling her to this incredible work.

Thank you for equipping her.

God, we ask that you give her patience, compassion, and strength for the days ahead multiplied exponentially to care for these sweet children.

We ask that you complete the work that you began in her. We ask that you hold her future in your hand, and we give you the praise and the glory for the fruit in her life. Thank you, Father.

In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

**This is the first in a regular series of Feature Family Friday posts. If your family fosters, has adopted, or offers support for orphan care in some way and you would like to tell your story, I want to help! Please e-mail me at deanadwood@yahoo.com **

To learn more about foster care or adoption in Arkansas, click on the links below:

The CALL
Project Zero

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I Want to Foster/Adopt…Now What?

So you want to foster/adopt...now what?

So you want to foster/adopt…now what?

I think it’s common for people to get to the point where they have thought about and prayed about fostering and adoption, they have made the decision to move forward…and then, they get stuck not knowing what to do next. Let me just tell you…it’s not your fault! There’s not just a ton of information out there telling you what to do next right? So I want to help. I hope this post answers some of your questions on what to do next.

STEP 1: Pray some more. Yes, you’ve prayed, but don’t stop. This is a long process, and it won’t be easy. There will be a few (ok, maybe even a lot) of moments where you will be unsure about what you’ve signed up for. In those moments, you need to know God’s will for your family. So keep praying through this process and don’t stop.

STEP 2: Look up THE CALL. Yes, you can go through DHS, and that’s fine. But, there is just no comparison for support and for spiritual guidance through this process. You need praying people around you. I urge you to go through a faith-based organization. In Arkansas, you can’t beat The CALL. If you are in another state, do a little internet research to find a faith-based organization who can train you and support you on the journey.

STEP 3: Attend an Informational Meeting. This is the first “real” step in becoming a foster/adoptive parent. At this meeting, you will get vital information about fostering/adoption, and you will get your first paperwork packet. I want to stress here though, that these meetings are seriously low pressure. You will not get a call, you will not get a guilt trip….you can literally walk out the door and never say another word about it, and no one will ever think a thing about it. So, don’t feel like this is like the “jump in” point. For many families, it’s more of a “get your toes wet” type step.  The CALL always lists their upcoming meetings in the right sidebar of their website.

STEP 4: Turn in your paperwork. After the informational meeting, you will leave with your first batch of paperwork. You can fill this out and turn it in the next day, or you can hang on it to it, pray some more, and turn it in a few months later. It’s totally your decision and again, absolutely no pressure.

STEP 5: Fingerprints and initial interview. Once you get your paperwork turned in, you’ll be scheduled to get your fingerprints done. The CALL will help you get this scheduled.  Then, an initial interview will be set up at your home with a caseworker. This is a super low-key interview. So, don’t stress!

STEP 6: Training & Paperwork. By this point, you’ll have a feel for what’s going on, and you’ll have people supporting you and helping you get there. The training will be excellent. You will learn a lot. It won’t fully prepare you for what’s ahead, but nothing will. On the job training is the best teacher in the world of foster care/adoption. The paperwork will seem endless, but don’t worry, it will end! You’ll get to the bottom of the pile eventually. And at the bottom of that pile is a child or children who need your family!

It’s not an easy process, but it’s worth it. There will be plenty of frustrations and weariness, but you’ll get there! Surround yourself with people who encourage you and support what you are doing. Find someone who has been through the process to support you and walk you through it as well. And the best advice I could ever give…keep praying. I can still remember times when we were stuck in the paperwork process. It was so frustrating! But, now that we are on the other side of the paperwork and we have our little guy with us, I can see where our delays fit perfectly into his story. God chose him for us, and all the hold-ups that we viewed as a nuisance at the time turned out to be absolutely perfect timing in the story of how God made us a family.

You’ve made a great decision to foster or adopt.

So You Want to Foster/Adopt...Now What?

So You Want to Foster/Adopt…Now What?