How & Why Our Family Became Licensed to Provide Foster Care

Earlier this year our family became licensed to provide foster care and we took our first placement soon after our license became active. The last 6 months have flown by and our foster care experience has been so different from what we were expecting. And I mean that in the best way possible :).

Foster care is temporary and an amazing opportunity to love and care for a child and be part of the ministry of family reconciliation. When you provide a temporary home for a child it allows for the possibility of a permanent reconciliation to happen within a family.

I enjoyed reading and learning from other foster families when we were starting this process. Below are the steps we took to become licensed in Arizona and also the reasoning behind why Josh and I ultimately said yes to becoming foster parents.


Our journey into becoming licensed as a foster family started all the way back in November of 2015. Our kids at the time were 4 and 2 years old. Josh and I knew we wanted more information about becoming foster parents and thankfully we found Arizona 1.27 online and signed up for the next orientation.

Arizona 1.27 is a non-profit that partners with local churches to recruit and care for the members of their congregation engaged in the ministry of foster care and adoption. Childcare was provided for our kiddos and we were able to go and learn more about the process and ask questions. If you are at all interested in fostering this organization is a great starting place!

This orientation outlined all the vital steps we would need to complete. For two people who knew nothing about how this process worked we left feeling confident about moving forward but devastated by what we learned.

Everyday in Arizona only 4 families become licensed to provide foster care yet 33+ kids (babies through teens) will come into foster care that same day.

About 2700 children are currently eligible for adoption in Arizona.

In the last year in Arizona only 23% of children were reunited with their families.

If a girl ages out of the foster care systems she has a 2% chance of completing college and is 20% more likely to become pregnant before she is 21. This also means she is at a greater risk to become homeless, imprisoned, or a victim of sex trafficking.

We next signed up for the Basic Training class offered by Arizona 1.27 which increased our understanding of a Biblical approach to foster care and adoption. And this class was so so good! I left convicted and blown away by what was presented in this class. The pastor who taught recommend the book Orphan Justice and I highly suggest reading this book to everyone! Even if you aren’t considering fostering or adopting. It really challenged my thinking and started to break down some of the presuppositions I had about the foster care system and those who are part of it.

In the Spring of 2016 we had our fingerprint cards, picked an agency, began taking our 10 week PS-MAPP class, and filled out stacks of paperwork. PS-MAPP stands for “Partnering for Permanency and Safety – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting.” Arizona requires a minimum of 30 hours of training before becoming a foster parent. Several weeks into this class Josh and I shockingly learned I was pregnant! You can watch the video HERE. Spoiler alert: Josh had a vasectomy the year before and had two clean sperm counts after the procedure.

In the Fall of 2017 we contacted our agency again and began the steps needed to complete the licensure process. This time we had a 5, 3, and almost 1 year old. We had to retake two of our PS-MAPP classes which equaled 6 hours plus another 3 hour class, fill out even more paperwork, meet with our licensing worker from our agency, have medical exams, and share all the details from our childhood until currently.

All our paperwork was completed right before Christmas and our file was turned over to the State of Arizona the first week of January 2018. And several weeks later received an email from DCS that our license was active! This means that our family was placed on the list for a placement. We decided to keep the order of our biological children so any child that is placed with our family will be younger than our youngest.


The Bible says we are all image bearers of God, which means we were created to point others towards Him, and to display His character in the world. God has wired each of us differently to encapsulate his own qualities. Taking care of orphans was NEVER a desire I had on my own BUT, I can now say that because of God, through the work of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit within me, God’s call to care for orphans has overwhelmed me. To the point now that I could not imagine our family saying no to caring for another family during this season of life.

And I say our family because this is not just about myself and Josh. Our kids are part of this life changing experience, as well as our extended family, by being the hands and feet of Jesus and loving those who have no one to care for them. Our kids were beyond excited, because we had been talking about doing this for awhile. Our five year old asked if we could buy a bus so we could take all the kids who need a home. We talked to them about the baby who will come into our house and how we we will be their family for as long as needed until their own mommy or daddy can take care of them again. We have also made sure to continue to explain to our kids that they we will always be with us.

Over and over again Josh and I have heard the same statement from other people, “I don’t think I could do that, I would get too attached”. And I get it. I really do. We know our hearts will get broken but we also know that we have an amazing opportunity to make a life changing impact on a family and to offer a loving home for a little person in need.

This is new territory and we know we won’t do this perfectly but we hope to do this with as much grace and mercy as possible. Grace and mercy to each other, to our kids, to the foster care system, to the family of the baby who enters our home, and especially to the little one who we welcome into our home and family. This grace and mercy we can extend because it has been extended freely to us.

Josh and I have been reconciled by God through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:16-20) and believe that the Bible is alive, active, and sharper than any double edge sword (Hebrews 4:12). And scripture has pierced my heart multiple times as the Lord has convicted me and reshaped my priorities and focus over the last several years. I would not be writing this at all if not for His goodness, grace, and mercy.

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27


Our Adoption Story

Josh and I had the privilege this January to become licensed foster parents. This year has grown me in more ways then I can say. I have learned so much and I am so thankful for the amazing opportunity to be part of another child’s life. This week our family adopted the sweet little person we have been loving and caring for over the last six months.

Adopting our foster son has been an amazing and yet bittersweet experience. I have never felt such a deep loss for another person before. I think about and pray for our son’s biological parents, I pray for the future conversations we will have with our son regarding his adoption, and I pray for our family to be a safe and secure place for him to learn and know what love is, how much we love him, but more importantly how much God loves him.

We had the most amazing people from the Arizona Department of Child Safety advocating for our child. Words cannot fully express how honored our family has been to walk along side these individuals who will forever be part of our child’s story and we are so grateful for their diligent work. I would like to publicly thank these individuals who came into our child’s life because of tragic circumstances. I wanted to say so much more to you all at the adoption and express my deepest heartfelt appreciation for what you did for our son and the work that you do everyday for so many kids. My eyes are so blurred right now I can barely see the keys on the keyboard to type but I hope you know how much you mean to our family.

We have heard many similar responses from others when they learned we were going to be foster parents. Ranging from “I could never do that” to “You are a really wonderful person”. Josh and I would like everyone to know that we don’t think of ourselves as wonderful but we do think of ourselves as forgiven. We are grateful for the Lord and how he continues to gradually grow us more into the likeness of Christ and we are so glad that we made ourselves available for God to use our family.

The adoption of our son has been the opportunity to see something beautiful come from something broken. And in seeing this we can see how God views us, his children.

Our hope and prayer was to be able to bless another family by allowing them the opportunity and time to reunify with their child. While we are sadden that this wasn’t able to happen for our son we know that for him we are his best chance for a happy childhood. One that will be filled with love, joy, kindness, safety, and security. The blessing has been ours to enjoy and cherish and we will continue to do so as a forever family.

Out of respect for our children and their privacy Josh and I have chosen to not share pictures of them on social media or this website. If you have been a longtime reader of The Workout Mama you might have noticed a change over the last few years of what I have shared and I have also removed older posts for this reason. In light of the adoption of our son we are even more committed now to keep their faces off the internet for their privacy and safety. We are asking if we have shared details with you about our son to refrain from commenting online with any information that we have not shared publicly.

Over the next several weeks I will be sharing more posts on our foster care experience. While I will not be sharing details of our child’s story I do want to share what we have learned in hopes that it might encourage others to look into this ministry and also provide any resources that we have found useful. Feel free to leave any questions you have and I will try and answer them to the best of my ability in an upcoming post.

To the doctors, nurses, therapists, the court, our church, WIC, our foster care agency, the Arizona Department of Child Safety, and especially our friends and family thank you for supporting us and caring for our son.