Monday, May 16, 2016

Nursery Reveal-Our Foster Story

Guess what?! We're having a baby! Well, not really having one, and it might not be a baby. Wait, what? What I meant to say is, WE ARE OFFICIALLY FOSTER PARENTS! We got our license this week and after our homestudy we will be able to welcome a little one into our home and hearts!


Oh man you guys, we've done a lot of fun projects in the past and I wasn't sure anything could top the kitchen renovation, but this one totally does. We don't have everything we need yet, to be honest its all been a bit overwhelming. We have no idea what babies need and they don't make registries for foster parents. :p But we have been having a complete blast secretly putting together a nursery and I'm so excited to share it here. I am so proud of this space. Like, SO PROUD. I just want to go around showing complete strangers pictures of this room. I may have already done it once, at Cheesecake Factory. But that's another story for another day. :p

 I kind of threw the budget out the window here because how many times do you get to decorate a nursery in your life? Of course, I approved it through the boss man first. He actually loved helping me pick out things for the nursery and it was a time in our life I will never forget!

Before I show you all of the glorious photos, I'm sure you're wondering how the heck we came to such a decision to be foster parents. If you're interested, stick around to read our story, if not, keep on scrolling to see the cutest gender neutral nursery ever! Seriously. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT. It's just so dang cute.

I remember it was February of 2015 and Justin and I were at Taco Bell. (Yeah I said it. We were on a TB kick for like a year during home renovations) I remember this because we had just put an offer on our house and we were so nervously waiting to hear back. We sat in a booth and planned all of the things we would do to this house and if we would be bringing a baby into the mix here. I told Justin I wasn't sure if I was ready to bring little Allen babies into the world yet for various reasons, but did open up about fostering. I spent several years in the foster care system as a little girl and I know first hand how corrupt it can be. For some reason the wrong people just seem to slip through the cracks. I've always felt a burden to foster, but I never wanted to pressure Justin into it. I shared my heart with him and I asked for him to ask God to give him that burden too, if he wanted it.

We agreed that financially we would be able to provide a stable home for a kiddo, and man oh man do we have so much love to give. And with those spare bedrooms, it seemed like the perfect time to consider fostering. I always felt that if we had children of our own that burden may get forgotten about. It was just a small conversation and for the next several months we didn't really talk about it as we leapt into our home renovation. We were busy and barely had time for each other, let alone a child!

Months passed and our little house really started turning into a home. As the projects began to slow down life started to get back to normal. We went to church one Sunday and it happened to be a church service geared just for the kiddos. I cannot begin to tell you what happened to me as I watched so many kids fill the altar of our church, tears streaming down their little faces, asking Jesus to live in their hearts. I just stood in God's presence and cried. And then I cried some more. And then on the ride home, a little bit more.

And I remembered the hundreds of thousands of kiddos sitting in the foster care system right now and the fact that we have these spare rooms in our house that aren't even being used. I thought about the warm bed we sleep in every night. The fridge that is always full of groceries. The closet full of clothes.

And I instantly felt so guilty. 

The foster homes I grew up in were not warm, they were not welcoming. My brother and I were even used as "servants" for one family during a respite stop. If we didn't clean, we didn't eat. We ate whatever was left from the real family dinner. We were not allowed to eat with the rest of the family. The only nice home we did end up in, the older boys in the house molested me and swore if I ever told nobody would ever believe me. We went from home to home to home and by the time we made it to our last stop, we felt unloved. We were so young, but so broken. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.

My heart has more love to give. My home has spare bedrooms that needs filled. My dog has more kisses to hand out. :p We want all the babies! Well, at least one at a time. ;) I asked Justin on that ride home from church how he felt and he told me to send in the application. And here we are. We have requested any child from newborn to 18 months. Now we wait for that call. And whenever that may happen we will be ready. Our hearts, our home, our family will be ready.


And every baby deserves a nursery, right? I wanted this room to be simple, but elegant. Gender neutral, but not dull. Bright but cozy. Honestly this is so much more than a pretty nursery to me. I know the time I spent face down in that carpet praying for this child I don't even know yet. So many days rocking in that glider worrying about a baby I have never laid eyes on. This room has seen and heard and felt so many emotions, to me it says "you are home" even if just for a little while. More important to me than the perfect crib or the adorable wallpaper that they probably wont appreciate as much as I do, is that the child who comes into our home might feel peace.

Finally, I'm done blabbing, the nursery: (Detailed sources with links listed below)






Dear Baby,

We don't know each other yet, but we already love you. I've worn holes in the knees of my jeans asking Jesus to protect you as you make this difficult transition.  When we didn't feel brave enough for this job, we asked for courage. When we didn't feel good enough, we asked for confidence. When we fall short, (and I know we will) we'll ask for grace. Whether you are with us for a few days, a few months, or forever-above all else we want you to know love. This may not be easy, but I really believe it will be worth it. For the both of us. When you need us we will be right here, waiting for you.

Love,

Your Foster Momma



Crib: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child (We got the conversion kit, too- just in case!)
Glider: Target.com
Gold Ottoman: Homegoods
Teepee: Land of Nod
Dresser/Changing Table: Ikea (I worked my heart out trying to stain it to match the crib perfectly. I'm so excited with how it turned out!
Light Fixture: World Market
Wallpaper: Chasing Paper
Adventure Wooden Sign: House of Belonging 
Gallery Frames: IKEA
Lamp: Target
Drawer Hardware: Homegoods









20 comments:

  1. ITS BEAUTIFUL. This whole thing is beautiful, your story..even the scary parts, because you are doing something good with it. Sending you huds and fingers crossed you will get the call soon. This kid will be SO lucky to live here. Also I just want to cuddle Hudson he looks so snuggly in the photos!!

    Oh yes and details on the staining technique you used! I like the color!!

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    1. Thank you so much. I actually might switch the kiddo rooms because I kind of want to live here instead. :p

      The stain as Early American (my favorite color ever). I just took the opposite end of the hammer (what the heck is this called??? LOL) and kind of went to town on the thing. Then I used the EA stain and did 2 really good coats. After that dried I took a white paint and ever so lightly dry brushed it on. After this I sanded it until I looked the look of the white paint. Then I applied a few coats of poly and called it a day!! Thanks again for your sweet comment. Xoxo

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  2. Brittaney - I just can't even form the words about this. You,my friend, are an incredible person. (And hubby ain't so bad either.) The fact that you have gone through so much breaks my heart into pieces. And the fact is, you are wonderful and loving and beautiful from the inside out. I love this room - I mean, seriously. I love it all. Every nook and cranny and detail. (Dear me, I need that rocker and the dresser and the moulding in my life.)

    But I love you and your honesty more.

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    1. Kim, I just seriously love you. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. You are so kind. We are so excited to start this adventure together. Xo

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  3. You are a beautiful soul & I know that you will be a blessing to any children that come through your doors! Thanks for sharing! XO

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    1. Thank you so much, Hannah. And thank you for being apart of our nursery. :)

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  4. Your story just absolutely warms my heart! While the road to this place in your life might not have been an easy one, it's amazing to see God's love shine through you and the great things you're doing! Regardless of who it is that gets to sleep in this perfect little nursery, I'm confident they will forever know what it's like to be loved unconditionally!

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    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend. We are just so excited. Xoxo

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  5. I love it Britt!!!! There needs to be more loving foster parents in this world. People don't realize that yes there are great foster homes but there are also foster parents that are fostering for the money. Coming from another foster child who has been in some not very nice foster homes I'm so proud of you and Justin (even though I haven't met him in person) I'm so glad you are doing this. Maybe one day I can become a foster mother as well as I had always wanted to help kids in foster care because I know how it is to be a foster child and want so bad to have a family that loves me. I did have a few great foster homes that made me feel like I was their own child. When you get a child you will be the greatest foster parents ever. Love you so much Britt!

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    1. Thank you Denisia! I think that is so awesome that you have a heart for this too. I'll be thinking of you! Love you!

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  6. Okay first of all WHY would anyone want to skip past your story to just see the pictures!!?! That's crazy girl, we care about YOU first. I knew I always loved you, but now I REALLY love you! What a wonderful person you are to take what happened to you and pay it forward this way. You are a great human. Both of you. A friend of mine, she's much older, in her 40's, but she couldn't have kids, so she started fostering...and one day a scared little 1.5 year old came into her life...and like 4 years later now that's her baby. They adopted him and he is THE COOLEST little guy ever. And the HAPPIEST. I remember her showing me pictures of him the first night they got him and it's like night and day. She reminds me of you actually. I hope you get your first baby soon because you are going to love the crap out of them, I just know it. AND that nursery is AMAZING. Of course. And I still think you need a TV show. That crib is everything. Did you buy that or customize the sides?!?!

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    1. Aww Morgan, you always have a way of making me feel like a million bucks. Thank you so much. I think that's so awesome about your friend. Every child deserves to be that happy. That crib really is everything, right?! LOL It came like that from restoration hardware. I've had my eye on it for years. Nobody could have ever talked me out of it. Thanks again for your sweet comment. Big hugs!

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  7. We just started fostering as well (our first child left today, so we're really new!). We have a few friends who foster and are excited to do this. What is unfathomable to me is that anyone could be in this "for the money." The process of getting approved is pretty extensive (we're also in MA) -- letters of references from our employers, doctors, each of our kids' teachers, etc., a very detailed questionnaire, fingerprinting, home visit, etc, as well as 10 weeks of training. For that, the reimbursement is a bit over $20/ a day, which covers food, transportation, activities and all the other costs associated with supporting a child. I realize foster providers might exploit this system and there are some bad seeds, but it seems like a pretty convoluted way to "make money." In any event, congratulations on this big decision -- it will be wonderful. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping to comment, Susan! Good luck in your fostering journey and thanks for following along here!

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  8. Hey Brittaney,

    So I was just searching on Pinterest for gender neutral nurseries and stumbled upon the picture of the adorable room you put together. My first thought was, oh myyyy--I need to recreate this. Then I read the caption " Nursery reveal, Our foster story". It's like God totally had me come across that photo and route me to your blog to read your story, because my husband and I are also becoming foster parents! I have had so many of the same thoughts and feelings you wrote about and can relate so much to your story (plus we also adopted a sweet doggie that we spoil waaay too much). I really needed your blog post today. Thank you for doing what you do (fostering, creating, blogging, being amazing). Don't ever think it's for nothing. Each day someone, somewhere will be touched by your passion in the most beautiful way. Today, that was me. I am so thankful God would use a simple photo on Pinterest to remind me that He is faithful and His way is perfect. Praying for you and your foster journey!

    Kelly

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    1. Hey Kelly,

      I wanted to make sure I took enough time to adequately express my gratefulness for your sweet comment. I literally haven't been able to get your words out of my mind (or heart!) for even a minute today. Thank you. In a world where people see nice things all the time and rarely stop to compliment (I'm guilty of it) I think it's easy to forget how much of an impact your words can make on someone's life. It's funny, you thought God brought you to this page for you, but I think He brought you for both of us. Your words touched my heart today, and I will never forget the kindness and love you showed me on my little blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Sending big hugs, lots of love, and even more prayers for your journey into foster care as well. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you ever need a friend. Xoxo

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    2. Wow, you're so welcome! But AMEN to that, sister! God so divinely intertwines even perfect strangers to make a significant impact not only in our lives and the lives of others, but most of all for his glory. I absolutely agree that so often people pass by opportunities of spreading love (and for real, I'm so guilty), but I meant it when I said your story hit me like a wave at the most perfect time and I couldn't help but say something about it! It's funny---I love decorating and creating (mostly just in my own home, ha) and now that I have a nursery to put together I am so excited.....but I am conflicted with feelings of guilt of wanting everything to be perfect, fear of spending too much money or buying unnecessary things, and lack of trusting that God is in control of it ALL. Like---surely even just having extra rooms in our house and tons of love to give is such a blessing for whatever child we receive, right?...I don't need to create this perfect room with a creative theme and have it completely organized and spotless in order for the child to be happy, right? And while there is absolutely truth in those questions, I don't think the problem rests in the act of creating a beautiful nursery, but more so with where my heart is while doing so. I think that the time I get to spend with God praying for the child or children who may get to lay their head in that room while carefully arranging each piece and daydreaming of holding a sweet baby in the rocking chair, means so much more than stressing over the spacing of the art on the wall or the mismatched furniture. Now don't get me wrong, I'm totally going to measure the spacing of the art five times over, haha, but I have to keep myself in check with the constant reminder---above all else, God is in control...God is in control...God is in control.

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  9. Oh my! Thank you for posting your story! My husband and I are getting ready to start the process to become foster parents, and like the comment above your blog came up when I was searching for gender nurseries! Your post made me cry it was so sweet and so much of my heart! I already am praying for our future children also and cannot wait to love on those little children! I pray that it is going well for you!

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  10. what size are the frames?

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