In the world of foster care, there can be a lot of pressure. The pressure to always step up to the plate. To make a significant difference. To say “yes.” But what if you say “no” to a placement? What happens if you say “no” when a foster child is able to be adopted? And how can you make that decision?
My guests today know what it feels like to say “no.” AJ and Katrina Nowaczyk have fostered nine children, so far. And while they didn’t set out to only foster, they have learned a lot whenever the opportunity to adopt one of their foster kids came up. In many cases, circumstances pointed to needing to say “no.”
If you’ve ever felt the internal struggle between yes and no, I hope this episode is a support for you, and a reminder that there’s simply no perfect formula for making hard decisions.
HERE ARE 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. Deciding to pursue adoption is a deeply personal decision for each family.
Saying “yes” to an opportunity to adopt, or even to foster a child, isn’t always the right decision. There are so many things to consider, including the foster child’s situation and if you are what is best for them. There are times that saying “no” may be best for them, best for you, and best for your family.
“This is when it gets hard. This is when decisions have to get made and there are lots of things to consider and each family needs to process through those things. It’s a very personal decision for each family.”
2. There is not just one right way to live out the Gospel.
AJ and Katrina share how at certain points in the journey, God brought to mind other people who would be in a better position to more permanently support the kids they were caring for. Sometimes God uses us as a stepping stone or in other unique ways, and it’s important to be willing to follow His leading and wisdom as we’re making hard decisions.
“God brought to mind a family that we had met years before to possibly adopt this child.”
3. We can live with hope knowing that God loves these kids far more than we do or ever could.
Our mindset should be that God is the one that looks after our kids, regardless of our answer if the opportunity to adopt comes up. He’s the one that brings them into our care and he is the one that cares for them after they leave our home.
“When kids leave our homes, we are often wondering about them. Where are they? What are they doing? And are they safe? Are they loved? And, at the end of the day, we need to sit and rest in God…and trust that God is good and God loves them way more than we ever did when they were in our home.”
Meet Our Guests
AJ and Katrina Nowaczyk are high school sweethearts who have been married for nearly 11 years. During that time, they had three biological children and have gotten to love on nine foster kiddos in the last three and a half years. AJ is a 4th grade teacher and Katrina provides childcare out of their home. They love helping their children discover their interests, but above all they love Jesus and want him to be their ultimate source of joy, hope, and peace.
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