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God Speaks in the Waiting (fostering & adoption)

Updated: Jul 6

Continued from my previous post on Oct 3, 2023


We had begun praying for a baby sister or brother for our daughter about a year after receiving place of our foster daughter. Mariah, our 16 yo birth daughter helped me choose names for a boy and a girl, since we didn’t know who God would choose for us. We knew that we would change his or her name just as we did for our newly adopted daughter. I was thrilled that she actually took the time to help me choose names, because in reality she and everyone else thought I was crazy to even think about foster/adopting one more baby.

I had been reading Mark Batterson’s book The Prayer Circle. On April 12, 2018, as I was searching scripture to write a prayer for ALL of our children my eyes were drawn to Isaiah 49:22 & 23: “…they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their shoulders. Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers.”


I didn’t even know that scripture existed! God had spoken to my heart with that scripture for several reasons! Our last name is King, we were foster parents, my husband often calls me his Queen, he carried our foster daughter on his shoulders every day for fun, and I was praying for a newborn to nurse.


I took this as an answer from the Lord – that He was indeed going to place another baby in our home, possibly a son young enough to be carried in arms. My prayers intensified after that because I wanted to be sure that I was not reading too much into that scripture.

Less than a month later, on May 4, 2018, I received a call from our agency about a 1-week-old baby boy who was about to be placed into care from the hospital. Of course, I said yes, but then the judge decided not to remove him after all. I recorded the baby’s name in my journal and prayed for him.


Ten days later I met an older woman named Reemie at Selah’s gymnastics class. That day, for some reason, we were the only attendees at gymnastics class. We ended up sharing our life stories. I told her about Selah’s daily affirmations, our prayers for a baby, and the 4-day old boy we almost received.


She told me that the boy she had brought to class was the child of her ADOPTED son.


She took my hand and said the prayer of Jochabed right on the spot, reflecting the story of baby Moses being returned to his mother – changing the name to Solomon and having him returned to me in the Lord’s time. 👀


I put her bold prayer in my heart and pondered what it meant. But Jesus used me to bless her as well.


She shared that she had struggled with low self-esteem her entire life due to abuse as a child.


She asked me to recite Selah’s affirmations with her! Then I reminded her that the “Jesus Loves Me” song isn’t just for us to sing to others, it’s for her personally.


I asked her to ask Jesus, “do you love me?”

With tears in her eyes, she said “YES.”


That afternoon our agency called to ask if we would take placement of a 6-month-old girl. She would likely have 3 visits per week with her bio mother. My heart was in turmoil. I wanted to say yes out of desperation for another baby, but I also wanted to trust in the Lord for a son after what had just happened. I answered that we would take the baby short term only if it was for an emergency and they couldn’t find another home for her. She was placed elsewhere.


I really struggled with whether I had made the right decision, but a very dear friend reminded me that God has a plan and I need to continue to be open to His leading. She quoted John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”


I determined that I could not say yes to a placement out of fear. Sarah, out of fear gave Abraham her handmaiden. I promised the Lord that if he would answer my prayer for a newborn son, Solomon Bennett, I would give HIM the praise and glory, and share this story so that everyone will know that He, the One and Only, is all-knowing, all-seeing, all-wise, compassionate and powerful, is ALIVE, hears our prayers, cares about even the tiniest details, and ANSWERS!


My father-in-law passed away on May 31 and our birth daughter graduated from high school. Family visitation, funeral and graduation open house all in the month of June. God’s timing is perfect, and mine is not. There are good reasons why God makes us wait.


I began to pay attention to people the Lord placed in my path, and if He opened the door, then I would share what was on my heart and ask them to pray. By the end of May there were about eight special women circling our family and our future baby in their prayers.


I still wasn’t 100% sure if it would be a boy or girl, though. On the morning of June 11th as I was dressing for the day, I whispered a prayer to the Lord, “Father, would you even tell me if we are getting a boy or a girl?”


That morning when I took Selah to gymnastics, I met Reemie again. There were a few other parents around this time, but we sat next to each other to chat. As she was talking about her grandson, I thought I heard her say “Bennett”. I asked her to repeat his name. She did, remarking how rare that name is.


My eyes filled with tears when I told her about my prayer that morning and shared that we had chosen that name for our future son because it belonged to my father-in-law and my mother’s late husband, who both died faithful to the Lord.


Was this just a coincidence? I didn’t think so. I never saw Reemie again after this even though Selah attended gymnastics for several more months.


July 2nd the agency asked if we would take placement of a 1-week-old baby boy. He had six siblings including a set of twins who had been adopted out, so there were actually three other families to consider. I said yes, but as I was trying to keep my heart calm I went outside and asked the Lord to show me what I should know. A robin flew into the tree in our yard right beside me. Two others joined it. I felt in my heart that the baby boy would be going home with the twin siblings.


Sure enough, the next day I was told that was exactly where he was placed!


July 12th, I turned down placement of a 7 month old baby girl. My heart hurt and I prayed for the Lord to forgive my weakness, lack of faith, and fear, and to help me to continue to trust Him as I wait on the boy I was sure He already had planned to bring us.


Every day I remained in scripture, prayed on my knees, and placed my hands on the crib in our bedroom as we waited for our baby son. July 25th my husband called me his “Queen”, not knowing anything about the scripture I kept in my heart from Isaiah. I needed the reminder.


Books I read during the waiting process: Mark Batterson’s Prayer Circle, Joyce Meyer’s How to Hear From God, Forgotten God by Francis Chan, Surprised by the Voice of God by Jack Deere, and Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire.


In August I received a request for 3 boxes of my original Who Should I Trust books for Join the Movement to Stop Human Trafficking. They teach classes about child sexual abuse and human trafficking and needed my books to be given to attendees for their children. More eyes were being opened to the epidemic of child sexual abuse and human trafficking. Just a little confidence booster... God is still present and working in the wait.


September, Selah began verbalizing her desire for a baby brother. She blurted out while we were driving, “my baby bwoddow coming SOON!” and then complained that he is not here yet.

When we got to Walmart, I secretly asked the Lord if we are still getting a baby (that I hadn’t made a wrong decision in turning down other placements). If the answer was yes, then I would find something for him in the store that would be obvious, without spending any time digging, and that would be on sale.


After we were finished getting the things we needed, I walked through the baby section just glancing here and there. I was about to leave when I nearly bumped my head on preemie boy sleepers that said “Little Brother” on the front, on sale for only $3.00. Coincidence? Yes, of course I bought them!! 😍


Later that month Selah again mentioned her baby brother. I asked her if she had prayed for him yet, asking God to bring him soon. She immediately prayed “Thank you, God, fo my baby bwoddow”. I told a friend who said, “OH! He’s actually here?!” That night I had a dream that I was in a busy place as a baby boy was placed in my arms. The baby was bigger than I expected, and suddenly turned into a very big, shiny black dog who was excitedly licking and slobbering all over my face. I’m NOT a fan of dogs, so this was very weird to me. But even this dream has a meaning! When I woke from the dream there was a song in my head with the lyrics, “He is here…in this place”. I didn’t know it yet, but our baby had already been born, and he was not going to be a newborn by the time he arrived in our home.


November, Selah was increasingly frustrated over her brother not being here yet. She even asked me to buy diapers for him, but I would not because I didn’t know the size.


I turned down placement of a 5-month-old boy because he was white (I was sure our boy would be African American) and the situation sounded very complicated. Trusting the Lord to continue to lead my decisions.


In November, I started Mark Batterson’s 40-day prayer challenge with a dear friend. I acknowledged to the Lord that I will lose sleep, miss out on events and time with other adults, have less time to myself and get downright exhausted after our baby comes, but I knew that He would give me the strength and endurance to love both children and press on.


The sermons this month were based on the book of Solomon and deepened my appreciation for my husband. Afterall, we are in this TOGETHER!


I started hearing more scoffing about the idea of taking in another baby at our age, but scriptures kept popping up that encouraged me to continue praying. Chapters in the 40-day prayer challenge “coincidently” coincided with lessons in Bible study about Noah continuing to build the ark for 100 years, Abraham and Sarah waiting until they were old before their son was born, the Israelites stepping into the Jordan river at flood stage before it parted; actively and expectantly waiting for God’s answer.


One of the daily verses in the bible app was in 1 Chronicles 29:13. I read farther and wrote out “Now, our God, we give YOU thanks, and praise YOUR glorious Name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should give as generously as this? Everything comes from YOU and we have given YOU only what comes from YOUR hand…I know, my God, that YOU test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent…Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, KEEP THESE DESIRES AND THOUGHTS IN THE HEARTS OF YOUR PEOPLE FOREVER, AND KEEP THEIR HEARTS LOYAL TO YOU. AND GIVE MY SON SOLOMON THE WHOLEHEARTED DEVOTION TO KEEP YOUR COMMANDS, STATUTES AND DECREES…”


Selah continued to express frustration while we were driving that God was not answering her prayers. I talked with her about how long Mariah had prayed for a baby sister. It took many years, but God finally answered: we got Selah! She smiled and then right in the middle of the store while sitting in the cart she whispered a prayer I barely heard, “Dear God pweese send my baby bwoddow, in Jesus’ Name, Amen! MAMA, I PWAYED!!”


That afternoon, Mrs. R from PARC (Post adoption resource center) visited for the first time at our house. I shared my heart and Isaiah 49 with her, feeling that she was filled with The Spirit. She prayed for the faith of our children, and even the one to come, quoting Isaiah 55 “Your Word, Lord, does not return to us empty”.


During November I also began praying more about my book and committing it to the Lord, being reminded in scripture that I can only plant seeds and God is the one who grows them. He connected me with a Christian Game Developer in New Zealand, the Executive Director of the child advocacy center in Flint, and others who advocate for children’s safety.


Our foster license was about to expire. Scott was tempted to let it go because of our age but the Lord stirred his heart to go ahead with the renewal. When he went to the Dr for his required physical checkup and the staff at the front desk realized the physical was for foster parenting, they told him there was NO charge!


At the end of November, I was finally contacted by Elm Hill Publishing. The previous agent I had sent my book submission to no longer worked there and my email was left unopened. The agent who took his place had scrolled through submissions and mine jumped out at him! He was a pastor working for Elm Hill part time, and he promised to pray about a way to get this book published, encouraging me to continue moving forward with it.


December 13 the sermon at church was a reminder to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). We had given away 10% of the money we received from my father-in-law’s life insurance. Then someone from church gave us a car for only $100 (worth more like $3000). We had been sharing one vehicle for the last few years. Without a second vehicle I would have had to get both babies out of bed to pick Scott up from work at midnight on the days I needed the van.


Mid December I received a crazy last-minute order on my Etsy store from a desperate customer to crochet a couple of gifts for her nieces. Normally I would have said no, but I am so glad I didn’t. The friendship that this precious Godly customer and I developed as we shared our stories with each other is miraculous! She called me her “Sister from another Mister”, and SAMMIE has stuck as a nickname for each other since. She became one of my praying friends.


December 17th was the end of the 40 days of prayer, pouring myself into scripture, and 20 days of fasting. On our 25th anniversary, December 18th, my husband received a call from work that he was finally promoted to full time hours, which would include health insurance! On the 21st, we received an anonymous check through the church in the mail for $1000! Perfect timing to pay for plane tickets to bring our eldest son home from Oklahoma for Christmas in addition to taking care of other necessities!


December 31st, our son’s 24th birthday, I was in Tim Hortons to buy him a cake. As I was standing in line, I ended up in conversation with another foster mom who had also fostered twins. She had lost her husband of 20 years to an illness, and her daughter to drugs, and then was blessed with more children through foster care and adoption. I shared with her my story about our son, whose cake I was buying, and how the Lord answered my prayers to bring him home from the military. We talked about the importance of keeping our eyes, ears and hearts open to see God’s blessings even through pain.


A spunky and beautiful old woman with streaks of pink and purple in her perfectly curled silver hair came hobbling in next to us. The line was taking such a long time to move that this foster mom and I let her go ahead of us. She had been listening to our conversation and asked if we were there together. She then told us that someone ahead of her in the grocery checkout at Kroger had just bought her groceries. She wanted to pay it forward, so she insisted after much arguing, on paying for my new friend’s coffee order! Both of us were in tears, hugging each other – complete strangers in Tim Hortons.


Then, as I was about to pay for my son’s cake, my new foster-friend quickly slapped a $20 bill on top of the cake, said “I’m thankful God gave you your son back. Happy new year”, through laughing tears, and was gone.

January 7, 2019, I woke from a dream that I had given birth to 2 out of 3 triplets by myself but did not experience physical pain, and it was in a kind of public place where my closest friends were walking around and talking with me casually. I got up to walk around while waiting for the 3rd baby to be born and then sat back down to keep waiting when my husband joined me. As often happens, after I pray about my dreams the Lord gives me an interpretation. This one I didn’t understand until later, so I’ll come back to it.


That January 7th was also 21 years since I gave birth to our stillborn son at 20 weeks pregnant. It was especially difficult for me, probably because I was in such anticipation of a new baby.


My SAM shared with me a video of testimonies at her church, including her own. Early on in her pregnancy her blood tests showed that her hormone levels were dropping instead of increasing. After about 3 weeks of repeated blood tests, the doctor had decided to do a D&C since she was not miscarrying on her own. She and her church prayed fervently that God would restore her baby back to her.


The morning she went in for her D&C, the doctor, who NEVER did ultrasounds before surgery, decided he needed to do one this time. They were so amazed to see that the baby was perfectly fine! Multiple doctors who had seen the previous tests had to come to the room to see the ultrasound for themselves. It truly was a miracle! A woman from her church gave her a red cardinal figurine as a symbol of hope. She put it in her kitchen window. I just happened to have a stained-glass red cardinal that I normally only put up for Christmas, but only a few days before I had watched SAM’s video, I had decided to leave it hanging in my kitchen window because I love it so much. I had no idea at the time that it was a symbol of hope.


Right after watching the video, I saw that a friend on Facebook posted their word for the year. That was a new concept to me, so I went to Dayspring.com to see if there would be a word for me. Guess what it was… HOPE!


I continued to work on my book revisions during Selah’s naptime, deciding to keep my mind busy as I waited on the Lord for His timing in bringing our baby. On January 16th, 2019, I said to the Lord, “I want to hear YOUR voice but I’m afraid I will miss it while I’m busy. Please INTERRUPT me so I don’t miss out on what is most important.” I spread my materials out before me and, wouldn’t you know it, immediately after I sat down to start, the phone rang!


I actually spoke out loud, “NOOO!”, NOT YET!” instead of answering immediately! It was our agency asking us to take placement of a 9-month-old African American boy. I asked for a few minutes to think about it. Even though he was not a newborn, I felt in my heart there was no reason to say no after I heard the little bit of information I was given. When I called back to say yes, the case worker gave me his name…


THIS was the newborn baby that we had originally been called about 8 ½ months earlier! The one that Reemie had boldly asked The Lord to return to me! I looked back in my journal to check the date and the name to make sure!


When Selah woke from her nap, I told her a baby was coming later that day. She gasped “Is it OUR baby?” I told her I don’t know but that we will love him and keep him as long as we are allowed. She was so excited she helped me pull out all the baby toys, but we had no clothes for a boy bigger than 6 months. One of my close foster parent friends picked up clothes and diapers from the foster closet and dropped them off for me that night.


When Baby arrived, it was 8pm, and we let Selah get out of bed to meet him so that she would be able to sleep.


Now, remember the dream I mentioned earlier about the baby who was like a big black lab that slobbered all over my face? It sounds really silly, but this 8 ½-month old baby was already nearly 20 pounds, wearing size 5 diapers and 18-month clothes. He drooled so incessantly that his face, hands, and front of his clothes were always wet, and the drool even hung in strings and made puddles on the floor. He bonded with me within only a few days, and has been incredibly affectionate, funny, and smart. We all fell in love with him very quickly, making it difficult to keep in mind that the goal of fostering is to love children until their birth parents are ready to receive them back.


February 9th the Lord gave me a dream about the baby I had lost 21 years earlier, including a lot of symbolism about my sadness, shame and fear over the years. When I woke from the dream, these lyrics were playing in my head “I have resurrection power living on the inside. Jesus, You have given us freedom no longer bound by sin and darkness, living by the light of your goodness. You have given us freedom. That I’m dressed in your royalty. Your Holy Spirit lives in me and I see my past has been redeemed. The new has come!” I believed the Lord was telling me that this baby boy would be ours, but I was still afraid that I might be reading too much into the dream and song in my head.


By February 20, we began calling our baby boy "Benny Bear", short for Bennett, but also to protect his identity in public places where he might be recognized. I told my SAM about his name, and wouldn’t you know it, her miracle baby is also “Benny Bear”!


In March I was surprised by the Forensic Nurse from Wisconsin when she called to ask for more of my old books and to see if the new ones were out yet! She told me she and her friend, Dawn, had just started a non-profit organization called Join the Movement to Stop Human Trafficking (JTM) and that my books were flying off the table at their events! I was in such disbelief that she added Dawn to our phone call, and the two of them encouraged me to continue working on the new version of my book. I followed the advice of a friend and started a go-fund-me page to raise funds to have my book republished by Elm Hill. The money was raised within a week! In addition to these two ladies, God put several friends in my path to help edit, illustrate, and make suggestions over the next few months as I continued to work at the revisions.

At the end of March SAM sent me a surprise box with a bear outfit for Benny Bear and a few things for Selah, as well as a couple of toy cardinals that were her Benny Bear’s. There was also a key cut with the word HOPE and the inscription, “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.” (from Psalm 25:5) I prayed those words every day since then as I put the necklace on to wear close to my heart.

God showed up so many times over the next year that I can’t even list them all. The ladies who were assigned to Benny Bear for Early On, Early Head Start, and to Selah for trauma and occupational therapy are all Christians who have become friends, praying for Benny to be able to stay with us as they watched and worked with us. Mrs. R from PARC seemed to call just to check on us and pray whenever I was feeling most anxious.


Countless times when I was stressed out over a court hearing coming up or any other worry about my children, a red cardinal in various forms would appear, whether by the reflection of the sun through the one in my kitchen window, a live one singing on the front porch, figurines in the Doctor’s office, or Benny Bear just happened to carry one of his cardinal toys to show me himself, having no clue what was on my mind.


June 18 I finally finished the revisions on my book, including wonderful endorsements of friends who work in the field of child sexual abuse and human trafficking. The book was sent for pricing, spine adjustment to be ready for HarperCollins Christian Publishing to begin their process of distribution!


By the end of June, Benny Bear’s bio parents’ rights were terminated, and we were able to begin the adoption process only six months after he was placed with us!


Our adoption of Solomon Bennett was finalized on February 10, 2020, almost exactly 1 year from the dream and song I was given about redemption. “…I’m dressed in Your royalty. Your Holy Spirit lives in me and I see my past has been redeemed. The new has come… Now I have resurrection power…” Only 12 months and 25 days after he was carried in the case worker’s arms and placed in the crib we had ready, while still sleeping. Isaiah 49:22-23 was fulfilled for us!


The dream I described from January 7 about triplets even turned out to be prophetic – the first two babies were the twins we were in process of adopting in 2014. God was about to perform another unexpected miracle!

You’ll have to check back for that incredible story..


If you think God doesn’t hear your prayers or doesn’t care, think again. I’m just a nobody who came from a dysfunctional family but, look what HE has done! If He can do all this with just one little person, how much is possible for anyone who asks Him to open their eyes, ears, and heart to hear HIS Voice?


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. Romans 8:28


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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Kim Rinks

...It (podcast episode with Fierce Freedom) was so interesting, insightful and inspiring.  It made me think about my own relationship with my kids and if I gave them enough affirmation..

Morgan M.

I believe this book is absolutely necessary and beneficial for parents, and it should be in every family's household.  I fully plan to order more books for our support group as well as freely within our clinic for other therapists to utilize with their young clients.

F.S.

Genise is an asset to any community she is involved in.  her character is impeccable and that shows through all she is connected with.  Genise ends up positively influencing those around her with her quiet excellence and wisdom..

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