My Aunt Sandy has always been a role model for me growing up. She loves the Lord and relies on Him in every circumstance. She and her husband were foster parents for many years and fostered over 100 children while having several of their own.
As a teen, I remember sitting in her living room and hearing many stories about their experiences with foster children that were filled with an array of emotions, but never regret. Several years passed and there was no real mention of foster care that I recall. When we got married, my husband, Joey, and I always talked about having a big family, much like he had growing up, and we were always open to adoption. Fostering wasn’t really part of that discussion, not because we didn’t want to, but there wasn’t anyone around us doing it and we, in a sense, forgot that it was an option.
I think this can happen in many areas of our life; we get comfortable with our routine or lifestyle and we forget about the needs of those around us and miss opportunities to be the light of Christ and share the gospel.
Foster care came back into clear view after hearing from our church about the need in our county. Volunteering with the children at church I met several families and their new family members. They were just regular kids that needed someone to care for them and show them Jesus, just like anyone else. The topic of fostering kept coming up when Joey and I would talk, and we finally took a step of faith and started the foster classes.
We didn’t know what to expect, but kept an open mind and God started opening doors. We were able to quickly sell our house, purchase a new one with more space, and got all our paperwork completed and ready for final submission for our license without issues - oh and did I mention we found out we were expecting in the midst of all this! God is so good!
Joey and I had agreed going into this that our desire was to keep siblings together, if that ever came up.
Within a few days of being licensed we received a call about two sisters (ages 5 and 10). They were older than we initially thought we would be fostering but we kept going back to “we want to keep siblings together” and knew that God would be with us. We stepped out in faith and said “yes” and have had 2 sisters in our home for almost 4 months now. I’m not saying it’s been easy, but with an abundance of God’s strength and wisdom we have seen such a transformation in these girls in this short time.
But this transformation wasn’t only for the girls.
God has used this time to reveal His heart to me as well as refine me – exposing the areas I selfishly cling to and walls that I need to break down while always pointing me back to Him.
The last several weeks have been filled with worry about the girl’s uncertain future – will they go home on their next court date and if they go home will they get the love and affection they so desire and expect from their mom? These worries and questions flood my mind often, but I’m continually reminded that their time with us was/is God-ordained and their future is too. If they weren’t in foster care, would they have ever been exposed to the gospel, would the oldest have ever made the decision to be baptized? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know we are truly blessed to be a part of their story; to be a witness to the work God is doing in their young lives. There is no doubt that God is sovereign over everything and no matter the pain or heartache we feel through the process, we know God will get the glory and that makes it all worth it.