When I tell people my story, I get a lot of surprised looks and questions. I have six siblings—three sisters and three brothers. But it wasn’t always this way.
When I was really little, I was the only girl. My brothers tried to include me in their chess games and Nintendo, but I wanted a sister more than anything. When my parents announced to us kids that they were pursuing adoption, we were thrilled!
They started out looking for one girl, but God placed two beautiful gals into our family. It felt so natural to me, and looking back on it, I wish I had treasured those moments even more than I did.
There were hard parts too—sharing my girly toys was foreign to me, and sharing a room brought new challenges. I liked the room clean, and to one of my new sisters, that was the least of her worries. We fought sometimes, but it felt normal, because that’s what all sisters do. I was happy to share my family with the sisters I’d always wanted.
Six years later, after a move that took them a few states North, my parents began the process of becoming foster parents again.
This time, they weren’t fostering to adopt. Instead, they would temporarily care for these kids while the biological parents figured things out in order to raise their child.
At least that’s what they thought.
The first call they received was about a three-month-old preemie, who was at the hospital and needed a home. They took her in, and all of us kids absolutely adored having a baby to help take care of. We took turns changing her diaper, feeding her, rocking her to sleep. It was such a sweet time.
Again, there were hard parts about this season. This little girl was born weighing one pound nine ounces, and she was attached to oxygen and a heart monitor when we got her. She’d had a rough go of it, but she fought.
When her bio parents came to my family and asked us if we would be willing to adopt her, we were humbled, and opened our hearts to begin thinking of her as part of our forever family.
She’s now my littlest sister, and I am so proud of how strong she is. Adoption has never scared me. It has proven to me that grace and hope really do exist, even in the darkest of places.
When I get those surprised looks and questions, I humbly explain what foster care is really like.
The stories of these kids remind me that everyone is unique and everyone is beautiful. Even when we are a small piece of these stories, we may never know the full inside scoop on what they’ve been through.
But we can come alongside them, give grace, and share life together.
That’s what foster care is all about.
Saty Cornelius is a writer, wife and adventurer. Her first book More To Me, will be available through Amazon on May 1st, 2018. She has a strong love for Jesus, the ocean, and chai tea lattes. She appreciates the value of stories—messy or inspiring, real or fictional—and has a dream of helping people find their worth through the power of these stories. Visit her at www.satycornelius.com and join her email community.