Foster Friday- Cortney’s Story
- HomeFoster Friday- Cortney’s Story
TBH wants to share good stories of our foster families. From time to time, we will have a segment on our blog called Foster Friday. This week’s segment is about one of our foster parents, Cortney. We are so excited to share her story.
“My journey to foster care and adoption is very different than most. I didn’t have a lifelong desire or calling to walk into foster care, and never imagined adoption, especially as a single mom. However, God calls us to hard and unimaginable things. He walks us through many unknowns and equips us in ways that can only be described divine. My story to growing my family is laced with the Lord’s handiwork and display of His perfect sovereignty.
My journey started when I lost my husband suddenly in a fishing accident on July 25th, 2013, after only 8 1/2 months of marriage. As a newly married and then newly widowed 28 year old, I struggled with the fact that my purpose and role as wife and mother (to my step son) were over in the matter of a second. My grief journey has been long, dark and difficult. It’s involved relocating to a new state, starting a new job, moving back in with my parents and really starting life again. But God and His faithfulness have been ever present, always gently guiding me and reminding me that He is redeemer and restorer and allowing me to know Him as a good father.
Throughout my grief journey, several verses of scripture have been the foundations on which I can rest in His promises. One in particular is Psalm 68:5-6 ” A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families”. I needed a defender and I needed to know that God would be the father to my son while I no longer had a daily role in his life and I clung to the promise that he sets the lonely in families, hoping for my one-day future family.
Around September of 2014, I threw my best friend from college a “Foster care” shower while visiting her and her husband in Columbus, Ohio. As I listened to them describe their heart and passion for foster care, the Lord began to stir my heart for the possibility of ‘one day’. Over the next year, God placed me in a church with a huge passion for orphan care and started opening my heart up to the call in every Christian to care for orphans. I continued to put it on the shelf of ‘one day’ until the Lord made it very clear that my ‘one day’ was coming soon. When I realized that you didn’t have to be married to foster, I started pursuing my options. I met women in my church and the director of the orphan care ministry at church. I did research on various agencies and in September of 2015, I was in my first foster care class with TBH. Full of passion, hope and drive, I completed my classes and licensing requirements and received my license on November 30th, 2015. TBH walked closely with me in preparing my heart and home for my future little ones. They equipped me and guided me, but nothing could have prepared me for the call.
Shortly after being licensed, I started receiving calls about potential babies for my home. A few I had to say no to and then the YES came! I was placed. I rushed home from work to pack a bag, as this child would require me to stay overnight in the hospital for some teaching. TBH arrived and CPS arrived and it wasn’t long before I started to panic at how different this little girl was from the inital call. I got nervous and was thinking that this was a little too much for me, but what do I do now? The placement coordinator from TBH was having the same thoughts as she left the room to call about whether this was a good placement. She came back in and graciously let CPS know that this little one was not the right fit for my home. I felt so supported and relieved, but also heartbroken. As the placement coordinator left she said that me having to say no is someone else getting to say yes. She left and my wait continued.
On December 28, just hours after returning back to Texas from Christmas in Michigan, the call came. They needed a home for a 3 day old baby girl. I said yes immediately and then began, what felt like, a long wait of whether my home was the home chosen for her. A few hours later, I signed papers and snuggled my foster daughter for the first time. She was a Christmas baby, placed in my home as more of a blessing and gift to me than anyone realized.
No matter how good the classes are or the resources you have or the personal stories you hear, nothing can prepare you for a journey with CPS and foster care system. My case worker with TBH was a blessing and helped me diligently navigate the waters of CPS. She was more than my worker, as she deeply cared for me and my foster daughter and sought to answer questions and give me as much information as possible. During the first six months, she walked me through the different court hearings and service plans for biological families. She was also an amazing advocate for my foster daughter and I, connecting us with CPS and the resources we needed. As the permanency hearing was approaching, CPS made it clear their goal was no longer reunification, but termination. I began to wonder if I would be a forever home for the sweet baby girl I grew to love.
On January 25, 2017, in a court room full of family, friends, TBH family, and my attorney, my foster daughter became my forever daughter. The road to adoption in the preceeding 6 months was full of unknowns, ups and downs, high mountains and low valleys but God’s steady guiding hand reminded me that He alone is in control. I prayed fervently for the safety and future of my little one and for the hearts and minds of every person involved in her case. When adoption day arrived 13 months after placement day, the celebration was special and the sense of deep relief was indescribable. After packing out the court house, we headed down to TBH campus in Waxahachie where they had a beautiful service honoring our journey, complete with cupcakes! It was such a special time to commemorate the magnitude of the day and our story.
Here I sit, a few weeks out of being a forever family with my precious Bella Joy and I am deeply grateful. I’m thankful the Lord chose me to be her momma and thankful for the people He placed along my path to walk beside me and experience His greatness and miraculous works. I’m not sure what will be next for me in foster care, but I know my heart, mind and passion have been forever changed. I needed my sweet Bella Joy just as much as she needed me.”
To learn how to start your own foster or adoption story. Fill out the inquiry form today and one of our recruiters will be happy to talk with you.