I am so excited to share with you a piece of Saty's story: her parents fostered and adopted; she is a biological child to her parents.
Saty Cornelius is a writer, wife and adventurer. Her first book More To Me, will be available through Amazon on May 1st, 2018. She has a strong love for Jesus, the ocean, and chai tea lattes. She appreciates the value of stories—messy or inspiring, real or fictional—and has a dream of helping people find their worth through the power of these stories. To be a part of her online community and get the first chapter of her book for free, subscribe here.
I was a little girl with three brothers, anxious for the day when I didn’t have to bribe them to play dolls and dress up with me. I asked my parents almost every night for a sister.
I didn’t know back then how much of a commitment that was, but my parents eventually pursued the idea of adoption. They took in two girls, ages 3 and 5. I was in heaven.
At the time, we lived in a small house in SoCal. There were three boys in one room and three girls in another, and my parents occupied the third. I absolutely loved having new sisters, and they felt like family immediately.
But there were bumps in the road. I wasn’t used to having to share my things: my room, my special toys, my time. We had our arguments, and we both had to get used to new cultures and new routines. It took time, but overall, I remember that season being a beautiful one, full of bonding.
About 5 or 6 years later, my family moved to Idaho, where my parents eventually started looking into fostering again—this time the plan wasn’t to foster-to-adopt, but to walk alongside the bio parents at the beginning, in hopes of reuniting them with their child.
The day my parents had their home study done, they were told that it would be a couple of weeks before they heard anything. It was that afternoon that my dad received a call from the case worker asking if they could take in a baby girl.
They said yes.
The baby was 3 months old, but she had been born 3 months early. She weighed only 1 pound 9 ounces at birth, and when we got her, she was still on oxygen and a heart monitor. The machines were at least 5 times her weight, and they went with her everywhere.
To have such a fragile, beautiful baby in the house was a growing experience for all of us kids. We loved feeding her bottles, rocking her to sleep (she slept a LOT), and even changing her diapers.
Eventually, her bio parents decided that they wanted us to adopt their baby. We were overjoyed to consider this child part of our forever family.
As all foster parents know, there are ups and downs that stretch you further than you ever thought possible. And as a sibling in a home that fostered, I went through those too. Maybe not in the exact way a parent would, but I felt it.
After a short time, this baby girl’s bio grandmother stepped up to try and take guardianship of her.
I remember holding this baby in my arms as a young teen, alone in a dark room so she could sleep, thinking “Why, God? We guarded our hearts at the beginning, but her parents gave her to us. You can’t take my baby sister from me…”
I held her close and kissed her soft cheek. After half an hour of holding her and crying out to the Lord, I felt a sense of peace wash over me. I didn’t want to be selfish. I wanted God to take this baby girl wherever she needed to go. Of course, I wanted her to be ours, but I needed to loosen my grip.
After the courts looked into bio grandma as a potential guardian to the little girl, we were told that this option wouldn’t work out after all. Knowing some of the situation, we were all so thankful. We finally got to adopt this baby into the family, and I knew without a doubt that God had big plans for her.
As the years went on, my parents continued to foster. They eventually switched from fostering younger children to fostering teens. That was a difficult transition for me, because instead of simply caring for the needs of a toddler or infant, there was a relationship there now that required a lot more effort.
But it’s also been so rewarding because we still keep in touch with kids who have lived with us, and it’s been so neat to see them blossom into adults along with me. Some of the girls my parents fostered have become so much a part of the family that we refer to each other as sisters.
Now that I’ve moved a state away, it brings a whole new perspective. Many times, when I visit, I get to meet a new child that my parents are taking care of.
People often seem surprised when I tell them about my childhood, and ask questions like, “Did you like it?” or “Was it hard?” I never realized how many people didn’t know anything about foster care. To me, it was normal and sweet to be a small piece in someone’s story.
I wouldn’t change a thing about how I was raised. I have met so many beautiful people with beautiful stories, and I hope each of them felt as impacted as I did by them. They radiate strength and courage, and that message needs to be declared from the rooftops and whispered into their hearts.