Recently, I have been thinking a lot about foster care and our experience with it.
We have adopted 2 out of the 5 foster children that have been placed in our home. Coincidentally, the boys are who get adopted and the girls are who we have had to say good bye to. For as long as I can remember, I have always envisioned myself as a mom of boys so it makes sense to my brain. Still hurts my heart to lose our girls, for sure, but SO thankful for my incredible miracle boys!
Throughout this journey with our current foster daughter, a reality has smacked me in the face. If more Jesus followers would participate in the foster care system with the mindset of not only fostering these children, but fostering their parents as well, I can’t help but imagine the impact it would have in our respective cities.
We are in the process of watching a miracle unfold before our eyes. That doesn’t mean that there are not hard days where I want to crawl into a hole, but the only way for me to explain our relationship with our foster daughter’s mom is miraculous.
God is an incredible multi tasker and He knew what He was doing when He asked us to say “yes” to this beautiful baby 20 months ago. If I would have known all of the twists and turns along the way, I can’t say that I would have said “yes”. I wouldn’t have been able to dream up or comprehend that it could ever turn out the way it has, so I probably would have backed out. How tragic!
The fact that we have been able to raise this miracle the first year and a half of her life is amazing, but what’s more amazing to me is the relationship with her mom that I have gained. This mom just needed someone to believe in her, assume the best for her, and unconditionally love her. It is not Jason and I that have done this, it is Jesus who, for some reason, has entrusted us with her and loves her through us. We GET to be the people who have a relationship with this mom. It is an honor and privilege to know her and do life with her.
It hasn’t always been easy. We have had to build trust with each other. Us with her because we knew about her past and her with us because we had her daughter and she has had many relationships fall a part and break her trust. Once the trust was built with this birth mom, it became easier. NOT easy, but easier.
The most difficult of the journey for me right now is consistently being misunderstood. Misunderstood by pretty much everyone surrounding the birth mom, except for her, thankfully! She has been amazing by being open and honest with questions and concerns as they arise. Because of the trust we have built early on, we always get through whatever it is that she has been told about Jason and I.
Last week I finished up reading the book of Acts and it was comforting to me to see how often Paul was misunderstood. Misunderstood even to the point of beating and imprisonment. I am so thankful that I have not had to face the severity of his misunderstanding! Paul was just trying to preach truth and love those around him to Jesus. It hit me, if people don’t know Jesus, His love is going to confuse them. When confused, people try to make sense of what they don’t understand. In attempting to make sense, they would come up with lies that made sense to them.
Our love for this baby girl and our love for her mom confuses the CPS workers, birth mom’s friends, and some of her family members. This love that we have is the supernatural love that God has for us. It’s the love that He calls us to pour out to all those that we interact with. Even when it hurts. Love Does, as my hero, Bob Goff yells from the roof tops 🙂
What if, what if we as the Church embraced the foster care system? What if we as the Church loved so well that the confusion would fade because workers, parents, and foster care children came to know Jesus and His love for them?!
As Jesus followers, I think more of us need to embrace these kids AND their families. We are all just one bad decision away from being in their same position. Hurt people, hurt people and we are all broken and far from perfect. I know it took me a LONG time to even meet our foster daughter’s mom because I was scared. Too many unknowns. My fear nearly kept me from having one of the most amazing relationships that I have ever had. I learn from this courageous, hard-working, and determined momma on a daily basis. She encourages me, inspires me, and makes me laugh regularly.
So, what if…What if, we as believers took on the foster care system. Not only to provide loving and stable homes for these kids in a scary and sad time in their lives, but also their parents!? What would God be able to do in us and through us if we would just say “yes!”??