When you’re in a relationship with someone and it’s getting serious, you ideally start to talk about your future. Where you want to live, what you want to do, and sometimes, whether or not you want children.
Adoption is usually an option that comes up when thinking about future children but for this couple, who began dating after 10 months of working at the same grocery store together, it was thought about pretty minimally. After dating for seven years they got married, and then the idea of adoption began to float around.
“We both thought it would be in the form of an international adoption if we ever adopted,” Sophia San Filippo said. “Foster care wasn’t something that was on either of our minds and neither of us had been exposed to. Only God knew during those first few years of married life that our future was about to look very different than what we were imagining.”
About two months after they moved into their new house, the two basically said, “why not? Why don’t we foster?”
“One of my childhood friends posted about becoming a foster parent on Facebook. She was very transparent about the process, the type of child she was preparing for, and the first few children she fostered. Until I tracked her story, I didn’t realize there was a need for parents to foster younger children. Seeing her fostering journey really put foster care on my radar for the first time,” Sophia said.
But when they were at church toward the end of that summer, the couple finally had their “aha” moment.
“We had a guest speaker from Colorado who had adopted five children from foster care and was working with an organization to eliminate the number of children waiting for homes in Colorado. That was the day everything we learned culminated in a look we shared that said, ‘We could actually do this,'” she said.
“Here we were at 26 years old with a big house and plenty of time and resources to give to a child or children who needed a home for a short time until they could be reunified with their families. Why not give it a shot? We signed up for certification classes the next month. We were excited to embark on this new adventure and we pictured ourselves fostering ‘until’ we had biological children. We still had no idea what God was about to do.”
It was a 3-4 month process.
The couple started to take classes once a week for eight weeks. And the journey was not easy — it required a lot of background checks, fingerprinting, and more.
They finished their licensure later on in February 2015.
“On May 16, 2015, we were sitting in a local BBQ place around 8 p.m. It was a rainy Saturday night and we got a call. ‘We have a 3-year-old boy, his mother is homeless. She has a place to go, but there’s nowhere that will take the child. Are you interested in taking him?’ We said yes…”
“Our jaws fell open when they called us back and said, ‘We’ll be at your house in 30 minutes!’ In complete joy and disbelief, we rushed home. We didn’t even have a chance to call our family! We set up a toddler bed and dug out some boy toys and soon laid eyes on our first love, N.”
Once they had their child, they began to slowly introduce him to their dogs as well as grab some essentials at Walmart. They were his foster parents for “6 wonderful months.”
“The day he was reunified was wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time. We packed up all the belongings he had accumulated, drove him to his mother’s apartment, and said goodbye. To love a child as your own for the very first time and to allow that bond to weaken or break is no easy thing.”
“Over the next year, we had monthly visits with N as we gave his mom some alone time. We would go to the zoo or to the park or just hang out at our home. We knew God had put us in each other’s lives for a reason.”
“What we didn’t realize was our story with N was not over,” Sophia added.
See how the beautiful and inspiring story ended here.
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Source: Love What Matters