Nate and I always wanted to “have a family.” We were married young, at 18 and 21. We finished college early and jumped into our careers. This made us ready for a family early as well. As a couple, we desired to begin that growth through foster care. We assumed a biological child was eventually going to be a part of our family, and we were open to adoption as well…BUT Plan A was foster care.
In April 2014, we opened as a foster family through DCFS. We fostered our young hearts out, loving on kiddos from 9 months old to 17 years. Kids came to us from all ethnicities, multiple languages, and different stories. We messed up, made mistakes, and struggled as we tried to parent these kiddos, but God was always faithful.
You see, God took our foster care plan and our best attempts. He redeemed it all. All of the kiddos that came through our home were reunified with their biological families, which was bittersweet. Reunification is always the goal, but it is almost never easy. Our hearts were broken over and over, but God in his tender mercy healed the pieces of our hearts that the littles (and bigs) took with them.
When our last sibling group was reunified, Nate and I were done. We were tired and sad…and quite frankly were ready to be 20 somethings. We took a break from parenting. We went rock climbing, road tripped, and did what we wanted…except the one weekend when the Westerman’s asked us to watch their current fosters so they could go to a football game. God faithfully redeemed even the weekend we gave up to babysit. That is when we met our oldest daughters, sweet Seppy and Hazel. We were eventually matched as an adoptive family with Sep and Hazel and their brilliant older brother Lukis. They came home permanently in April 2018, and officially became Halls in January 2019. That was not our plan. That was God’s plan. Through our amazing kiddos, God’s kingdom has been made so apparent. God redeemed a piece of all of our stories.
We thought these three additions would be it for us… that we would be a family of five forever. I told Nate, “Isn’t it amazing to know that we know what our family is going to look like? We can settle in.” A few weeks later, we were reminded that God’s plan is higher and bigger than ours. I was pregnant with our sweet Alden Kate…not because we had finally relaxed as a result of adoption, (people love explaining to us “that’s how it works!”) but because God had plans. Plans higher than ours. What a blessing!
Our story has taught us that our plans are frivolous and that God’s plan is holy and perfect. Our prayer now is that others will see that the family can be heaven on earth, no matter what way your family is formed. Foster your heart out. Adopt and be changed by God’s wonderful creations. Have babies and show them the love of Christ. Be respectful to your parents. Be single and love your church family, and above all else, know that God will be faithful in your obedience.
-NATE & KATIE HALL