By now, a few of you already know what we are about to reveal but we think that it is time to share with everyone. We are excited to announce that we’re going to expand the Picklo family. Though not in the traditional way, we have absolutely no desire to weather another pregnancy. So where does this leave us? Over the last few years we’ve done some serious research and reflected on our own lives and what our purpose is. We’re being called for more. We were made for more. We are capable of more.
Three months ago, we started the process of becoming foster parents. The road appears to be long and arduous but we are determined to be certified and hosting a child(ren) by Thanksgiving. We never thought that this was where our journey would lead us, but after finding a home at Community Church and learning about the support system they have in place to help foster families, we knew this was for us.
Growing up I experienced arguing with grocery clerks about how toilet paper and toothpaste were not WIC approved, shopping for new school clothes at thrift stores and hand-me-down bags gifted to us from our church, and a Christmas that showed up on the front steps. My mother struggled to put food on the table even having to take from the work provided pizza on Friday’s so that we could have dinner. My younger sisters never knew the challenges and my knowledge was limited. One thing I never experienced is CPS taking us away from my mother because she couldn’t take care of us. We never experienced what it’s like to be neglected. We never saw fighting or abuse. We don’t know what substance abuse in our parents looks like. We were always fed, always clothed, always warm, and always loved.
There are way too many children out there that have no knowledge of what’s it’s like to be full. What well-fitting and clean clothes feel like. What it feels like to sleep comfortably and safely at night. And no idea what it feels like to be loved. They don’t know support, encouragement or what it’s like to be allowed to dream.
On average, 9 out of 10 kids in Virginia graduates High School, for children in foster care that number drops to 5 in 10. Of those foster kids, those that attend college is 5 in 10, and of those only 3 in 10 graduate with a 4-year degree. Our goal as a foster family is to provide these kids the best possible opportunity to succeed in life. As Melissa has always said, we are not raising kids we are raising future adults. It breaks our hearts to know that these kids flounder hopelessly while life and all that it has to offer passes them by.
All of this being said, we know that many of you have questions. What about our own children? What about our other volunteering? What about our finances? What about our jobs? What about the military? Are we trying to adopt?
We’ll try to answer them all.
Our own children…will be fine! They will still feel our love, still be taken care of, and will experience what it’s like to give back in a different way.
Our other volunteering like coaching and mentoring…we won’t stop. Each method of giving back serves a different purpose and has its own place.
Our finances…Dylan was so worried about this one. “Mom, what about money? I don’t want you guys to be broke because you want to care of these kids!” Don’t worry about that. We’re conscious of it and money is just a thing.
Our jobs…are jobs and these are children we’re talking about. There are specific funds to help support daycare, after school care, etc when needed.
The military…will always be a major contributor to our path. There are many foster families out there in the military. And what a great way of showing these kiddos a potential career path that helps support a family.
Adoption…we aren’t proceeding with the intention of adoption, but are not closed off to the idea. The right child(ren) would have to come along.
So where does this leave us? We start a 27-hour training program next week. Once graduated from the training, we begin an extensive home study process. There will be lots of paperwork and preparations. For now, we’re just very excited to help, support, and love on some kiddos in need.