Carime and David Schofield were part of the first round of foster training that was hosted at Crossroads in collaboration with the Coalition of Care in 2012. They became foster parents in September 2013. Little Sydney May was 4 days old when she entered their home. The Schofields were advised to ‘not get too attached’ to the baby girl. There was an expectation that a relative would step up.
Fourteen months later, Sydney Mae became a permanent part of the Schofield family, during Hamilton County’s National Adoption Day ceremony. The Schofield’s three older children were at the ceremony; they willingly help take care of their baby sister. The family didn’t intend to adopt, but were always open to it. They felt like God opened their hearts to fostering and adoption. When Crossroads and the Coalition of Care collaborated to host foster training, the door was open and the journey began.
Here is the rest of their story, as told by Carime:
I have to say, it’s been a long journey, but such a blessing for our family. We went through the Spiritual boot camps, and heard other foster families tell their stories. We were so filled with the love of God that we wanted to move forward and pursue foster parenting for our own family. We wanted to love broken children and show them a different life.
If I could summarize in just one sentence, it would be “we give God all the glory, all of it.” He did this; He is more compassionate than us; He gave us strength when we almost quit (a few times); He put encouraging people in our lives who kept us motivated. At one point, during our foster licensing process, some of our certifications were expiring as fast as we could complete others. We felt hopeless and confused; my husband and I were not communicating well at this point, and the stress was affecting our children.
This could have been a breaking point for us. If we walked away, I don't know that we ever would have come back and started the process over again. God put the right person to whisper in our ear, to give us a small encouragement. But it was just enough to get us going again.
There have been many barriers and previous assumptions about fostering that have been torn down since we entered this journey. It’s really been more of submitting our expectations and trusting God’s goodness. We heard awful stories about “the system”, but honestly every case worker we encountered turned out to be amazing.
Something happened when we laid down our selfish ambition. This gave the case workers and lawyer and Guardian Ad Litum the ability to truly act in the child’s best interest, and not worry about trying to please us. This was very difficult for us, because once we had the baby and we knew she was adoptable, we really wanted to keep her. The case was very complicated and at one point our family was the 3rd option for adopting this baby. This means that there were 2 other families who were interesting in adopting this child.
Laying down our selfish wants actually changed the game. There was freedom and peace, and every person on her team was able to fully do their job well, including us. This decision affected Christ-followers and non-Christ followers alike.
I discovered how much pressure case workers are under when trying to place a child and act on their behalf. They have to please their bosses, the foster family, the bio family and sometimes scrutiny of the public eye and judgment from within their own agencies. There was freedom in our case.
I could tell our case workers felt loved and appreciated by us, and we gave them no additional pressure. We told our case workers not to make decisions based on our behalf but to truly do what they felt was best for the child.
Foster care has and is continuing to teach us how to be free from being in control or needing to know all the information. We’re learning how to trust God and there is actual freedom there.
Truly this adoption journey was God’s doing, and we get to be a part of life change and God’s work. Thank you, Coalition of Care, for doing what you do to make this all possible. At this point we will continue to submit to God, and if another little child comes along, then we’ll keep going and see what happens.