“It takes special people to do what you do”, is a phrase that we hear often when we tell others that we are foster parents. Honestly, we are just two ordinary people. We get frustrated when decisions are made that we don’t agree with. We feel overwhelmed when changes take place that are out of our control. Always taking the ‘high road’ can be exhausting, but we do it for the children placed in our home. Fostering is not about us, it is all about the children that we have been given the privilege to love and serve. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4 There was no divine moment when we decided to become foster parents. It was little nudges over a period of time....A worship song playing, advertisements, messages at church, a foster/adopt t-shirt someone was wearing. After a lot of prayer and discussion with one another, before we knew it we found ourselves sitting in the TIPS-MAPP class becoming licensed foster parents. In the beginning our desire was to adopt, but God had other plans. We had struggled with infertility and experienced loss. It was a change in our plan that we didn’t ask for. We were ready to become parents and grow our family through adoption, but God changed our perspective. Our struggles became less about us and more about His plan for our lives. Becoming parents through foster care was a divine detour for us. Through this detour, God took us exactly where we needed to go. In this chapter of our lives, God has grown our faith.
We’ve learned to trust Him with everything we have. He has reminded us just how much He loves us. Even in the pain, He is still good. He sees the full picture when we can’t. He cares about our future and He loves the children in our home more than we ever could. God is always reminding us that life’s hardships can be a catalyst for some of the biggest blessings in life. We went from no children to two toddlers overnight. Looking back on that day we can’t even find the words to describe the love, support and encouragement that was poured over us. We went from having an empty bedroom in our home with only a crib to our house overflowing with clothes, diapers, toys, food, car seats etc. God truly blessed us with everything that we needed through the outpouring of generosity of our friends, family and community. We are coming up on two years of being foster parents. Our eyes have been opened to a need that we didn’t even know existed before. Our hearts will never be the same. We know that our journey with foster care will never be finished. Fostering is complicated and uncomfortable, but well worth the sacrifice.
The biggest lesson we’ve learned through fostering is to get too attached, even if it leads to loss. The children in foster care need attachment. They need to know what a family can be. They need to experience the love of Christ. There are so many ways to get involved in the foster care community. We want to encourage others that are on the fence. Take the leap of faith and don’t let fear win. Put all of your trust in God and we promise that He will provide everything you need and more. Say yes even when it scares you. It is amazing what an extraordinary God can do through ordinary people that are willing to be obedient and put all of their trust in Him. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9