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.


Your Foster Momma

Crib: Restoration Hardware Baby & Child (We got the conversion kit, too- just in case!)
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